Turn off the lights, put in the spotlights…After major success in recent years, this winter The Hague Highlights will once again put four special places – at the very heart of The Hague’s city centre – in the spotlights. Between 18.00 and 23.00, you are kindly invited to marvel at light artworks with friends, colleagues, or family members.

23 - 27 February

The HighLights

Why is Kneuterdijk in fact called Kneuterdijk? And when did the second to last political assassination take place? Every light artwork of The Hague Highlights is unique, each revealing the story of that particular spot in its own way. Because that’s exactly what The Hague Highlights is all about: telling The Hague’s stories with light.

Route

Take a 45-minute walk down all the places or submerge in the luxury of a golden carriage. Download the THHL map here.

The Hague Highlights 2022 The Hague is on...

Highlights & Route

This year brings you four HighLights in The Hague’s city centre. Each having a different story to tell. Here’s a sneak peak of what to expect…

Gevangenpoort
vuurwerk

The brutal end of De Witt brothers

Fireworks on the Hofvijver

Location: Gevangenpoort
Artist: Jurjen Alkema

Location: Hofvijver
Artist: Studio Kebbel

The Gevangenpoort and part of the Plaats square meticulously depict the lynching of the two brothers Johan and Cornelis de Witt. The last political murder before the assassination of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002. Both gentlemen were celebrities back then. With this light projection we promise to take you back to 1672. A disastrous year for the whole of the Netherlands and especially for these men. Local militia and agitated crowds brutally put an end to the lives of these two brothers. Don’t worry, there will be no bloodshed and no horrific scene will be displayed in 2022. But because the projection continues on the square as well as the Gevangenpoort, you get to witness the ominous setting and are naturally sucked into the moment. By the way, did you know two body parts (tongue and a finger) of Cornelis de Witt can still be ‘admired’ at the Haags Historisch Museum (The Hague Historical Museum)?

Some like to think of Hofvijver as the origin of The Hague. For a good reason. You see … it was water and nothing else that made Count William II of Holland decide to build his castle right here back in the 13th  century. Today, the castle makes the famous Binnenhof – currently undergoing a major renovation. It is the oldest parliamentary complex serving a political purpose still. Fireworks have been lit on Hofvijver for centuries. The oldest depiction goes back to 1586. And in 1749, the most beautiful fireworks show ever was held, celebrating the Peace of Aachen. To originally illuminate and beautify Hofvijver, we asked Studio Kebbel to manufacture a couple of floating light objects. Results are impressive. The anemones make a unique detail in daytime and at night.
Did you know Hofvijver in fact is not a pond at all? Unlike what the Dutch word ‘vijver’ (pond) itself might suggest, Hofvijver was originally a natural dune lake to which the water of Haagse Beek flows. Hofvijver is directly connected to the Kijkduin dunes.

vink
getijde

A Thin Line

TIDE

Experience the magical cycle of the moon in only 15 minutes

Location: Paleis Kneuterdijk
Artist: Titia Ex

Location: Lange Voorhout
Artist: David Schoch (PIP Den Haag)

We don’t often really think about how a place got its name in the first place. The same goes for ‘Kneuterdijk’ … where does this interesting name come from?
Already in 1539, the name ‘Knoeterdyck’ was mentioned in a letter, safely stored at the Hague Municipal Archives. So basically, the name and place are very old. Historians say the name ‘Kneuterdijk’ can be traced back to the Dutch verb ‘kneuteren’, which means using decoys – usually a common litter (‘kneuter’) – for catching birds. Back in the 16th century, Kneuterdijk was probably home to a trapping device, for catching chaffinches. This place was also a dike, to hold back the waters of Hofvijver.
Titia Ex’s artwork called ‘A thin line’ is a reference to this history and the Dutch well-known expression which literally says: ‘sitting on the chaffinch rope’. Originally, people used to sit on the pulling rope that was used to close the trap and catch chaffinches ultimately. One had to be ready and alert to be able to perform a particular task at any moment. Today the Dutch expression is still used in political context: balancing vigilantly and delicately between different interests. Which we now find among the stately residents of the palace from the past and the present. Not only did kings and queens live here, Thorbecke’s constitutional reform was also realised at this palace. The Nazis claimed it in WWII and were tried in it after the war came to an end. Today, the Kneuterdijk Palace is the seat of the Council of State, an independent advisor to the government and parliament on legislation and governance and the highest general administrative court in the Netherlands.

The moon shines over the sea. Waves of rising tide are crashing against the surf. Reflection. A new, full moon. Ebb and flow. Mother nature. It is all interrelated. The Hague is the city by the sea where tide shimmers. The connection and forces of the moon on earth are even more noticeable in this corner of the world. Experience the magical cycle of the moon in only 15 minutes. With ‘Tide’, David Schoch (PIP Den Haag) presents a 150-meter-long audio-visual spectacle on Lange Voorhout in the Museumkwartier The Hague. With a musical soundtrack by The Hague’s well-known DJ and producer Gino van Dam.

Expect this
This light experience involves two installations. It’s 150 meters long and can be found on Lange Voorhout with a watchtower right in front of Diligentia Theatre/the Kloosterkerk Church. A large moon floats above Lange Voorhout near Escher in the Palace. About 200 outdoor floor lamps simulate the reflection on the surf on Lange Lindenlaan Avenue. Climb the watchtower* for a magical view or walk right through the installation art. The performance takes off quietly and subdued at the new moon. The experience goes slowly to the first 15 minutes until the exuberant full moon presents itself. Feel the waves shimmer at large lighting. The spectacle enters the last 15 minutes of an hour and ends again at the new moon. The matching ambient soundtrack by Gino van Dam beautifully accompanies the experience and story. Bring your own headphones and enjoy listening.

Activities during The Hague Highlights

2_RobOuwerkerk_Bavo
coming soon thhl_Tekengebied 1
coming soon thhl_Tekengebied 1

Previous Editions

Ridderzaal 2018

MAuritshuis5

Mauritshuis 2019

Kurhaus 2018

Photos Anne Reitsma

Partners

Municipality of The Hague
We are grateful for the financial contribution of the Municipality of The Hague – and thanks to all residents of The Hague – The Hague Highlights will shine its light in 2021.

The Hague Historical Museum / Prisoners’ Gate
This projection is made possible thanks to our museum partner Haags Historisch Museum (The Hague Historical Museum), Gevangenpoort (Prison Gate Museum).
Financially, substantively and marketing-technically we are very grateful for this beautiful collaboration.

Stichting Museumkwartier Den Haag (The Hague’s Museum Quarter)
Our very special thanks go to the Stichting Museumkwartier Den Haag for developing the artwork “Tide” an putting it on display during The Hague Highlights.
We look forward to work together with them in taking The Hague Highlights to the next level in the years to come.

Marketing Haagse Binnenstad & The Hague Marketing Bureau
We would like to thank Marketing Haagse Binnenstad and The Hague Marketing Bureau for the best efforts that they have invested at marketing and communication levels. Joining the Have a Royal Winter and The Hague is On campaigns makes sure many more people will visit The Hague Highlights.

Also, special thanks to shopkeepers who helped prepare interesting packages to draw visitors’ attention.

About The Hague Highlights

The Hague Highlights is organised by LUSTR + Spinner & Langkous and is made possible by the Municipality of The Hague among others.

Email: info@thehaguehighlights.nl
Press inquiries: info@hehaguehighlights.nl
Partnerships: matthijs@spinnerlangkous.nl

Vision

The Hague’s spotlight stories
The city of The Hague has a rich history. The Binnenhof and the district surrounding it (Museumkwartier) bring us a wealth of stories (tucked away) asking to be told. We believe one of the best options to share those stories in a fun, accessible, attractive and languageless way, is to use light and projection. The Hague Highlights is by no means copying the light festivals hosted by Amsterdam or Eindhoven, but rather in its unique style, it is revealing stories about The Hague’s icons, in a way beautifully representing the city itself.

Positioning: What is making THHL unique?
The Hague Highlights’ mission is to spotlight The Hague’s best-known but also less familiar sides using light, projections, installations, art, performances etc. The Hague Highlights is unlike any other light festivals held in the Netherlands because we want to tell the city’s iconic as well as hidden stories with light. The link between place and content is unique.