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 17.00 and 22.00, you are kindly invited to marvel at light artworks with friends, colleagues, or family members.
23 - 27 February
Why is Kneuterdijk in fact called Kneuterdijk? How do Mauritshuis and flowers go hand in hand? 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.
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…
The brutal end of De Witt brothers
Vuurwerk op de Hofvijver
Artist: Het Blauwe Uur
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.
A Thin Line
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.
Foto’s Anne Reitsma
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 & Mauritshuis
These two projections were made possible thanks to our museum partners Haags Historisch Museum (The Hague Historical Museum), Gevangenpoort (Prison Gate Museum) & Mauritshuis.
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 the careful attention that they have dedicated to The Hague HighLights. We look forward to joining hands with them in taking The Hague HighLights to the next level in the years to come.
Royal Christmas Fair
Obviously, The Hague HighLights’s aim is to give each and every visitor a wonderful experience. Because the Royal Christmas Fair and The Hague HighLights are taking place at the same time, visitors are guaranteed an even more beautiful setting, allowing the city of The Hague to show its best side. Royal Christmas Fair en The Hague HighLights are teaming up in the marketing communication campaign.
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 to the Royal Christmas Fair and The Hague HighLights.
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.
Press inquiries: email@example.com
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.