Rond de Grote Kerk, Den Haag
52.0771056744704, 4.30711963963712 View on map
Hard to imagine now, but in the old days everyone drank water from the ditch or canal. Even the polluted Hofvijver supplied the water. A little safer was the water you could haul up with a city pump. There were dozens of them scattered around the city. But with the large population growth in the nineteenth century, these wells also deteriorated. They regularly became infected with cholera and typhoid. Dozens, sometimes hundreds, of people died in epidemics because of bad water and lack of sewage.
This changed dramatically with the advent of the waterworks. In 1874, the Duinwaterleiding of 's-Gravenhage (DWL) began its rapid construction. Those who were connected to the water system at home no longer needed a city pump. Thus, their number quickly declined. In 1877 there were only 61 iron and 11 stone ones left. Today The Hague has only three town pumps left.
One of them stands next to the Great Church. This pump is made of brick. Both the base and the crown are made of natural stone. The top is decorated with a sphere surrounded by flowers, acanthus leaves and pine cones. In the edge of the pump's cover is the municipal coat of arms of The Hague in a decorative cartouche. After years of no water coming out of it, since the summer of 2019 you can again fill your bottle at this pump. All you need to do is move the metal handle back and forth.