Strandweg, Den Haag
52.1076043746002, 4.27151693038194 View on map
The sea, which took again and again,
Will return once,
All those who have stayed,
To him who first escaped,
The lord of wind and water,
To Christ Triomfator'.*
Firm and steadfast she stands there. Eyes fixed on the sea, on where the men must be coming from. At least, if the sea had not taken them. The image of this sturdy woman in Scheveningen costume obviously represents the fear of every woman whose husband goes to sea. The risk that her husband will never return.
This Fishermen's Monument was therefore erected by the Stichting Vissersmonument Scheveningen in the name of the people of Scheveningen in memory of 'all those who have stayed in the sea'. It is one of three fish monuments in The Hague. The funds for the bronze sculpture, which is more than two metres high, were raised by the Scheveningers themselves. For example, two gramophone records with music from seven Scheveningen choirs were released for it. The memorial was unveiled by Queen Beatrix on 10 November 1982.
The maker of the Vissersmonument is sculptor and goldsmith Gerard Bakker. He was commissioned to do so by the aforementioned foundation. Bakker has greatly simplified the woman, but has nonetheless rendered her true to nature. That gives her extra power. Originally, she stood on top of the dune on Kalhuisplein, at the head of Keizerstraat, the street that leads to the sea in the centre of old Scheveningen. At the time, architect Kees van Harmelen of the former Hague agency HVE architects provided a matching seat made of brick. Thus, the spectator could gaze out to sea together with the sturdy Scheveningen woman. When the boulevard was renovated in 2012, she was given a new place. Without benches, but closer to the sea.
* Poet Inge Lievaert (Texel 1917 - Scheveningen 2012)