City Center Stroll

Start: Lange Vijverberg, diagonally opposite the Gevangenpoort
End: Lange Voorhout
Time: 1,5 hour walk

With more than 550 works of art, the city of The Hague is actually one big open-air museum. All the sculptures are on the street. Accessible day and night and free of charge for everyone. On the website Buitenkunst Den Haag ( you can find background information about each of these sculptures. Never before noticed that there is so much art to be seen in public spaces in the Hague? By way of introduction a walk along some twenty sculptures that together show the wealth of the collection Buitenkunst Den Haag. In approximately 1.5 hours, you will walk past the most diverse works of art in the city centre. Some of them are probably familiar, time to get to know the others!

How does it work?
We have mapped out the entire route for you, marked the works of art and added a very brief explanation of each sculpture. Would you like to know more about an artwork on the route? Via Read more ... you will find more background information on the website
The start of City Center Stroll. is on Lange Vijverberg next to the Hofvijver, diagonally opposite the Gevangenpoort, and the walking route is counter-clockwise. You can join at any time, but for the best view of the images, it is useful to follow the numbers.

The walk takes you past 18 works of art. Please note: there are more than 170 sculptures in the centre alone. So you will pass many more while walking. Would you like to know more about them? Then check out the website

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Ian Hamilton Finlay, Et in Arcadia Ego (Ook ik was in Arcadië) , 1998

To discover this hidden work of art in the heart of the city, you have to bend over the quay wall of the Hofvijver at the Prison Gate. With a water threshold and a poetic text chiselled in hardstone, artist Ian Hamilton Finlay marks the mouth of the centuries-old Haagse Beek. In this way, in the middle of the city, he recalls the paradisiacal landscape of the past.

Emile de Nieuwerkercke, Ruiterstandbeeld prins Willem I , 1845

In the centre of government city The Hague, you almost stumble over the tributes to important men. This is the oldest work of art in the city. Moreover, it is the first equestrian statue in the Netherlands. The French sculptor Emile de Nieuwerkercke depicts William of Orange as a military ruler high up on a horse. In classical antiquity absolute power was depicted in this way too. How different it is with the Wilhelmina monument a little further on.

Charlotte van Pallandt, Wilhelminamonument , 1987

A century after the first equestrian statue of the Netherlands, a tribute to a head of state is no longer a powerful ruler high above the common people, but a monarch with both feet on the ground. Charlotte van Pallandt portrays Queen Wilhelmina with sheer poise and volume. Just as a cabaret performer typifies a person with a glance or a gesture. The end result is extremely sketchy and yet unmistakably Wilhelmina.

Walk back to the Place beside the Prison Gate

Fré (Frederik Engel) Jeltsema, Standbeeld Johan de Witt , 1918

Nothing about this decent man suggests that he and his brother Cornelis were brutally lynched by an angry mob of Orange supporters. The reason: the brothers raised their voices when William III, as an Orangist, became stadholder of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces in 1672, against all agreements. Johan de Witt's great contribution to the Netherlands was not recognised until the beginning of the 20th century. That is why this statue was erected then.

Walk past Buitenhof and after café Dudok turn right into Passage. Walk through this beautiful covered 'department store' from 1885 to the Bijenkorf on Grote Marktstraat.

Hildo Krop, John Raedecker, Johan Polet, Bouwbeeldhouwkunst Bijenkorf , 1924-1926

High above the teeming crowds and screaming advertisements, you see an exceptional façade. The undulating facade of the Hague Bijenkorf seems to be sculpted itself. Architect Piet Kramer liked to work with artists. He fused reliefs in natural stone by famous sculptors such as Hildo Krop and John Raedecker with his brick façade to create a total work of art. Naturally, the beehive motif can also be found there. Do you see where?

Marnix Rueb, Haagse Harry , 2016

In camping dinner jacket and with mat, we have the unadulterated Harry from The Hague. The race-haired man, once created by Marnix Rueb for a comic strip: coarse-tongued, but deadly good. After the premature death of the cartoonist, this larger-than-life ceramic version of Harry was made. As a tribute. A funny detail: Harry is standing on top of the roof of the tram tunnel that he violently kicked in his comics.

Turn around and walk back past number 7 and De Beeldengalerij. Turn right at the HEMA.

Tony van de Vorst, Vriendinnen , 2014

Enjoying the city together. This is what these two young Muslim women look like. Dozens of girls walk around in the centre of The Hague every day. However, you seldom see them in a sculpture. Sculptor Tony van der Vorst puts all women on a pedestal. The work is part of Peter Struycken's sculpture gallery: a system of axes comprising forty pedestals and forty sculptures. One every 25 metres.

Anat Ratzabi, Joods monument , 2018

Before the Second World War, this square was the beating heart of the Jewish quarter in The Hague. In memory of the more than 12,000 Jews of The Hague who were murdered, no fewer than four memorials were brought together here in 2018: the 'Amalek monument' by Dick Stins, which, together with the plaque 'Rachel weeps' by Theo van der Nahmer, has been incorporated into the Jewish Monument by Anat Ratzabi and the Jewish Children's Monument by Sara Behamou and Eric de Vries.

Walk back to Grote Marktstraat and turn right towards City Hall. Almost immediately around the corner is the next work of art.

Folkert de Jong, Dutch Mechanisms , 2016

These two beautiful bronze skeletons refer to the De Witt brothers who were lynched in 1672. Earlier on in the walk, you came across the statue of Johan de Witt. All that remains of the brothers is a tongue and an index finger. Folkert de Jong processed a 3D scan of these into these skeletons (look closely and you will see them). He sees the same mechanisms then and now. Power and populism cloud objective insight into time.

Cross the Spui and walk straight ahead until you reach the Muzentoren. Walk around it for number 10.

Igor Mitoraj, Per Adriano , 1993

Muses and masks. In the Muzenplein in the middle of De Resident, there is a giant mask. It is an attribute of Thalia, the goddess of comedy and one of the nine Greek muses of art and science. Like the surrounding homes and offices in this neighbourhood, this sculpture is inspired by classical antiquity. Work of art and architecture reinforce each other. That is why this work of art was purchased and given a place here.

Take the stairs behind the statue. Keep right on the Clioplein and descend to the Turfmarkt. Turn left at the bottom towards Central Station. Prefer not to take the stairs? Walk back to the Muzentoren and turn left towards the station.

Zoro Feigl, Echo , 2017

High up in the white building you walk towards, hang four silver rings with a gigantic golden bowl in the middle. With a bit of luck, the motor of this work of art will be switched on and the parts will move independently of each other. Zoro Feigl makes you feel the laws of nature. Echo' constantly seeks a new balance. With the sun shining on it, this is pure poetry. Looking up in the subway in the direction of CS provides a magnificent spectacle.

Turn left before the white building

Henk Rijzinga, Gerry de Kraai , 1989

Big and jet-black, he comes flying towards you: 'Gerry the Crow'. Sculptor Henk Rijzinga put it together from wooden slats and sticks and a can of black paint. Originally a protest against the abolition of an art regulation, since 1989 it has stood here high on a pole as a striking feature.

Theo ten Have, Internationaal Homomonument Den Haag , 1993

If you profile yourself as an International City of Peace and Justice, then a gay monument is a must. The Hague sculptor Theo ten Have was therefore commissioned by the city council to design a memorial. In memory of the victims of discrimination, but also to make homosexuality visible in the public space. This dynamic curl in light pink and blue does a nice job of that.

Jan van der Ploeg, Wall painting no 294 , 2010

The entrance to the Ministry of Finance is marked in a very special way. Jan van der Ploeg chose the colours for this abstract pattern intuitively. You have to stand close to it or under it to really feel its overwhelming spatial effect. There can be no greater difference than the stately bronze gentlemen on the other side of the street.

Hildo Krop, Simon van Leeuwen , 1938

Tightly packed in a row, six influential Dutch jurists sit in front of the Supreme Court building. And although these wise men lived in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, you cannot always tell from the way they were depicted by six prominent Dutch sculptors in 1938. Look at those heads and how the gentlemen sit. If you compare them with each other, those bronze individuals come to life.

Thom Puckey, Monument voor Thorbecke , 2017

That was a deliberate choice to let statesman Thorbecke look out on the Torentje at the Binnenhof. From his marble, 19th century study on the high plinth the founder of our parliamentary democracy keeps an eye on us daily. The sculptor has added a contemporary consultation situation in stainless steel to the tableau. Your own reflection in the shiny pedestal turns you from a spectator into a participant.

Walk straight ahead into Hoge Nieuwstraat. Take the first alley on the right.

Matt Mullican, Reliëf-stenen , 2008

It looks like code language. In this alley, there are four hardstone tiles - you can hardly see them - in which strange signs have been carved. Sometimes they are reminiscent of logos, sometimes of pictograms or mathematical figures. Based on the visual language we use in (semi) public spaces, the American artist Matt Mullican has developed his very own sign system. In deciphering his cosmology, you keep getting stuck. Perhaps that makes the work even more intriguing.

At the end of the alley, cross Lange Voorhout diagonally to the right. The last statue of the walk is in front of number 42.

Theo van der Nahmer, Flaneur , 1968

"Good morning, madam, sir". You can hear this gentleman say it on his daily walk. Very courteously he takes off his hat. Newspaper under his arm, stick in his hand, he strolls along the stately Lange Voorhout. The bronze statue is a tribute to Eduard Elias who, under the pseudonym Flaneur, wrote about Haagse Zaken in the daily paper Het Vaderland. How different is this neat Hagenaar, than the Haagse Harry elsewhere in this walk!