Huis ten Bosch in The Netherlands
Not only is The Hague one of the most historical and picturesque cities in the Netherlands, but it is also the third largest city in the country. Its royal history has ensured that The Hague is filled with noteworthy sites, an array of museums and historical buildings that can only be described as architectural wonders. The palaces that grace the landscape of The Hague and its surroundings draw thousands of visitors each year, and amongst the most popular of the palaces is the Huis ten Bosch. A royal residence, this magnificent palace captures the imagination of those who visit and is a recommended attraction in the Netherlands.
The Dutch Royal Family owns four official palaces as residences, of which Huis ten Bosch is one. Translated, the name means “House in the Woods”. Construction on this spectacular palace began in 1645. Bartholomeus Drijfhout was assigned to oversee the massive project, which was designed to the finest detail by Jacob van Campen and Pieter Post. The land on which the palace was constructed was granted to Amalia von Solms, who subsequently commissioned the palace. Amalia’s husband passed away in 1647 and she dedicated the palace in his memory, bringing in legendary artists, such as Pieter Soutman, Gerard can Honthorts, Theodoor can Thulden, Saloman de Bray and Gonzales Coques, to name a few, to create masterpieces to adorn the palace walls.
Over the following years, as the palace exchanged ownership, additions were made, such as a façade (1734-1737) and two more wings, which each span approximately a hundred and ten meters, were added to the palace in 1748. The Orange Hall is a very special feature of the palace, as Amalia van Solms used this area, which boasts with fifteen meter high walls, as a dedication hall to her husband. It was once filled entirely with pictures in his memory. Huis ten Bosch later became the residence of William I after he was declared king, and was the most popular residence of the royal family.
During the horrific World War II, the palace was almost demolished by the Nazis, and even though the palace survived the war, extensive damage to the structure was unavoidable. Restoration to the place began in 1950, and work to the palace was only completed in 1956. After the restoration of the palace and its sprawling gardens was complete, the palace once again became a royal residence, with Queen Beatrix moving into Huis ten Bosch in 1981.