Architecture, Art Nouveau, City Walk, Gilde Den Haag, J. Mutters, J.W. Bosboom, Jugendstil, Lorrie House, Rien Hack, The Hague, Walking Tour
A couple of weeks ago, just before the weather turned cold and wet, my friend and I booked a guided tour in The Hague. We were looking forward to getting more detailed information about the Art Nouveau buildings than we would get from a regular guidebook, but that turned out a little disappointing.
We had looked up the possibilities on the internet and found the following organisations offering guided Art Nouveau tours in The Hague:
- Gilde Den Haag (Min. €4/pp, max. €16/pp)
- Elisabeth’s (Min. €25/pp, max. €160/pp)
- Haagse Gravin (€13,50/pp, min 6 pers)
- Holland Tourguides (€16/pp, min 10 pers)
- Vrije Academie (€25/pp, only on fixed dates)
- Walking with Maup (€12,50/pp, wednesdays)
As there were only two of us, and we wanted to do the tour on a date that suited us, only Gilde Den Haag en Elisabeth’s remained a possibility. Elisabeth’s would be €85/pp and Gilde Den Haag would be €8/pp. We decided to give Gilde Den Haag a go.
Our guide was an elderly man who carried a list with all addresses he needed to check-off during his walk. He basically rushed from one address to the next, reading the information from his piece of paper to us, not checking if we were actually within hearing distance…
Picture me, trying to get a good photo from all angles; needing to zoom in on all the details. The streets were narrow, and there were cars and bikes everywhere. And then there was this guide hurrying some 50 meters ahead of me… I’m afraid I didn’t get much of what he said.
– Noordeinde 164, with tile panel by Plateelbakkerij Holland
Just to get things in perspective: all Gilde guides are volunteers. Yet still, if you have no passion for this subject, you shouldn’t volunteer to guide people who do… My friend and I didn’t say a word during the walk, flabbergasted as we were, but as soon as our guide left us, we agreed 100% that this was not how things should be done. We were VERY disappointed about the ‘guided’ part of the guided tour.
However, we were impressed by the gracefulness of the buildings along the route, and we would love to do this walk again some day, at our own pace. Luckily, just before he left us, our guide handed over his – rather incomplete – address list; the ordeal turned out not to have been a complete waste of time. And the best thing is: I completed the missing details, and now you can download the list here: Jugendstil walk in The Hague.
Apparently, the local Tourist Information Office has published a similar list in 2007, which can be downloaded here.
If you have experience (good ór bad) with guided tours in The Hague or anywhere else, please share your experiences with us in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!
I found this second hand book (in Dutch) about Art Nouveau Architecture in The Hague. Click on the picture, to be redirected to the bookshop.
Update 2017: Peter van Dam is currently working on a series of books about the 19th and 20th century architects of The Hague. The first book you might want to look into is this one about W.B. van Liefland (1857-1919), eigenzinnig Haags architect en stedenbouwkundige. Other architects on Van Dam’s planning are Lodewijk A.H. de Wolf, Johannes Mutters, Zacharias Hoek and Johannes Thomas Wouters. (Haagse Bouwmeesters in de 19e en 20e Eeuw)
Anno 1900 – Het mooiste jugendstil huis van Den Haag
Den Haag by Chris Schram
Monumentenzorg Den Haag
W.B. van Liefland 1857-1919 by Peter van Dam
Fred Westen said:
Sorry for your disappointment with the guided Art Nouveau tour in The Hague. You found the printed guide from 2007 on the site of VVNK.nl by the local monumentcare department and that is the only printed guide on Art Nouveau architecture in The Hague that exists. All guiding organisations mentioned take the same route in the inner city. But there is more. Neighborhoods built around 1900 such as Statenkwartier, Zeeheldenbuurt, Belgisch Park en Wittebrug. If you like, I will guide you myself. Mail me at: email@example.com when you intend to visit The Hague again. Fred Westen, The Hague.
Thank you só much for your offer! I will keep it in mind for next year.
I did realise there is so much more in The Hague, but we really hoped to get more detailed information if we would pay for a guide… It was a nice first attempt to discover The Hague. We’ll do better next time. Thank you again for your offer.
Have a nice Christmas,
Thanks for your list, I downloaded it. It will be very useful if I go to The Hague.
Today, I have been corresponding with an Art Nouveau lover from Swiss, and we discovered two errors in the list I got from our guide. I have corrected the errors, so you might want to download the list one more time now. Sorry for that!
If you go to The Hague, will you let us know your experience?
Fred Westen said:
List Art Nouveau buildings The Hague. Correction. Kneuterdijk 18a (today indonesian restaurant Garoeda) was NOT the famous Art Nouveau Shop ARTS AND CRAFTS. This shop was established at Kneuterdijk 10 and the building does not exist anymore (today ABN-AMRO Bank in a new building). Fred Westen, The Hague.
I am afraid you are right! I have tried to find a photo of the real Arts & Crafts gallery and I found one here: http://www.haagsebeeldbank.nl/afbeelding/ef1dfecf-0180-40c9-9d1e-579e4f0e292f
I lost count of all the mistakes in the list I received from the guide… Thank you for letting us know. I will (again) correct the list!
Hi Fred, here’s more to the mystery:
If you zoom in on this 1966 picture, you can read (at the bottom of the picture) something very interesting… Now why would that be written there? And this 1967 publication basically says the same:”Kneuterdijk/Heulstraat, gevel 1898, Altorf en J. Thorn Prikker, destijds winkel Arts and Crafts”
Is the 1966 mistake the source of the confusion today, and at Gilde Den Haag?
Fred Westen said:
Hello again Olga, My information is absolutely correct. I have seen the mistake in several publications. So information is copied without proper verification. My source is a book about the founders of the ARTS AND CRAFTS shop/gallery: Chris en Agathe Wegerif ISBN 97 89 09 00 78 106 or 90 90 07 810-X by Ir. Cor de Wit 1991. Fred Westen, The Hague.
Thank you for verifying that fact Fred. I will correct my list accordingly. Hopefully people will copy ‘our’ list in the future, instead of those incorrect ones…