Huis ten Bosch

Huis Ten Bosch Palace

Huis ten Bosch is a Dutch Royal Palace located in Hague.

Huis ten Bosch History

Huis Ten Bosch Royal Residence

Early in 1645 Pieter Post, the newly appointed court architect, was asked to design a house for Princess Amalia von Solms, wife of Prince Frederick Henry, and a few months later she received permission from the States of Holland to use land on the east side of the Hague forest.

In September, of the same year the first stone of the Huis ten Bosch was laid. Situated in the former domains of the Counts of Holland, it was developed according to different criteria from the country houses built outside of The Hague by the Prince himself.

Huis ten Bosch has a compact, centralized design based on Italian models. Two suites of apartments are balanced symmetrically around a central hall, the Oranjezaal (Orange Hall), which rises through three floors and is crowned by an octagonal cupola.

The single-story entrance porch, approached up a long flight of steps and surmounted by a balustraded balcony, stands proud of the main structure. The Oranjezaal was originally planned as an official reception room, but this changed drastically after Frederick Henry’s sudden death in 1647.

Huis Ten Bosch Palace visit

His widow decided to dedicate the central hall to the glorious memory of her husband and invited Constantijn Huygens to develop a learned program of paintings to celebrate the heroic deeds of the Prince and propagate the dynastic claims of the Orange Nassau family. The cycle was intended to be akin to that previously commissioned by Charles I in Whitehall Palace, London.

The decorative scheme of the Oranjezaal, coordinated and partly executed by Jacob van Campen, was arranged in four parts. On entering the hall, the visitor sees the largest scene, the Triumph of Prince Frederick Henry by Jacob Jordaens, accompanied by allegories of peace. Jordaens represented the Apotheosis of the Prince above the main scene symbolizing his military success.

Opposite, above the entrance, are panels allegorizing the Birth of the Prince and the new era of cultural excellence and military supremacy that it heralded. On the two sides of the hall, the two main aspects of the Prince’s life are illustrated: his public role as a general and statesman and his private role as a husband and father. The paintings were executed by a team of artists under van Campen’s supervision.

Between 1734 and 1737 Huis ten Bosch Palace was substantially enlarged for Stadholder William IV, through the addition of side wings designed by Daniel Marot I. Later it was completely restored (1977–1981) to serve as a residence for Queen Beatrix and her family.

Huis ten Bosch Map

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