Want to know about the Dutch ‘independence monument’ which sits in the middle of Plein 1813 in The Hague Willemspark area, between the city center and Scheveningen? Read on for the backstory…
The Dutch ‘Independence Monument‘ on Plein 1813 in The Hague Willemspark commemorates several related events: the defeat of Napoleon, the end of French rule, the introduction of the Dutch constitution and the official beginning of the monarchy. All of these took place in the year 1813.
Construction of the monument began in 1863 and completed six years later. It was designed by Willem Cornelius van der Wayen Pieterszen. The statues were created by Johan Philip Koelman.
Atop the monument stands the victorious Dutch Virgin, holding a flag and a lion to her side. Below her, there are bronze statues on all four sides of the pedestal. They are:
- (facing south, toward the city) King Willem I agreeing to the new Dutch constitution.
- (facing north, toward Scheveningen) Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp, Frans Adam van der Duyn van Maasdam and Leopold van Limburg Stirum who had arranged Prince Willem-Frederik’s return to Holland and who themselves led the newly established interim government.
- (facing east, toward Nassauplein) a female figure represents religion
- (facing west, toward the Peace Palace) a female figure represents history
The Dutch Independence Monument is often linked with the Landing Monument in Scheveningen which commemorates Prince Willem-Frederik’s return from exile to claim his position as King of the Dutch Republic.