Introducing Den Haag (The Hague)
Den Haag is a stately, regal place filled with palatial embassies and mansions, green boulevards and parks, a brilliant culinary scene, a clutch of fine museums and a sybaritic cafe culture. It's the kind of place where the musky aftershave of suave men wearing pink cravats mingles with the frilly scents of sachets sold in pricey boutiques. More elemental, the seaside suburb of Scheveningen boasts lively kitsch and a long stretch of beach.
Den Haag, officially known as ’s-Gravenhage (the Count's Hedge), is the Dutch seat of government and home to the royal family. Prior to 1806, Den Haag was the Dutch capital. However, that year, Louis Bonaparte installed his government in Amsterdam. Eight years later, when the French had been ousted, the government returned to Den Haag, but the title of capital remained with Amsterdam.
In the 20th century Den Haag became the home of several international legal entities, including the UN's International Court of Justice, which regularly holds trials that put Den Haag in the headlines.