The Hofvijver, 'Court Pond', is an artificial lake in The Hague, the Netherlands. The Hofvijver area is the place where The Hague first came to life. Once a small lake in the dunes with a castle belonging to a Dutch Count, now this area is the Netherlands' centre of government. It's also the perfect spot to take a picture of the Hague skyline with the Binnenhof, Mauritshuis and modern architecture on the background.
History of the Hofvijver
The Hofvijver was first dug out by the counts of Holland in the late 13C. Originally a natural body of water among the sand dunes, the Court Pond was extended over the years. The excavated sand was piled up on the north side of the lake to form the elevated area known as the Lange Vijverberg, now occupied by a graciously curving line of mostly 18C mansions. The 17C buildings along the short side of the lake, the Korte Vijverberg, include the King's Cabinet and the city's historical museum. On the south side of the lake is the famous Mauritshuis museum and the Binnenhof, the setting for much of the country's history and the seat of the two houses of its parliament, the States General.
With the Hofvijver Passe-Partout you can visit four museums nearby the Hofvijver and the Ridderzaal Visitors' Centre. The Hofvijver Passe-Partout is a card providing admission, for two days, to the following museums: the Prince William V Gallery, the Prison Gate Museum, the Historical Museum of The Hague, Museum Bredius, and the Ridderzaal Visitors' Centre. The Hofvijver Passe-Partout is on sale at the museums taking part and at the VVV tourist office. The passe-partout is accompanied by a map which tells the story of the Hofvijver, the pond in The Hague's historical city centre.
Ice skating on the Hofvijver
When frozen the Hofvijver is one of the most romantic places in the Netherlands to ice skate.