On the Paviljoensgracht is the statue of Spinoza (1632-1677), diagonally opposite his home, work and death house. A philosopher and political thinker, he advocated a democratic society in which all citizens have the freedom to believe, think and say what they want.
A society in which church and state are separated and in which tolerance is central. His books were banned in Europe for a long time, because his biblical criticism would lead to atheism. But from about 1850 onwards, his ideas grew in appreciation and his thinking on freedom is now more topical than ever. The fact that The Hague honors its historic fellow townsman as an icon of the international City of Peace and Justice is part of its identity and history.