For more than one hundred and fifty years, the Vincentius Association The Hague and the Brothers of Maastricht have been working together in the Stadsklooster on the Westeinde. The complex houses the Street Pastorate, various African churches, the Phoenix choir and various cultural activities.
An open and welcoming house
The monastery is open to all people living and working in The Hague. Especially people who are looking for new opportunities and inspiration. The complex consists of workplaces, living quarters, group rooms, a chapel and a garden. Because of the many possibilities that all these spaces offer, many different activities are organized in the spiritual, social, educational and cultural fields. With the help of accessible activities, the Stadsklooster wants to be an open and hospitable house.
At the end of 1700, the estate where the Stadsklooster is now located consisted of a stately mansion, outbuildings and a large garden owned by the Van Oosthuyse family. In 1848, the Vincentius Association, an association dedicated to the social and religious needs of the working class, came into possession of the estate. In 1849, the first Catholic school in The Hague was opened on the site. In 1861, the Brothers of Maastricht moved into the country house, which was used as a monastery from then on. From that same year, the Brothers of Maastricht took on the educational tasks. In the following years, several more schools were opened on the site. In the period between 1890 and 1900, a new extension was built, where the current Catholic primary school St. Carolus is located.
Every year around Christmas, the Stadsklooster is open to the public to admire the collection of nativity scenes. In the past twenty years, brother Frans Wils has collected quite an arsenal of nativity scenes. There are nativity scenes in all shapes and sizes. The purpose of exhibiting the stables is to tell people the Christmas story and to make it clear to them that the nativity scene is not an 'image' of blissful faith, but is also a picture of much suffering, persecution and sorrow.
The Stadsklooster is fairly hidden in the center of The Hague and is best reached on foot. It is about ten minutes on foot from the Binnenhof. By car, the most convenient option is to park at Q-Park City Parking and walk the last part via Westeinde.