zondag 2 januari 2011

Binnenhof, The Hague, the Dutch Parliament!

The Binnenhof (Dutch, literally "inner court"), is a complex of buildings in The Hague. It has been the location of meetings of the Staten-Generaal, the Dutch parliament, since 1446, and has been the centre of Dutch politics for many centuries.

The grounds on which the Binnenhof now stands were purchased by Count Floris IV of Holland in 1229, where he built his mansion, next to the little lake that has been called Hofvijver or 'Court Pond' since the 13th century. More buildings were constructed around the court, several of which are well known in their own right, such as the Ridderzaal (Great Hall; literally Knight's Hall), where the queen holds her annual speech at Prinsjesdag. One of the towers, simply known as het Torentje ('the Little Tower'; directly next to the Mauritshuis museum) has been the office of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 1982.