The Hague (population 450,000, Dutch: Den Haag, or - officially - 's-Gravenhage) is the administrative capital of the Netherlands, located in the west of the country, in the province Zuid-Holland of which it is also the capital.
Originally a hunting location, the counts of Holland used it as their administrative center; all cities had their rights and 'kapsones'. Des Graven Hage literally means "The counts' hedge". The stork is the symbol of Den Haag.
The Hague was formally named a city by the French occupation force as late as 1806, centuries after other Dutch cities had received similar rights. This has led to the urban legend that The Hague is not a city but a village.
The Hague hosts the Eerste Kamer and the Tweede Kamer, respectively the Senate and the House of Representatives forming the Dutch parliament. Also the Dutch Queen Beatrix lives and works in The Hague. All foreign embassies and government ministries are located in the city, as well as the Supreme Court and many lobby organisations.
As one of the capitals of the United Nations, The Hague is host to several institutions of the UN:
- The International Court of Justice, located in the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis), financed by Andrew Carnegie.
- The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
- The International Criminal Court.
- The Organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons.
The Hague has eight official parts (stadsdelen) :
- Haagse Hout
- Bezuidenhout (see also V-2 rocket)
- Haagse Bos
- Bomen- en Bloemenbuurt
City life concentrates around the Hofvijver and the Binnenhof, which is where the Parliament is located. The beach resort Scheveningen, in the northwestern part of the city, is another popular destination for tourists and young people to go out.
The former Dutch colony of Indonesia has left its mark on The Hague. Many streets are named after places in Indonesia and there is a sizeable, although shrinking Indonesian community.
The older parts of the town usually have charactaristically wide and long streets. Houses are generally low-rise (not more than 3 floors), and quite elegant. The layout of the city is more spacious than other Dutch cities. There are almost no canals in The Hague, as they were all drained in the late 1800s.
1796: 41,300 inhabitants
Madurodam is a miniature city in the Hague, which reflects what the Netherlands look like.
The Gemeentemuseum hosts a large collection of images from the Dutch painter Piet Mondriaan.
The local football club is called ADO Den Haag.
Famous sportsmen from The Hague include:
- 1996 Wimbledon Champion Richard Krajicek
- The coach of the Dutch national football team, Dick Advocaat
- Three times Embassy Darts-champion Raymond van Barneveld
- 1992 Olympic Champion (10 km speed skating) Bart Veldkamp
- City of Den Haag
- Panorama Mesdag
- Haagsche Courant. Local newspaper
- De Digitale Hofstad. Off-beat news about The Hague
- HTM map
- For some edges of The Hague see the detailed maps of Rijswijk , Leidschendam-Voorburg  and Wassenaar .