This is one of a series of posts on Landmarks in Den Haag (The Hague)
In these posts I hope to be your local guide and show you a little bit about my city: the history, tradition and photos things and places that you will hopefully find interesting. This post is Part 1 in a small series about the Haagse Markt.
The Haagse Markt (the Hague Market) is the biggest outdoor Market not only in the Netherlands but also in Europe.
It was first established in the Prinsegracht area in the centre of Den Haag (The Hague) over many centuries and the importance of the Markt is still reflected in the street names of the Hague city center.
Street names like:”De Grote Markt “(Big Market) ” Grote Marktstraat” (Big Market street) “Varkensmarkt” (Pig Market) “Lange-en Korte Beestenmarkt” (two streets, one long and one short for the Animal Market) and “Groenmarkt” (Vegetable Market) are just some examples that show how important market trade was in Dutch life.
Fish markets and flower markets also had prominence in the Hague city center, around the Prinsegracht area.
In 1938 the Market was deemed to have outgrown the confined space of the city centre and to much initial consternation of market users, it was relocated to Herman Coster Street, which was at that time an undeveloped area outside the city limits.
Today this area is surrounded by suburbs but continues to be a wonderful place to visit and to buy a massive variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, household goods and many other items.
Apparently the relocation of the Markt did not go smoothly for many people, as information of the move was not widespread, according to the dutch language website for the Markt, passengers on the Monday morning of May 10, the first open Market day after the move, were stunned when the tram arrived to find the Prinsegracht silent and deserted. Here’s an excerpt (translated for you):
A Scheveningen fisherwoman arrived with a basket full of smoked herring on her lap, and loudly expressed surprise at the disappearance of the market. She was to deliver fish to her brother’s market stall. A gentleman who was reading the morning edition of The Motherland, asked the woman if she ever read a newspaper.”Yes sir, the Bode Church, which I read from front to back.” “Then you have missed that the market reopened today at Herman Coster Street”, he replied. “You had better take Line 11 (tram) to deliver your fish”.
Of course with today’s communications, the internet and advance warning that local councils would be obligated to give months in advance, this kind of thing would be unlikely to happen again, and even with the initial hiccups in 1938, the new location and added space proved quickly to be a success and people got used to the new location which has remained exceedingly popular ever since.
Let have a short look around: Tiny mini pineapples…
Dates from Tunisia…
Turkish and Middle Eestern breads for sale…
Fresh fruits and vegetables… ( the items in plastic containers are a set price per container, if you buy something in a bowl, (here the yellow or blue bowls) you will be able to see what you are getting and the contents will be tipped into a bag for you to take home.