Here’s another of my posts about Haags Gemeentearchief (the Hague City Council Archive) billboards that were placed around The Hague to mark their 125th Anniversary in 2009.
On each of the billboards are photos of various points in the city taken between 20 and 150 years ago.
All of them are situated as close to the spot as possible (and where practical) to where the original photos were taken, so that viewers who saw them in person could see both the past and present views.
Sadly the billboards were only temporary, but fortunately I managed to photograph most of them before they were removed, which I’m especially pleased about because the web-page the Archive put up at the time (and has since taken down) only showed the historic views and not the present day ones to compare them to.
The “Duindorpbrug” bridges the main “afvoerkanaal “( translates literally as “discharge” canal).
This discharge has nothing to so with effluent because in the Dutch context “discharge” water refers solely to excess ground water pumped off from the cities water table which is emptied every low tide into the sea.
Since most of the Netherlands is below sea level, if this pumping was stopped , the water table would rise to it’s “natural” level and the country would quickly be overtaken by water.
The Duindorp bridge featured in this billboard is located at the intersection of the Westduinweg and Nieboerweg , Houtrustweg and the Kranenburgweg very close to where it veers off and empties into the Haven.
The billboard text says “De Koninklike Militaire Kapel op de Duindorpbrug. Op de achtergrond de Immanuëlkerk. Foto Stikvis. 1955 “
This translates into English as “The Royal Military Band on the Duindorp Bridge. On the background the Immanuël Church. Photo: Stockvis 1955.”
Several things are immediately apparent from the photos I have taken to compare the modern situation: First of course is that The Immanuël Church is no longer standing, and that the tram tracks are also long gone.
It wasn’t possible for me to get up high enough to take a photo from the same perspective as the original, but apart from the building immediately on the left of the Church, most of the houses are unchanged as far as I can make out.
… and of course, we will just have to imagine the band, the atmosphere and the crowds…