I don’t usually do two of my Haags Gemeentearchief (the Hague City Council Archive) billboard posts back to back, but I will this time because these two billboards were quite literally back to back.
I was intrigued to find that there was a photo of each side of the billboard standard here, one looking up the street, the other down the street.
On one side there was the view of the Duindorpbrug (Duindorp bridge), Royal Band and Emmanuëlkerk from 1955 that I posted about yesterday, and on the other there is an earlier photo from 1940.
The text on this board says “Zeezwaluwhof met prins Bernhard op weg om de openingshandeling te verrichten van de Luchtvaart Technische School, 3 mei 1940.“
This translates into English as “Zeezwaluwhof with prince Bernhard on the way to perform the opening ceremony from an aviation Technical School, 3 May 1940.”
Zeezwaluwhof is a street name, and the “hof” part gives us an instant clue as to why this billboard couldn’t be placed closer.
Imagine a set of “joined up houses” that run continuously around a city block. (a square)
There’s an archway with a passage on the ground floor on each side of the block that leads inside to an inner courtyard.
In this case the inner courtyard is big enough to house an separate “block” of houses within it, that in turn also has a small courtyard in the centre, in essence a miniature version of the outer block. (a square within a square)
The only access to the “inner block” (Hof) is through one of the passageways on the four sides of the outer block. My photos of the modern street are of the “outer” ring of houses so look for the arched entrances to see the access ways.
It was very windy when I took these so I remember that I was concentrating on trying to keep the camera still… which is probably why I didn’t notice when I took the photos that there was a very small map printed on the bottom edge of the billboard.
I only have one photo of it and it was tiny, so I enlarged it on the computer and re-photographed it from the computer screen. Of course there are better ways to do this so that a better quality is reproduced but since the original was fuzzy and I don’t know all the tricks I would need, I just did it the quick way to give you a rough idea.
Clearly this spot isn’t readily accessible to the public so the Billboard was placed as close by as possible.
Old and New.. the people have come and gone, but the houses remain more or less unchanged.