I was rummaging around in my photo archive files looking for a photo of a drawing I made (it’s still eluding me) … when I came upon an entire folder of files taken from my frequent walking tours before my accident.
There’s a shop close to the Regentesseplein that sells all sorts of party things and so it was my destination of choice when I needed to find things like decorations and face-paint for kid parties, and bits and bobs that I find hard locate elsewhere like zip-lock bags in small sizes.
Since I like to walk for the exercise it was an energetic round trip that doubled as an excellent photographic excursion because there are many beautiful buildings in the area.
I wanted to find out more about the history of the area so went to Wikipedia and found the information to be only in Dutch, so my edited and summarised translation of what I thought to be the most interesting bits are in italics for you here.
The Regentessekwartier is a residential neighbourhood of The Hague, built in the former polder “ ‘het Kleine Veentje” between 1885 and 1910. The name refers to the Queen Regent Emma, the second wife of King William III (1848-1890), who from 1890 to 1898, acted as regent (acting head of state) for her young daughter Wilhelmina, (born 1880) who inherited the throne but was still a minor.
The Regentessekwartier is now part of the Segbroek borough and is one of nineteen protected cityscapes in The Hague.
Street construction began in 1884, to a design by Cornelis Goekoop that more or less followed the old allotment of ditches and roads. Initially the main streets: the Weimar Street, Het Koningsplein, and later the Regentesselaan were laid out and in 1891 the Regentesselaan became the first diagonal street in the Hague.
The private developers implemented an early style of zoning that regulated the sale of plots, the constructions on them and their uses and many of these constraints are still in place today. However, in the Reinkenstraat and the Weimarstraat (now shopping streets) many of the restrictions were lifted simply because the notaries omitted to insert the necessary causes into the contracts.
The Het Koningsplein was named after King William III. The buildings here reflect the mentality of this city: a little grandeur, but otherwise modest bourgeoisie.
There is a classic story of the area that relates to the division between the residents who live on sand and those who live on peat. The Hague is partly built on sand dunes, which border the peat-lands that are approximately flush with the surrounding streets.
The better houses on sand attracted the wealthier buyers but the homes on peat soil had less money invested in them and were therefore attracted the less wealthy. In the Regentessekwartier, the Weimarstraat is the actual boundary between sand and peat, although Daguerrestraat sits on ‘soft’ peat which is a very unstable substance, with a tendency to subside.
The district is characterized by rows of closed façades in neo-renaissance style. The most elaborate façades can be found on the ‘sand’, in the northern part of the Regentesselaan. Most of the houses are split into two dwellings… a lower and an upper house, each with its own front door.
Most of this area was built before the development of the “Portiek” style of homes that became typical of the Hague, but exceptionally there are a few Portiek style houses near the Constant Rebecquestraat because they were the last houses to be built in the area.
The continuous façades of the square with their stucco ornamental bands and decorative constructions in chalet style now enjoy city council protection for their “architectural value” and character.
In the middle of the Regentesseplein is the ‘needle’ of Queen Emma. It is a stone obelisk built in 1905, in honour of the popular Queen Mother. The obelisk is decorated with an allegorical female figure and a portrait bust in profile of Emma in bronze.