In the St Sebastiaan Doelen, built in 1636, the The Hague Historical Museum currently shows an exhibition on the Netherland’s third most popular sport: golf!
This temporary exhibition on the museum’s first and second floor, starts with a case displaying personal items on loan from the public. In the first room of the exhibition, the development of popular games dating from the middle ages right up till the 19th century are shown. Golf evolved from games called Colf, Kolf, Beugelen and others. There are paintings and drawings showing these games in progress, as well as clubs, balls, and rules. My friends and I had a lot of fun discovering all the naughty things going on in a winter scene showing the Hofvijver. Step outside, and this pond is still as shown on this 17th century painting.
In the second room, what really stole our hearts were the early black-and-white films of matches. One dated from the late 19th century. It came as a surprise that right from the start, modern golf matches already drew large crowds as they do now. Subsequent rooms show trophies, Dutch golf courses, and on the second floor more information about Dutch players as well as golf course design.
Even my friends and me, who are no fans of this game, found this an interesting exhibition. We spent a pleasant one and a half hours going over it and did not even spent time on the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition has activities for children as well.
The museum is located at a corner of the Hofvijver, just a few steps from the more famous Mauritshuis. The historic building used to belong to the Schutterij, the town’s 17th century police. Unfortunately, the building was “improved” over the ages, so hardly any original details remains. The hall dates from the Napoleonic era. Along the stairs leading to the basement, Delft tiles can be admired.
Part of the permanent collection form a series of Schutters paintings. These are impressive, but the most famous one of this genre remains Rembrandt’s “Night Watch”. The permanent collection shows the history of The Hague. On the second floor, the museum’s collection of dolls houses are a must-visit.
he museum has an elevator, but to enter the building one does have to climb a few stairs. Free lockers, toilets, and a very sparse museum “café” are available in the basement. However, for lunch or a drink, it is best to head past the Mauritshuis to the nearby Plein, which has plenty café’s and restaurants.
Please note that there are various cheap deals possible to visit the museums around the Hofvijver, like the Mauritshuis, The Hague Historical Museum, Museum Bredius, and others. For more information check the museum website: Haags Historisch.