World at a Glance: The Mesdag Panorama – walking into the painting

Mesdag Panorama, the Hague

Den Haag (The Hague) tends to fall in the shadow of crazy neighbour Amsterdam. And while Amsterdam is the official capital of the Netherlands, Den Haag is home of the government, Parliament and most of the international embassies. It’s also where more than 150 international organisations are located, most notably the International Criminal Court, where some of the world’s despots have been indicted for crimes against humanity.

But what about s’Gravenhage (the city’s somewhat unpronouncable local name) as a tourist destination? When I was last in Den Haag, I slept in a shipping container and had a fabulous walking tour through town – with one of the world’s most deliciously flamboyant and entertaining guides, Remco Dörr.

I also saw several museums and my absolute favourite was the Mesdag Panorama, devoted to the works of Dutch marine painter Hendrik Willem Mesdag.

Ah, you might think: galleries, museums. Not really into that!

Go anyway; I’m willing to bet you’ll really enjoy it. Even a couple of blasé teenagers, visiting when I did, seemed mesmerised.

Here, you literally step into the painting; you walk through a giant 3D-panorama from the late 1800s, surrounded by citizens, the sands of Scheveningen beach and the rough North Sea. The panorama is housed in a rotunda, so you’re in the middle of the seascape, a 360° image of Scheveningen of another era. You’re in a museum – and you’re on the beach!

In fact, I won’t give you any more details. Just go – and prepare to be stunned.

World at a Glance is a series of short articles here on Sophie’s World, with a single photo, portraying curious, evocative, happy, sad or wondrous, unexpected little encounters.

Disclosure: In Den Haag, I was a guest of Den Haag Marketing. As ever, I’m free to write about anything that takes my fancy (could be everything, could be nothing).

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  1. Muza-chan 24 April 2015 at 1810 - Reply

    Very beautiful…

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 May 2015 at 0729 - Reply

      An unusual museum, for sure.

  2. Corinne 27 April 2015 at 0920 - Reply

    I’ve got to go. It looks like a good idea, and I love your photo!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 May 2015 at 0729 - Reply

      Next time in the Hague, then 🙂

  3. Lisa Goodmurphy 27 April 2015 at 2025 - Reply

    Sounds like a fun museum! I was very disappointed that we weren’t able to visit The Hague on our recent trip to Amsterdam – hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to return.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 May 2015 at 0730 - Reply

      Just a quick hop across the Atlantic for you 🙂

  4. Leigh 27 April 2015 at 2212 - Reply

    Sounds like a very cool thing to do.I’m glad you didn’t give it all away.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 May 2015 at 0730 - Reply

      Has to be experienced in person 😉

  5. Aijika 30 April 2015 at 0705 - Reply

    Sounds fun. Very interesting post. and in fairness you have a skill in photography 🙂
    Thanks for this sharing informative post.
    Keep it great ! 😉

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 May 2015 at 0730 - Reply

      Thank you.

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