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By Alejandra Ocampos The Hague (Den Haag in Dutch), is the third largest city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam and Rotterdam, located in the west of the country, known as Southern Holland. The Hague is the Dutch seat of government, but not the capital which is Amsterdam, according to the country’s constitution. The Hague is home to the States-General of the Netherlands, Parliament, the Supreme Court, the State itself, all foreign embassies and a countless number of international organisations. It is also the city of residence of Queen Beatrix and the Royal House. The Hague was mentioned for the first time in 1242, and it means "the Count’s Hedge" (as a private enclosure). In the beginning, The Hague used to be a hunting preserve for the Dukes of Holland, and around 1248, when William of Holland built his castle there, the city became the residence of the Royal Family. The Hague was the Flemish capital in the late 16th century, during the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain, and subsequently, it came under French rule between 1795 and 1813. It then went back to being the centre of the Royal Family’s life in 1815, when the Kingdom of the Netherlands was established, including Belgium until 1830. At present, besides Queen Beatrix, other members of the Royal Family reside there, namely the Prince Heir to the throne, Willem Alexander and his wife, Princess Maxima, with their three daughters, Princesses Catherine Amalia, Alexia and Ariane. It is common knowledge that The Hague has a tradition of being the great conventional and diplomatic centre of the world. This arose after two peace conferences held between 1899 and 1907 known as The Hague Conferences, with the purpose of curbing the arms race. Although both conferences turned out to be a failure, some partial results were achieved such as the creation of The Hague’s International Court of Arbitration and some concrete agreements regarding the treatment of prisoners of war, which set precedents that would later lead to the acknowledgement of human rights. Other international organisations based in The Hague include the United Nations International Court and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. But there is more to The Hague than politics. Located 50 km away from Amsterdam, the city is also a great cultural centre, with various museums such as the Mauritshuis Museum, which houses one of the most important art collections in the world since 1822, including the best artists of the Golden Century such as Vermeer and Rembrandt, among others. The city holds an architectural treasure of great artistic richness, which can be clearly seen in one of its gems, namely, the Peace Palace, built between 1907 and 1913, and housing the International Court of Justice, the first session of which was held in 1946. It was named the Peace Palace owing to its constant attempts to resolve different conflicts and maintain world peace. A collection made up of history, art and justice. That is what The Hague is all about; a city that PoloLine Travel invites you to tour around straightaway.