This attractive 17th-century palace is called the “House in the Woods” and has been the residence for successive generations of Dutch royals.
Take a walk through the forest north of central The Hague and stop to admire Paleis Huis ten Bosch, which translates to “Palace House in the Woods.” The palace is still in use, so see if you can spot one of the members of the Dutch royal family in the garden! Huis ten Bosch Palace is also the location for ceremonies of state importance. Visit on one of those days to see how many Dutch people love their “House of Orange,” as the royal family is called.
Huis ten Bosch Palace was the home of Queen Beatrix from 1981 to 2013, but when she stepped down she announced a move to a palace in Lage Vuursche to make room for her eldest son Willem-Alexander. In 2013 he became the first Dutch king in more than a century.
Construction began on the Huis ten Bosch Palace in 1645. It was Prince Frederik Hendrik’s gift to his wife Amalia van Solms. The prominent architects Pieter Post and Jacob van Campen designed the building. It was once the residence of Napoleon’s brother, King Louis Bonaparte, when the French ruled the Netherlands in the early 19th century.
Huis ten Bosch was bombed during World War II, but the royal family had already fled the country by then. The stately building was fully restored.
The palace is not open to the public but you can walk along the path that runs around the perimeter of the grounds. Peek through the front and back gates to see the classical, Italian-influenced architecture and the octagonal cupola on the roof. Manicured lawns, a tree-lined driveway and a lake are all features of this royal residence. Note how the jets of the fountain line up perfectly with the front door.
The Huis ten Bosch Palace is located in Het Haagse Bos (The Forest of The Hague). You can take a bus from the city center to the palace, which is 7 miles (12 kilometers) north.