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Scheveningen pier in the background. View from the harbor's breakwater.
Map of The Hague, Scheveningen marked green

Scheveningen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈsχeːvənɪŋə(n)], locally [ˈsχeɪ̯vənɪŋə(n)] ( listen)) is one of the eight districts of The Hague, as well as a subdistrict (wijk) of that city. Scheveningen is a modern seaside resort with a long sandy beach, an esplanade, a pier, and a lighthouse. The beach is popular for water sports such as windsurfing and kiteboarding.[1] A nudist section is 1 km to the north.

The harbor is used for both fishing and tourism.



The subdistricts of district Scheveningen are:


The engraving by William van der Gouwen shows a twenty meters (70 feet) long whale, which in third February 1598 on the Dutch coast between Scheveningen and Katwijk was stranded.
The beach at Scheveningen by Adriaen van de Velde, painted 1658
A photochrom of the beach in c. 1900

The earliest reference to the name 'Sceveninghe' goes back to around 1280. There is anecdotal evidence of the name Scheveningen being used as a shibboleth during World War II to identify German spies: They would pronounce the initial "Sch" differently from Dutch native speakers.[2] The first inhabitants may have been Anglo Saxon. Other historians favor a Scandinavian origin. Fishing was the main source of food and income.

The Battle of Scheveningen was fought between English and Dutch fleets off the coast of the village on 10 August 1653. Thousands of people gathered on the shore to watch.

A road to neighbouring Den Haag was constructed in 1663 (current name: Scheveningseweg).

In 1470, a heavy storm destroyed the church and half the houses. The village was again hit by storms in 1570, 1775, 1825, 1860, 1881 and 1894. After this last storm, the villagers decided to build a harbour. Until then, the fishing boats had had a flat bottom (bomschuiten), and were pulled up the beach. Around 1870 over 150 of these boats were in use. Once the harbour had been constructed in 1904, more modern ships replaced the bomschuiten.

In 1818, Jacob Pronk constructed a wooden building on a dune near the sea, from where people could bathe from four separate rooms. It marked the start of Scheveningen as a bathing resort. Since then, Scheveningen has attracted numerous tourists from all over Europe, notably from Germany.

The Kurhaus

The hotel and restaurant Kurhaus was opened in 1886.

The picturesque village attracted many Dutch artists over the centuries, to paint the bomschuiten drawn up on the beach, or fishermen at work in the North Sea. Notable painters who recorded the village include Adriaen van de Velde, Simon de Vlieger and Hendrik Willem Mesdag, whose enormous panorama, 14 m high and 120 m wide, preserves the view of Scheveningen in 1881.

The International Skating Union was founded in Scheveningen in 1892.

Contrary to popular belief, Scheveningen never was an independent municipality; even in the Middle Ages it was part of the same administrative region as The Hague;[3] the region had a special status within the county of Holland because of the presence of the Count of Holland.

Nevertheless, Scheveningen always had a strong identity of its own. For instance, it had its own soccer club, playing in the highest Dutch division ("Scheveningen Holland Sport" was its name). In the course of the second half of the former century this club was forced to merge with ADO Den Haag.

Veronica ship "The Norderney", Scheveningen, April 7, 1973

From April 91, 1960 [4] the pirate radio station Radio Veronica [5] broadcast its programmes from an anchorage in the North Sea about four miles off the Scheveningen coast. It was joined by Radio Noordzee Internationaal (RNI) in 1970 [6] and the relaunched Radio Caroline in late 1972.[7] When the Netherlands ratified The Treaty of Strasbourg on September 1, 1974,[8] Veronica applied for legal status and became the VOO, Caroline moved anchorage to the English coast, and RNI closed down completely.[9] Memorable episodes during this period included the stranding of Radio Veronica's ship the Norderney which lost its anchor in a storm and ran aground on Scheveningen beach on April 2, 1973 and a firebomb attack on RNI's ship the Mebo Two on 15 May 1971.

Events and attractions

Annual sand sculpture competition at Scheveningen
Evening at Scheveningen

Annual events include:

A visit to Scheveningen can include:

Night life centers on Pathé Scheveningen movie theater, and the sea-front boulevard with its bars, restaurants, gambling halls and other entertainment.


Scheveningen lighthouse

The light beam flashes at alternate intervals of 2.5 and 7.5 seconds. The location is 52°6.247′N 4°16.095′E / 52.104117°N 4.26825°E / 52.104117; 4.26825 [1].

Noted natives


  1. ^ The Hague Tourist Board page on Scheveningen
  2. ^ McNamara, Tim (2005). "21st century shibboleth: language tests, identity and intergroup conflict". Language Policy (Springer Netherlands) 2005 (4): 351–370. doi:10.1007/s10993-005-2886-0. 
  3. ^ Vaderlandsch woordenboek, 1787
  4. ^ Jan Akkerman interviewed in Dutch magazine Veronica, 1973
  5. ^ Juul Geleick - Geschiedenis Veronica 1973
  6. ^ Hans Knot - De vermeende spionage van RNI
  7. ^ Radio Caroline - 1972-1980
  8. ^ Billboard May 5, 1973
  9. ^ - Last of the pirates

External links