A Seaside Resort – KURHAUS of Scheveningen the Hague, in the Netherlands


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Kurhaus de Scheveningen the Hague – twicemodern archive

What a beauty! This 1909 postcard (briefkaart) of the seaside resort Kurhaus of Scheveningen, The Hague, in the Netherlands shows us a part of the Dutch history and culture during the early 20th Century. This lithograph was made by the German artist Paul Matthes published by W. de Haan in Utrecht and measures 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches.

The Kurhaus was built in 1885 by two German architects Johann Friedrich Henkenhaf and Friedrich Ebert. Currenty it is a five star Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus.

Digging deeper, my curiosity about the architectural nature of the structure of the Kurhaus led me to the Universitatsbibliothek Heidelberg website. Here is an excerpt from the site: “The Kurhaus in Scheveningen was built in 1884/85 according to plans by Johann Henkenhaf and Friedrich Ebert. The building burned to the ground a year later, but was reconstructed in the course of a few months in 1886/87 and reopened for the new bathing season. The two architects worked as a team under the name of “Henkenhaf & Ebert” in Heidelberg and Amsterdam from 1875 to 1885. A synagogue in Bruchsal (near Karlsruhe) built according to their plans in 1881 which was destroyed in 1938. The Kurhaus was conceived as a three-winged building complex designed to resemble a baroque palace. It is aligned parallel to the coastline, and the building is a spacious terrace on the side facing the sea. The monumental scale of the edifice, the architects incorporated colossal, representational architectural elements and individual motifs, seek as loggias and a dome that crowns the middle wing and soon became a symbol of the seaside resort. Several motifs can be traced to the formal repertoire of the Italian Renaissance, and the configuration of the outer walls calls to mind French classical architecture. Layered yellowish-red facing stone and stone were used as building material, creating a visual effect in harmony with the traditional brick architecture typical of the region. The incorporation of the motifs from the architectural viewpoint into the Kurhaus into the overall urban-architectural concept. The Kurhaus also provided important impulses to urban development around the turn of the century. As an architectural type, the Kurhaus had no tradition in the Netherlands, and thus the Kurhaus in Scheveningen was an innovative architectural idea. It represents a combination of the Kurhaus and hotel architecture and their specific functions, providing for both pleasure and recreation. The most important common area is the Kursaal, which could be a venue for musical performances or festive events. Balneotherapeutic applications administered under the supervision of a physician were an important part of cures. Major renovation and remodeling work was carried out from 1976 to 1979, in the course of which substantial portions of the building were rebuilt, although its original form was preserved.”

Here is an under 2 minute video published to YouTube by WeDrone in 2016 showing the Pier and the Kurhaus. Thank you WeDrone a fabulous piece of art!