icon-envelope icon-phone icon-ruit icon-screen icon-star icon-star-empty icon-star-filled icon-chevron icon-arrow icon-arrow-right icon-arrow-left icon-close icon-play twitter linkedin instagram youtube icon-mail icon-chevron-left icon-chevron-right icon-search icon-download
What are you looking for?
Binnenhof Informatiecentrum Renovatie

Time capsule from 1925 on display at the Binnenhof Renovation Information Centre in The Hague until 4 February

31 January 2024

The 1925 lead coffin with contents is on display from Wednesday 31 January to Sunday 4 February at the free Information Centre Binnenhof Renovation , Place 22 in The Hague. (Photo: Sander Foederer)

The Hague - For a week, the 1925 time capsule - which was opened this week - will be on display at the Binnenhof Renovation Information Centre in The Hague. From today, Wednesday 31 January, until Sunday 4 February, the lead coffin and its contents will be on display. The free Information Centre Binnenhof Renovation is located at Plaats 22, a stone's throw from the Binnenhof.

 Last Monday 29 January, the mayor of The Hague, Jan van Zanen, opened the lead time capsule found under the equestrian statue of Willem II. He performed the act exactly 99 years after the time capsule was bricked into the statue's pedestal. The historical find contains charters, books, photographs and even a poem of praise to William II, the hero of Waterloo.

Impeccable condition

All documents are in pristine condition and on display from today at the free Binnenhof Renovation Information Centre. The chest will be on display on a separately decorated table on the ground floor for a week. After that, it will be on display in the Atrium of City Hall and then the time capsule will go into the archives for a few years.

Because of the humidity and climate, it is not possible to exhibit the box in the information centre for longer because it could harm the documents.

As a visitor, it is especially interesting to pay attention to the old manuscripts and the caligraphy used in the documents. In addition, the books have a special composition as they have been placed without covers in the time capsule. They also contain photographs of an earlier box that was lost.

Historical discovery

Due to the renovation of the Binnenhof, the well-known equestrian statue at the entrance to the Binnenhof had to be temporarily removed from its place.While removing the plinth, a historical time capsule in the form of a lead box was found in a hidden space in the masonry.

A statue of King William II has stood in front of the entrance to the Binnenhof since 1854. That statue also already contained a time capsule and had to make way when construction of a wide traffic road along the Hofvijver started in 1923. The sculpture was then moved to Tilburg, including the original time capsule. During restoration work in the 1990s, it contained two pulverised Willem II biographies and two lead medals.

Photos of those objects were in the time capsule that was opened on Monday. They can also be seen at the information centre from now on.

New capsule

The plinth and statue of William II will be returned to the Buitenhof after the renovation. The time capsule will then also go back into the plinth. Before that happens, the municipality wants to add something from now to the time capsule. At the moment, it is not yet known what. The municipality plans to let residents think about it.

The information centre is open five days a week, from Wednesday to Sunday.

Jan van Zaanen

The time capsule was opened by Mayor Jan van Zanen last Monday, 29 January. (Photo: Sander Foederer)