The Hague



The Hague (; Dutch: Den Haag [dɛn ˈɦaːx] (listen) or 's‑Gravenhage [ˌsxraːvə(n)ˈɦaːɣə] (listen)) is a city on the western coast of the Netherlands on the North Sea, the administrative and royal capital of the Netherlands and the capital of the province of South Holland. It is also the seat of government of the Netherlands and hosts the International Court of Justice, one of the most important courts in the world.

With a metropolitan population of more than 1 million, it is the third-largest city in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The Rotterdam–The Hague metropolitan area, with a population of approximately 2.7 million, is the 10th-largest in the European Union and the most populous in the country. In the west of the Netherlands, The Hague is in the centre of the Haaglanden conurbation and lies at the southwest corner of the larger Randstad conurbation.

The Hague is the seat of the Cabinet, the States General, the Supreme Court, and the Council of State of the Netherlands, but the city is not the constitutional capital of the Netherlands, which is Amsterdam. King Willem-Alexander lives in Huis ten Bosch and works at the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, together with Queen Máxima. Most foreign embassies in the Netherlands are located in the city. The Hague is also home to the world headquarters of Royal Dutch Shell and other Dutch companies.

The Hague is known as the home of international law and arbitration. The International Court of Justice, the main judicial arm of the United Nations, is located in the city, as well as the International Criminal Court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, Europol, and approximately 200 other international governmental organisations.

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