During the renovation of the Binnenhof, the contractor found a box from 1925 in the statue of King Willem II. The contents include a charter, books about the battle of Waterloo and a poem of praise. The time capsule was placed near the statue as an ode to King Willem II.
Due to the renovation of the Binnenhof, the famous equestrian statue of William II had to be temporarily removed from its place. While removing the plinth, a historic time capsule in the form of a lead box was found in a hidden space in the masonry. The time capsule was opened by The Hague mayor Jan van Zanen and Erfgoed councilor Saskia Bruines, exactly 99 years later. The box contained a charter, books about the battle of Waterloo and a poem honoring the king. The box, a so-called time capsule, was hidden in the foot (the pedestal) of the statue in 1925 as a tribute to King Willem II. The box and its contents can be seen by everyone from February 27 to March 20 in the Atrium of the City Hall in The Hague.
King William II ruled from 1840 until his death in 1849. Before this he fought in the Battle of Waterloo, among other things. In 1848 he agreed to a constitutional amendment that limited the King’s power. Historical experts from the municipality of The Hague, Patrick Bosman and Sophie Olie, are surprised by the content:
“During the research we ended up traveling back in time to 1925. This is how the story behind the statue really came to life. What is extra special is that the contents have been so beautifully preserved. The certificate looks as if it was written yesterday, something you don’t often encounter.”
Replacement of the Statue of William II
The pedestal and statue of William II will probably be returned to the Binnenhof at the end of 2028. The time capsule then goes back into the pedestal. The municipality wants to add something contemporary to the time capsule before it goes back into the pedestal.
More information about the renovation of the Binnenhof can be found at www.binnenhofrenovatie.nl (Dutch only).
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