Binnenhof, a thirteenth century Gothic castle, was converted to be the political center of the Dutch in 1584. This is the oldest house of parliament in the world which is still being used! Binnenhof translates as inner court in English. It is in the city center of The Hague, the Netherlands.
It accommodates the The Ministry of General Affairs, the office of The Prime Minister, and the States General of the Netherlands. This Gothic castle had housed counts and historical figures who to this day have taken their places within the history of the Dutch. As you enter the complex, you have the Ridderzaal or Knight’s Hall in English, which stands tall with the huge Gothic fountain in front of her. There is also a huge statue of King Willem II outside of the Binnenhof, standing and guarding all of the children.
This complex is where all of the Dutch politicians and even the general public gather.
I had watched this complex as an outsider, as an admirer of old Gothic buildings, and as an admirer of history. With so much history buried within the walls, I wondered how much untold and unheard stories were buried within the walls of this Gothic castle.
The whispers of the past singing in the air, the tears, and sorrows of true lovers gone unheard as with time, even the tears of true lovers had but dried up. I watched the Gothic fountain standing tall within this square as she was still holding on to the tears of the past.
I was not interested in the political division but in the united love the politicians had for their country. I watched Dutch citizens had lined up to watch their politicians representing them. I knew how much devoted all of these people were as they had wanted their voices to be heard. I thought yes, today we could voice our concerns so openly and not worry about the consequences and just let freedom of speech be.
I thought of the past generations and wondered were they too able to voice their concerns? Did a woman bury her love stories in fear of being judged the wrong way? I wondered what of her beloved? Did he bury her story and not even voice it in fear?
I knew again I was placing the characters of my upcoming novel in this Gothic castle and I did not even think how today this was housing politicians not love stories lost in time.
I had taken a tour of the Ridderzaal and had climbed the stairs to see the room where you could see how the King and Queen come here on Prinsjesdag. Grand and amazing is this place as she has so much history buried within her. Peace and serenity were within her chest as I felt this amazing peace within her.
I had also visited the the Dutch House of Representatives within this square where I watched how involved the politicians and the citizens were with each other. This country had more than thirty different political parties sitting in this chamber and ruling. The different coalition groups and The Prime Minister Mark Rutte are an example of union and sacrifice for one’s own country and is above any personal political ambition.
I watched how this Honorable Prime Minister lives as an example for we the common people around this globe. I had said in a lot of my previous blog posts as to why I admire this Prime Minister. After my visit to Binnenhof, I realized how I love this country and how amazing the square is where all the politicians gather. I knew this place must have placed a blessed sacred prayer on this Prime Minister as to how he lives and sets an example for all around this globe. I knew this Prime Minister was born and raised in this city. I wondered did his father bring him here as a child and show him this blessed Gothic castle?
I will say though, my entire visit through this amazing complex was an adventure through my sacred dreams and my upcoming book. I know true love exists, be it amongst soulmates walking throughout eternity, or historical figures guiding their nation for the love of their country throughout time through examples of lives lived.
It is all the same, love is victorious even within the war where all is lost and nothing is left. I believe if love, honor, and just is there, then all is found. For in union or in separation, love only grows and pulls one towards the other.
After my visit through the Binnenhof, I had found peace within my soul as if I had come home to this Gothic castle where life was lived and even to this day through the hands of the politicians and the King and Queen’s blessed visits, this amazing Gothic castle lives on throughout time as she has and will forever keep the blessed stories of all the travelers within her chest, safe and secure.
The journey of a traveler is but the sacred blessing throughout time as each traveler gathers within his or her journal and secretly spreads it to the future generations to come. It is how mystics are born, and the borders between lands become invisible through the blessed travel journals of the sacred souls.
Today, you too could take a journey through this Gothic building and see firsthand how the Dutch politicians are so open and kind to their citizens. I have personally walked through this building complex every time I went back to my hotel, and each time I had seen politicians talking and walking with the citizens. The complete atmosphere here is like the olden days where a leader would sit in the village square and all of the villagers would watch and greet each other on different occasions, and their own words or minds were heard.
I walked through this square and had thought how amazing this place is where you could go and have fresh baked bread from Het Plein behind the Binnenhof and have fish from the fish vendor in front or enjoy waffles from a vendor with a cart I had seen inside the Binnenhof, and still watch the decisions being made by the leaders of this nation.
The news crews were always present running after the politicians for any breaking news, or I guess gossip that may be new or had been brewing from the past as this is a Gothic building.
I would want to invite all of you to take some time and visit this great European Gothic castle, if ever in this part of Europe. This is a sacred place where your journey too would become a part of history. You might make it within the books of history or maybe just within the words of your personal family and friends. I know some stories make history and some get lost within the pages of time. If a story gets wiped out and never exists within the knowledge of the future generations, I would like the stories to be buried within the walls of a Gothic castle like the Binnenhof.
Remember to keep all the lanterns of hope glowing as you walk through this blessed complex, you might just see the blessed Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte. I had written about my encounter with this sacred soul within a blog post I called, “Prime Mark Rutte: A Human With Humanity.” However, this encounter did not happen within the Binnenhof complex.
Before your visit though, do look up all the historical facts about this Gothic castle as then awaiting your arrival would be all the known, unknown stories of the past inhabitants of the Binnenhof.
Please look out for my next blog post on Madurodam, again a wonderful love story between a son and his blessed parents.
Blessings from Seattle,
*This is the fourth post in my series A Traveler’s Journal.