Oranjestad (Aruba, Netherlands)
Oranjestad is the capital of the island of Aruba. It is located on its southern coast. The name of the city is translated from Dutch as “orange city”. There are no oranges here, but the city itself is very colorful. All buildings in Oranjestad are made in the Dutch style and painted in different colors.
The oldest building in the city is Fort Zoutman. It was built in 1796 and was named after a prominent Dutch admiral. The port is surrounded by four cannons and stands out with its tower of King William III.
There are a lot of churches in the city, the most important of them is the Catholic Church of St. Anne, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century, is interesting for the handmade oak altar, which was made before the foundation of the church in 1870.
In Oranjestad there are museums – the Archaeological Museum with exhibitions on the history of Arawak culture; Historical Museum with a collection of pre-Columbian history of the island and the colonial era; Numismatic Museum, some of the coins exhibited here were found at the bottom of the sea in sunken ships; as well as the Geological Museum, which tells about the history of the origin of the island. In the city center you can find a huge number of shops of famous brands of the world, the prices of which are lower than in Europe.
From Oranjestad it is very easy to get to the beaches of the west coast. The most popular of them are Arashi Beach and Hadikurari Beach in the northwest of Aruba, Druif Beach, Bukuti Beach, Palm Beach, Eagle Beach, Roger Beach, a small Renaissance island lying directly opposite the Oranjestad harbor. All of them are made of white sand, which reflects the sun’s rays and does not burn your feet even on hot days. All beaches are municipal, so tourists can relax on any of them. Cruise submarines depart daily from Oranjestad and make voyages lasting 1 hour along the coastal waters of the western coast of Aruba. Through huge windows you can see coral reefs, tropical fish, moray eels, turtles and seals. The submarine has a bar, and the interior itself resembles that of an airplane.
The Hague (Netherlands)
According to a2zdirectory, the Hague is the third largest city in the Netherlands. It is located in the west of the country, on the coast of the North Sea. It is the official residence of the Queen and the seat of the States General and Government. The Hague was first mentioned in historical documents in 1242. It acquired the official status of a city in 1806, when it was part of the French Empire.
The main attraction of The Hague is the Binnenhof Palace complex, which was built on the site of the hunting lodge of Count Floris IV. In the Knights’ Hall with a wooden beamed ceiling, the Queen opens a new session of Parliament every year. The historical sights of the city are concentrated around the Palace complex. Opposite the Binnenhof on Plaine Square there is a monument to William I of Orange, not far away you can see the building of the Tribunal Ridderhall, built in the 13th century, the medieval Gevagenport prison, which now houses the Museum of the Inquisition with a collection of instruments of torture, the country’s oldest city Passage of the late 19th century and the building of the Ministry of Justice. Diplomatic embassies are also located in the vicinity of the square.
The Queen’s residence, Heis Ten Bos, is located in The Hague Forest, and Noordeinde Palace is used for official ceremonies. During the summer, Noordeinde Palace is open to tourists. The Mauritshuis City Museum is named after Count Jan Moritz, by whose decree this building was built in the 17th century. Here are exhibited masterpieces by Dutch artists – Jan Vermeer, Paulus Potter, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, Sten and others.
In The Hague also worth a visit is the Municipal Museum, which has a large collection of paintings by Piet Mondrian, works of modern art and musical instruments, the Museum of the History of The Hague, Panorama Mesdag representing the fishing village of Scheveningen from the 19th century, the Meermann-Westrenianum Museum, the open-air museum – Madurodam, where models of all the landmark buildings and structures in the Netherlands.
The city has two beach areas – Scheveningen in the northwest of The Hague and the small Kaikdaun in the southwest. In Kaikdayun, mostly locals rest, and in Scheveningen – tourists from the Benelux countries. Scheveningen is separated from the city by a 7-kilometer park area. The sandy beach here has a length of 3 km. Vacationers stroll along the wide seaside boulevard every evening, Duinrell Water Park – one of the largest amusement parks in the Netherlands with numerous attractions – will appeal to both children and adults, and the Sea Life Center can see what is happening in the waters of the North Sea. Windsurfing is possible in Scheveningen from May to September. There is 1 hotel in the Kaikdayoun zone, several restaurants and bars and a shopping mall. Kaikdayun is more suitable for nature lovers, for those who love cycling and horseback riding.