Façades of The Hague #25

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Chinese arch, Wagenstraat.

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When i lived just round the corner near Wagenstraat in the 1980s, the whole area was a bit in the doldrums.

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It had lost its identity since long as it used to be a place where many Jews lived before they were deported during the German occupation.

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It was as if the municipal authorities didn’t really know what to do about it for some decades.

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When more and more Chinese settled in Wagenstraat and around, in the end it seemed the problem was solved by itself: it became The Hague China Town.

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Now street signs are both in Dutch and in Chinese, there are red Chinese lanterns in the streets and in 2009 two Chinese arches were erected of which this is the south-eastern one.

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The strange thing is, this all happened in a time when foreigners living in this country were supposed to stick to Dutch customs and to speak, write and understand Dutch.

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But of course in the case of China Town, the authorities smelled business.

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The arches are said to have been made of Chinese materials while the wooden top is said to consist of more than a thousand parts.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

All pictures were taken in March 2016.

 

Bertus Pieters

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