Rose Garden Westbroekpark
Westbroekpark & Rose Garden The Hague: more than a City Park
Westbroekpark & Rose Garden The Hague has been designated a protected cityscape. The park, covering 18 hectares, has landscaped flower beds with an international rose garden, a well tended lawn and a playground. You can also find a tearoom, café / restaurant and boat rentals. The park offers something for everyone, young and old. In summer it’s an excellent place to spend time with family and friends.
In this article:
[mks_col] [mks_one_half] Recreation
Flower Beds & Rose Garden
International Rose Trials Westbroekpark
Day of the Rose
Rowing boat rental
[/mks_one_half] [mks_one_half] Opening hours
How to get there
Combine your visit to Westbroekpark
Historical photos on a timeline
Westbroek Park offers many activities for young and old. The part with flower borders and rose garden is meant for visitors looking for tranquility and relaxation; the other half is a playing field with space for activity.
Only a few main paths are paved. You get to walk over the lawn instead of the stones.
Tip: During the summer holidays (July and August) Scheveningen beach can be overcrowded with day trippers and tourists. In contrast, Westbroekpark then offers a surprising amount of space and tranquility. The park has plenty of places with shade. On a tropical day the well-kept lawn also has a cooling effect.[masterslider id=”21″]
Flower beds & Rose garden
The flower beds reminds of an English landscape garden. Wide strips of grass, undulating borders and large water features offer nice panoramic views.
The borders contain numerous hardy perennials, ornamental grasses, ferns, shrubs, conifers and mature trees. The great biodiversity of plants also attracts a large diversity of birds.
Along the flower beds walking paths are not paved. That isn’t necessary: you can just walk across the grass. The lawn is well maintained and in good condition.
Scattered throughout the Westbroekpark (especially the part with flower borders) are about 20 sculptures and works of Dutch art, ranging from abstract to figurative art. The artworks date from the second half of the 20th century and were made by different artists. The artworks are created of either bronze, steel, ceramics, marble, limestone or concrete.[masterslider id=”19″]
Rose garden[masterslider id=”22″]
The rose garden contains some 20,000 shrubs of 300 different rose varieties. They flower from late June to October; In July, the garden is at its best. Every rose variety has a nameplate.
The rose garden shows five categories of roses:
- shrub roses
- patio roses
- climbing roses (along fences or obelisk)
- large-flowered roses (hybrid tea roses)
- small-flowered roses (spray roses)
Rose Garden Westbroekpark is an international test center for garden roses. Rose growers from all over the world gather at the International Rose Trials The Hague to compare and judge the cultivars of the rose collection.
Internationaal Rose Trials Westbroekpark
Every summer the World Federation of Rose Societies organizes a series of rose trials in Europe. An international jury of around 40 rose growers from all over the world will come together to assess trials with roses.
One of those rose trials takes place at Rose Garden Westbroekpark in The Hague. This event takes place on the 2nd Thursday in July, every year.
A jury will assess the roses at Westbroekpark on a series of criteria, such as:[mks_col] [mks_one_half]
- flowering period
- flower shape
- flower colour
- health (disease resistance)
- general presentation
- leaf colour
- weather resistance (heat, wind, rain)
For each category, the best rose varieties of roses are awardeda Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal. In addition there’s a prize for the most fragrant rose (Fragrance Award).
In 2010, for once, a Platinum Medal was awarded to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Rose Trials in The Hague. This award, for the best rose of the past 50 years, was won by Rosa ‘Amber Queen’.[mks_col] [mks_one_half]
[/mks_one_half] [mks_one_half] Awards received by Rose ‘Amber Queen’:
Grande Rose du Siècle – La Société Française des Roses (FR, 1984)
Rose of the Year – BARB (UK, 1984)
Best Floribunda Rose – Rose Society of Northern Ireland (IE, 1986)
Rosa Euroflora – Monza Rose Trials (IT, 1986)
Rose d’Or – Rose Trials Orléans (FR, 1987)
All America Rose Selection – ARS (USA, 1988)
Gold Star Medal – NZRS (NZ, 1988)
Grand Prix d’Excellence Orleans – SNHF (FR, 1989)
Gold Medal – Westbroekpark The Hague (NL, 1991)
Silver Medal for Fragrance – Westbroekpark The Hague (NL, 1991)
James Mason Gold Medal – RNRS (UK, 1993)
Award of Garden Merit – RHS (UK, 1993)
Platinum Medal – Westbroekpark The Hague (NL, 2010)
Rose ‘Amber Queen’
Synonyms: Rosa ‘Prinz Eugen von Savoyen’, Rosa ‘Harroony’
Large-flowered, double, orange rose of about 70 cm high. Developed by rose breeder Harkness in 1984. Very healthy growth habit (disease resistant). Not thornless. For location in full sun. Suitable for windy location.
In addition to assessments by the jury rose lovers can vote for the Audience Award. You can pick up and return a voting form during the first half of July at the kiosk in the rose garden. The rose variety that receives the most votes wins the Audience Award.
The council of The Hague ends the rose trials with the Day of the Rose.
Day of the Rose
Held on a Sunday in July, immediately after the International Rose Competition, is the Day of the Rose event. During the day you can enjoy many activities at the playground:
- free workshops (such as photography, making a insect hotel, flower arranging)
- boat tours (free or with a culinary package)
- art walks in the park
- live music
- plant fair and plant sale
- creative activities for children
- stalls around the theme of nature
Dutch Rose Society
On weekends throughout the summer you can meet members of the Dutch Rose Society at the kiosk of the Westbroekpark. They can can help you with questions you may have about rose care.
A large playground provides enough space for sports and activities, such as football, badminton, frisbee, kite flying. Barbecuing is also allowed.
The playground is regularly used for events. For example theater festival The Parade.
The playground offers various play equipment for children, such as a large climbing frame (“ship”), swings and a zip line. Just outside the playground, there’s a service point where you can draw drinking water for free.[masterslider id=”20″]
You can drink and eat something at:
- oriental restaurant Westbroekpark (overlooking the rose garden)
- teahouse Waterfront (near the boat rental).
Open only in summer.
Free drinking water
Some 20 meters before the entrance of restaurant Westbroekpark is a service point where you can draw drinking water for free. The water is extracted by water company Dunea from the dunes of the nearby beach.
Rowing boat rental
In summer, you can rent a rowboat at De Waterkant at the Haringkade canal. Here pedestrians and cyclists can also cross the canal by ferry boat.
The park is open all year round, daily from sunrise to sunset. Free admission.
- The entire park is forbidden for dogs.
- Cycling or motorcycling is not allowed.
- Visitors to the tearoom are allowed to visit the park after sunset.
How to get there[mapsmarker marker=”4″]
The main entrance of the Westbroekpark and Rose Garden The Hague is located at the Kapelweg (west side). The back entrance is on the east side (Creemerweg).
By car: Sufficient parking around the block. You have to pay to park almost everywhere in The Hague.
Cyclists and pedestrians: You can also use a ferry boat on the south side (mid Haringkade) to cross the canal. At the main entrance is a bicycle shed.
By tram: Get off at the Cremerweg (stop Cremerweg).
By bus: Get off at the Nieuwe Parklaan (stop Nieuwe Duinweg).
Consult the website of Public Transport for the latest information.
“Ideal for an afternoon of relax.”
“Oasis of tranquility in the city.”
“Beautiful collection of roses.”
“Kids enjoy themselves.”
“Great fishing spots.”
Combine your visit to Westbroekpark
- Theatre festival The Parade. Annual event at the playground of Westbroekpark during the first half of July.
- seaside resort Scheveningen (with International Fireworks Festival on the beach in August).
- Madurodam. Major attraction nearby Westbroekpark.
- Park Clingendael. Another historic park in The Hague.
List of events
- Ca. 1850: Cities in the province of South Holland begin to grow rapidly. Many cities stand on soggy peat soil. Westbroekpark, then a wooded area on sand dunes, is excavated; the sand is used as a foundation for cities elsewhere in the province. The site of the Westbroekpark transforms into a meadow-land.
- 1887: Peter Westbroek (director municipal Parks and Gardens Department of The Hague) and landscaper Mutters submit a plan to establish a park on the site of Westbroekpark. The plan is rejected.
- 1890: A park plan created by landscaper Zocher Jr. is approved. However, Zocher’s plan is only carried out partially.
- 1914-1918: British soldiers use the site as an internment camp.
- Ca. 1920: A football field is built on the site.
- 1920: Peter Westbroek is commissioned to design a new park plan, with few buildings.
- 1921: A lobby campaign for the construction of an Olympic Stadium, with a beautiful lawn, is rejected.
- 1922: The City Council decides on a new park plan. Besides Westbroek also other people have submitted alternative park plans. The city council of The Hague adopted Westbroek’s park plan with a large majority.
- 1925: Westbroek’s park plan is completed. It receives the name Nieuwe Park (‘New Park’). (The road along the Westbroekpark is still called Nieuwe Parklaan (‘New Park Lane’).
- 1925: Peter Westbroek passes away.
- 1926: The “Nieuwe Park” is renamed “Westbroekpark“, in memory of Peter Westbroek. • 1933: As an experiment, the city council authorizes the Sports and Games association of The Hague (HSS), to use the meadow-land of Westbroekpark for hockey fields during the winter.
- 1934: The HSS submits a plan for the construction of real hockey fields, including a clubhouse. The city council rejected the plan because of objections from local residents.
- 1940-1945: During World War II, the German army built two bunkers in the park. (These bunkers are still there, underneath the hill with viewpoint.) After the war the park is gradually embellished.
- 1948: The Hague organizes a major international flower exhibition in the Westbroek Park, on the occasion of the 50th jubilee of Queen Wilhelmina. For this occasion they renew the park dramatically. Thousands of new trees are planted.
- 1961: Construction of the rose garden for the International Rose Trials The Hague. Each year, rose growers from around the world put their newest rose cultivars to the test in the rose garden. The rose garden includes some 20,000 plants of 300 varieties.
Historical photos on a timeline[mks_accordion] [mks_accordion_item title=”1890: Situation before construction of Westbroekpark. “]
Haringkade at the area of the Knuppelbrug (‘Bat Bridge’) overlooking Scheveningen. Later on the Westbroekpark was built on the meadow, between Haringkade and Nieuwe Parklaan.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1910: Situation before construction of Westbroekpark. “]
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1926: Construction of Westbroekpark. “]
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1932: Indische exhibition at Westbroekpark. “]
The Indian exhibition was held between 14 May and 1 October 1932.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1946: Aerial photo of Westbroekpark. “]
On the right side the Westbroekpark; on the left de Nieuwe Scheveningse Bosjes.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1948: Flower Exhibition at Westbroekpark. “]
New plantings on the occasion of the Flower Exhibition.
Flower exhibition at Westbroekpark.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1950: Panorama image of Rose Garden Westbroekpark. “]
Overlooking the rose garden with the “Badkapel” in the background.
From the hill viewpoint overlooking the rose garden towards Nieuwe Duinweg.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1950: Haringkade along Westbroekpark. “]
De Haringkade, viewed from the location of Westbroekpark.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1952: Overlooking Westbroekpark”]
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1955: Traditional Scheveningen clothing. “]
Two women in traditional Scheveningen clothing at Westbroekpark.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1956: Panorama picture of Westbroekpark. “]
Badkapel in the background.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1962: Rose competition at the International Permanent Rose Garden Westbroekpark. “]
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1965: Café / restaurant Westbroekpark. “]
Café-restaurant, in its time know as “Paviljoen Westbroekpark”.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1965: Overlooking Westbroekpark. “]
From the hill viewpoint overlooking the rose garden.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1965: Rose Garden Westbroekpark.”]
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1967: Rose garden Westbroekpark. “]
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1975: Playground of Westbroekpark. “]
“Badkapel” building along Nieuwe Parklaan in the background. [/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1975: Rose Garden Westbroekpark. “]
Rose Garden Westbroekpark. In the background the Badkapel building along Nieuwe Parklaan.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1988: Aerial photo of Westbroekpark Rose Garden. “]
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1990: Rose Garden and flower beds at Westbroekpark. “]
Large pond with shore plants.
Colourful flower beds.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”1997: Rose Garden Westbroekpark. “]
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”2002: Café / restaurant Westbroekpark”]
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”2007: Winter scene Westbroekpark. “]
Panorama from the lookout point above the bunker. Trees covered in white frost.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”2008: International Rose Trials Westbroekpark. “]
48th International Rose Trials Westbroekpark. 50 rose cultivars of some 40 rose breeders are examined. The best rose is awarded Golden Rose of The Hague.
[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”2013: Theater festival De Parade at Westbroekpark. “]
[/mks_accordion_item] [/mks_accordion] [dzs_timelineslider id=”Westbroekpark-EN”]