The Peace Palace in The Hague and the Peace Carillon

The Building

International developments at the time enabled the Peace Palace to be built in 1913 in The Hague, with a generous contribution from the American philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. The Peace Palace houses the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the United Nations International Court of Justice, two institutions tasked with the solution of international disputes by arbitration. The building also houses the Peace Palace Library, one of the world’s most prestigious law libraries, containing books and periodicals that could stretch for 15 kilometers. Every summer, the Peace Palace hosts seminars open to law students from all over the world. On April 8, 2013, the Peace Palace received the European Heritage Label.

Switzerland donates a clock for the clock tower

From the first moment the Palace was used, there has been a clock, composed of the clockwork and a bell, donated by Switzerland. This clock keeps time and at certain hours, the bell strikes a number of times according to the time of day. The Swiss clockmaker A.S Hasler from Bern produced the clock and the bell was cast by the Swiss bellfoundry H. Ruestschi of Aarau. The bell carried the text: Möchte ich mit meinem Geläute den aufrichtigen Frieden verkünden. The bell, with cis2 tone, rings on the hour and the half hour. When the tower’s clockwork was upgraded to become electrical, it became part of the collection of the present Klok & Peel Museum in Asten.

The Carillon

The Peace Palace has two towers but for a long time there was no carillon. The Carillon Den Haag Foundation collected money to install a carillon in the taller tower. This carillon was installed in three phases by the Royal Eijsbouts Bellfoundry in Asten. In 1994, 38 bells were placed in the specially-created high attic behind the louvres. The clavier to play the bells rests on a specially-laid floor above the bells, resulting in an additional attic.

In 2000, as a result of newly available funds, the carillon was extended to become a four-octave instrument with 47 bells op basis es1. In 2013, the 100th anniversary, the carillon was completed with a final bell, a fis 1 of 775 kg. attached to the pedal as es1. This last addition was made possible by donations, and on October 1, 2013, was presented to the Carnegie Foundation.

Concert Instrument

The carillon is primarily a concert instrument, and is owned by the Carnegie Foundation which owns the Peace Palace. The Carillon Den Haag Foundation is tasked with finding carilloneurs to play the carillon and scheduling these concerts.

Playing the Carillon

The carillon, known as the Peace Carillon, is played every Tuesday from 13.00-13.45 by Heleen van der Weel. On Thursdays, from 13.00-13.45, Heleen and Hnek Groeneweg, the City carilloneur of Delft, take turns. A good place to listen to the carillon playing is the car-free space in front of the main entrance where there are many benches. A better listening place is the garden of the Mesdag Museum on Laan van Meerdervoort 7F, but this is only open for the Thursday playings. The day’s program is usually made available to the public at least a half hour before in the glass cabinet standing close to the entrance of the Visitors Centre of the Peace Palace.

War Memorial and Peace Carillon

The Carillon of the Peace Palace can be considered as one of the 25 War Memorial and Peace Carillons that were built at the end of the First World War. Since Spring 2014, the carilloneurs are striving towards a closer cooperation with the Carnegie Foundation.

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war memorial and peace carillons