homeprogrammeUp to arrival in Europortback to Cultural Masonic Centreforward to Pavilionclick here to download a screensaver of the panoramae-mail Mesdag Panorama

In the 19th century, panoramas were exhibited throughout Europe and America. The Mesdag Panorama is one of the last panorama paintings still in existence. The enormous cylinder-shaped painting depicts a 360° view of the surroundings of Scheveningen. Housed in a building especially designed for this painting, it offers a unique perspective on the landscape surrounding this little fishing port Northwest of The Hague in 1881.

This showpiece, painted in 1881 by the renowned marine painter Hendrik Willem Mesdag and his team of artists in the tradition of the famous ‘Hague School’, survives as a monument of great cultural and historical importance. A visit to the splendidly restored Panorama Mesdag is like taking a nostalgic trip through time and space.

Click here to download a screensaver of the Panorama

You reach the painting of historic Scheveningen’s fishing village through a narrow dark passageway and up a dark winding staircase. Then, suddenly upstairs, you stand in the middle of the circular visitors’ platform: an artificial dune-top complete with real sand, an anchor, beach-grass and flotsam, which separates you from the huge painting.

The edges of the painting are hidden from view, though, so that the illusion that you are really back in the 1880’s is complete: the sweeping view of the sea, the dunes of Holland, the wide beach with fishing boats, and everything else in the picturesque fishing village looks three-dimensional. The effect of being surrounded by the landscape is heightened by the use of indirect natural lighting to give the illusion that the light emanates from the painting itself.


The canvas is one of the world's finest surviving panoramas and the world’s largest circular painting: it is 45 feet (14 m) high, the circumference is 390 feet (120 m), and it covers an area of some 17,000 square feet (1680 m²).

On the left one of the details in the painting: the Pavilion ‘Von Wied’ or Pavilion ‘De Witte’. Built in 1827 by King Willem I as a birthday gift for his wife, it is now the summer residence of a private members’ club, where we shall partake of a late luncheon: a ‘Haagsche koffietafel’.