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pavilion drawing

As we have already seen on the Mesdag Panorama, this Greek temple-like pavilion sits perched on a dune overlooking Scheveningen’s beach. It was commissioned in 1827 by King William I (1772-1843) as a birthday gift to his spouse Queen Frederica Louisa Wilhelmina, who was a woman of poor health.

The king hoped that her frequent stays in this pavilion, and the advantages of sampling the refreshing sea air and bathing in the clean sea water, would be beneficial to her. The queen was to enjoy her pavilion for ten years. During that time she frequently repaired to her private sanctuary to paint and draw.

pavilion

Nowadays, this pavilion is the summer residence of a private member’s club, the ‘Nieuwe of Littéraire Sociëteit de Witte’, and most of the club life in the summer months takes place there. It is still an oasis of tranquility among the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest sea-resorts in the Netherlands and also a much sought-after marriage location. It has a magnificent terrace with unique views over the harbour, the beach and the sea-front as well as the adjoining museum ‘Statues at Sea’. Let us hope the weather gods will show us their favour...

On the first floor of this striking example of neo-classical style we find a large central room with stucco plasterwork which is full of maritime symbols: sea-shells, coral, sea-horses, dolphins and sea-snails. And in the center of the ceiling we find a large circular medaillon depicting the twelve signs of the zodiac. During the summer months, this hall is in use as an indoor restaurant for members of the club and their invited guests. Although most of us prefer to dine on the screened terrace outside while enjoying the splendid view of the sun slowly setting in the waves of the North-sea.

the transparent

The pavilion was magnificently restored to its full splendour in 1994. Four years later the architect Wim Quist designed a hardened glass wall, ‘The Transparent’, to enclose the grounds of the Pavilion. This wall consists of sixteen panels each of which have been engraved with a different text, relevant to the sea or the beach, from famous Dutch poets and writers.

Quist also designed the museum which is cleverly situated in the dune, below and to the side of the Pavilion. In it, an extensive and always changing collection of sculptures from the private collection of the Scholten family is on show. Some of these are also on display in the grounds surrounding the pavilion.