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Place Guillaume II and its link to The Hague
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Place Guillaume II and its link to The Hague

19.02.2017 From our online archive
You have probably attended an outdoor concert or picked up flowers at the weekly market at Place Guillaume II, but have you ever wondered why locals call it Knuedler and who the guy on the horse is?

You have probably attended an outdoor concert or picked up flowers at the weekly market at Place Guillaume II, but have you ever wondered why locals call it Knuedler and who the guy on the horse is?

The statue of a man riding a horse portrays Guillaume II, King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg, who also gave name to the square itself. The statue was the creation of two artists –  Antonin Mercié sculpted Guillaume II and Victor Peter the horse.

The Luxembourgish nickname “Knuedler” originates from the Luxembourgish word “de Knued” which means “knot”, and refers to the knot in the belt worn by Franciscan friars, as the square used to be the site of a monastery in the 18th Century.

However, in 1829 it was destroyed and the material from the deconstructed monastery was used to build the building we know today as the Town Hall.

Guillaume II ruled from 1840 to 1849 and is known for setting up the Grand Duchy's first parliamentary constitution, which was one of the most liberal in Europe at the time. As Guillaume II was also the king of the Netherlands, an exact copy of the statue was erected in the Dutch city The Hague, too.