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The Hague, Netherlands
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    (1248- )
    Founded by William II of Germany
    Located in the Dutch province of South Holland
    Population of 469,568 (2004 census)
    Home of Dutch parliament and the Peace Palace
    Site of many United Nations offshoots, including the International Court of Justice (‘World Court’) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
    Dutch name is ‘Den Haag’ or ‘’s-Gravenhage’
    Always referred to as ‘The Hague’ in English
    Its name means ‘the Hedge.’
    It is the center of Dutch government, but not the capital (which is Amsterdam).
    Controversial movie director Paul Verhoeven was born there.
    It is the home of the U. N.’s international courts, which many nations criticize.
    Its courts are accused of being impotent and politically corrupt.
    The U.S. sometimes accepts its rulings and sometimes does not (depending on who’s in power).
    One critic called its people ‘vulgar and uncivilized’ and their clothes ‘cheap and ugly.’
    Many foreigners believe it is a village, or even just a single building.
    It was severely damaged during World War II, when it was invaded by the Nazis and bombed by the British.
    It is known for its lovely beaches.
    It has many museums featuring priceless art by Renaissance masters.
    Its symbol is a stork.
    It is reportedly tolerant of recreational drug use.
    It was the first city in the world to legally allow the use of medical marijuana.
    Despite their controversial status, its U.N. courts have conducted major trials, including that of Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic.

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro

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