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Scheveningen beach, The Hague, The Netherlands, 2018.
The earliest reference to the name 'Sceveninghe' goes back to around 1280. The first inhabitants may have been Anglo-Saxons. Other historians favour a Scandinavian origin. Fishing was the main source of food and income. The Battle of Scheveningen was fought between English and Dutch fleets off the coast of the village on August 10th 1653. Thousands of people gathered on the shore to watch.
A road to neighbouring The Hague was constructed in 1663 (current name: Scheveningseweg). In 1470, a heavy storm destroyed the church and half the houses. The village was again hit by storms in 1570, 1775, 1825, 1860, 1881, and 1894. After this last storm, the villagers decided to build a harbour. Until then, the fishing boats had had a flat bottom (bomschuiten), and were pulled up the beach. By around 1870, over 150 of these boats were in use. Once the harbour had been constructed in 1904, more modern ships replaced the bomschuiten.
In 1818, Jacob Pronk constructed a wooden building on a dune near the sea, from where people could bathe from four separate rooms. It marked the start of Scheveningen as a bathing resort. Since then, Scheveningen has attracted numerous tourists from all over Europe, notably from Germany. The hotel and restaurant Kurhaus was opened in 1886. The village attracted a number of Dutch artists over the centuries, who painted the bomschuiten drawn up on the beach, or fishermen at work in the North Sea. Notable painters who recorded the village include Adriaen van de Velde, Simon de Vlieger, and Hendrik Willem Mesdag, whose large panorama, 14 m high and 120 m wide, preserves the view of Scheveningen in 1881 and can still be visited today.
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