Madurodam

This place once featured on a multitude of picture postcards.

Before the Second World War, the Witte Brug (=‘White Bridge’) was a popular local beauty spot with an elegant arched bridge over the Scheveningen Canal and a distinguished villa. Close by were the ‘72 steps’ leading to the top of a dune with a panoramic view over Scheveningen and The Hague. When the German occupation authorities began work on ‘Fortress Scheveningen’ in 1942, the canal became part of an anti-tank ditch, the house was demolished and the dune was levelled. Until October 1944, the bridge itself was used as an entry point to the ‘Fortress’, then it too was demolished.

After the war, a new bridge was erected but most picture postcards of the area featured Madurodam. The miniature park is not only a tourist attraction, but also a memorial to Antillean war hero George Maduro, who died in Dachau concentration camp in February 1945. He was posthumously appointed Knight in the 4th class of the Military Order of William for his role in resisting the German invasion in May 1940 and played an active part in the Leiden student resistance movement until he was picked up in 1944.

PictureWitte Brug (White Bridge). S.J. de Waard / CC
Construction of Madurodam

Construction of Madurodam, 1952. Friezer-Stokvis / The Hague City Archives

Villa at the Witte Brug, c. 1930. Sauerbier / Haags Gemeentearchief

Villa at the Witte Brug, c. 1930. Sauerbier / The Hague City Archives

72 steps

72 steps. The Hague City Archives

72 steps, view

View from the 72 steps, ca. 1930. The Hague City Archives

72 steps

72 steps, c. 1935. The Hague City Archives

Laundry

Laundry. The Hague City Archives

Access to Scheveningen Fortress

Access to Scheveningen Fortress. Bundesarchiv Deutschland

Cremer Bridge

Cremer Bridge, September 1945. The Hague City Archives

Temporary bridge at Wittebrug Hotel

Temporary bridge at Wittebrug Hotel, October 1945. Fotobureau van den Heuvel / The Hague City Archives

Temporary bridge across Scheveningen Canal

Temporary bridge across Scheveningen Canal. Coll. André Muller

Peace Palace under construction

Peace Palace under construction, August 1952. Wim Consenheim/ Anefo / CC

Witte Brug with villa

Pre-war Witte Brug with villa. The Hague City Archives

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