Location and garden
The Mauritshuis was built in what was then one of the most fashionable neighbourhoods in The Hague. In its immediate vicinity were the city’s most beautiful homes, as well as the Binnenhof – the centre of government with the stadholder’s quarters.
The land on which the house was built, originally part of the garden of the Binnenhof, was put up for sale in 1631. Both Johan Maurits and Constantijn Huygens, secretary to the stadholder, bought plots on which to build. Johan Maurits acquired the most desirable plot, bordering on the pond called the Hofvijver.
The property, which used to be larger, once ran through to the other side of the street and continued along the back of Huygens’s property. It was here that Johan Maurits had a garden laid out, which was accessible through an underground passageway extending from the walled-in forecourt of the house all the way to the garden.