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Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
The Hague
Den Haag

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Statue of a little boy: Jantje

Statue of a little boy: Jantje
Jan is a very common boy's name in the Netherlands, it is the Dutch version of John. And in the Dutch language, adding the suffix -tje or -je to a name or noun turns the word into its diminutive form. So Jantje simply means "Little John."

Jantje, or Little John, was the young son of Floris V, Count of Holland, back in the 1200s. The present-day Binnenhof sits on land that was the hunting lodge of Count Floris V. Sadly, Jantje died at age 13 while the Ridderzaal was being built as the manor house of the Count in the 1200s. Over the centuries, a Dutch nursery rhyme has been known to every Dutch child, that goes like this:

"In Den Haag daar woont een graaf
En zijn zoon heet Jantje
Als je vraagt waar woont je pa
Dan wijst hij met zijn handje
Met zijn vingertje en zijn duim
Op zijn hoed draagt hij een pluim
Aan zijn arm een mandje
Dag mijn lieve Jantje"

It roughly translates into:

"In The Hague there lives a Count
And his son is called Jantje
If you ask: 'Where does your daddy live?'
He’ll show you with his hand-tje (= 'little hand')
With his finger and his thumb
On his hat he wears a feather
On his arm's a basket
Bye, my sweet Jantje!"

The statue of Jantje, however, is modern, having been made in 1976. Jantje's little finger is pointing towards the Binnenhof, as the nursery rhyme says, telling everyone that that is where his father lives.