Two 14th-century lion bones found in the center of The Hague

Hofweiver in 1567. Looking towards Buitenhof, where the bones were found.Illustration: The Hague Historical Museum

Workers found two lion bones during excavations in The Hague’s Buitenhof, a square facing one of the entrances to the Reichstag.

The bone was discovered in 2021, but the discovery was made public only recently. One is a juvenile lion’s paw, but city officials are keeping quiet about the second leg ahead of Wednesday’s press conference.

Bones apparently date to the first half of In the 19th century, before the time when Count Albrecht, who ruled Holland and Zeeland on behalf of his brother Willem V, had a small zoo in the square.

The lions were kept there from 1344 to 1358, city officials told the news website According to, these bones are “the oldest lions ever unearthed in the Netherlands”.

of coat of arms Both the Kingdom of Holland and the Dutch royal family contain a lion, and the lion is considered a symbol of courage and nobility.

City officials will reveal more about the history of The Hague’s lions on Wednesday.

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