Staring at the sky on a sunny day or maybe at a starry night while lying on the stone bench within James Turrels Hemels Gewelf in The Hague city district Kijkduin is a dizzying experience. For me, it really adds an unusual spice to a common walk through the dunes.
The Hemels Gewelf (in English: Celestial Vault) is a 30 by 40-meter piece of landscape art that has been created on top of a rumble dune in the Nineties by American artist James Turell. To reach the Hemels Gewelf you will first climb the rumble dune via its sandy paths or its wooden stairs. Then you’ll walk trough a concrete passageway into a grassy artificial crater. After admiring the skyscape from within the crater, you can have a great view on the surroundings of the Hemels Gewelf while walking the earth walls that enclose it. Most likely you will then discover the other stone bench in the distance on a nearby, even higher rumble dune.
James Turells Hemels Gewelf is only 950 meters away from Kijkduin beach. This used to be a lively part of the coastline with a lot of nice shops and beach pavilions. Only nowadays major building activities takes place, which forced the Kijkduin entrepreneurs to leave for now. I still like Kijkduin though. Last weekend I found out that as long as it hasn’t been demolished, the old shopping mall functions as streetart gallery. And I bought beautiful silver earrings at a small market on the boulevard.