Scheveningen, a 15-minute tram journey from the centre of The Hague, is the principal bathing place on the Netherlands coast, and in many respects is an archetypal seaside resort, with an esplanade, a lighthouse and many hotels. In origin it was a fishing community, and was the scene of a battle between the Dutch and English navies in 1653. Its development as a resort began in 1818 when one Jacob Pronk erected a wooden building amongst the sand dunes as a base for bathers. By 1865 the tramway to The Hague was operating, and the resort was said to be popular with the Dutch aristocracy. The Baroque Kurhaus (Spa) Hotel dates from 1886. A panorama of Scheveningen, 14 m high and 120 m in diameter was painted in 1881 by Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831-1915), and is still displayed as the Panorama Mesdag in The Hague. The first pier was built in 1901 but was destroyed during the Second World War. The present pier, one of the most spectacular in Europe, was opened in 1961 and consists of four ‘islands’, with a sunbathing area, restaurants, a theatre and a 45 m observation tower. The town’s history is portrayed in the Museum Scheveningen.