Peace Palace

The Peace Palace is located in the Hague, the Netherlands. It was built between 1907 and 1913 in Neo-Renaissance style, and is the seat of international law. It houses the principal judicial body of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, as well as the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the oldest institution for dispute settlement.

The Hague Academy of International Law is also housed there, as is the extensive Peace Palace Library ( of International Law, which is one of the most famous law libraries in the world.

Apart from these judicial functions in the Peace Palace, it is also a regular platform for special events on international policy and law. An eternal peace flame in front of its gates symbolises the main function of the building. The owner of the Peace Palace is the Carnegie Foundation, created in 1904.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), founder of the Peace Palace, first became acquainted with the concept of the Peace Palace in 1900. His initial intentions were not to build a Temple of Peace, but rather to have a building to house the Permanent Court of Arbitration and to provide that Court with a library on international law.

There was one problem, however. The Permanent Court of Arbitration did not possess the qualifications of corporations. Therefore, it could not acquire property under Dutch law. This problem could only be overcome by creating a foundation, which would embrace the library and the building. This way, the Carnegie Foundation was born, to which Andrew Carnegie funded the large amount of money of one and a half million dollars.

As for the construction of the building itself, Carnegie expressed his wish for an open and international competition resulting in a building that was to stand alone, preferably in a park. Therefore, an international competition was held for the most suitable design for the building. The winner was the French architect Louis M. Cordonnier, whose design was amended by the Dutch architect Van der Steur. All nations contributed towards the construction of the Peace Palace by making available characteristics products of their soil, art of industry, in this way symbolising the collaboration of the nations in the foundation of this great building.

The inauguration ceremony was held on 28 August 1913.

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