The Netherlands is a state located in Western Europe. The Kingdom of the Netherlands also includes the territory of the Netherlands Antilles and the island of Aruba.
Amsterdam is the capital of the country. Other important cities in the Netherlands are The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven. The first three cities listed together with Amsterdam form the Randstad agglomeration. Its population is approximately equal to seven and a half million people.
According to data for 2008, the population of the Netherlands exceeded 16.4 million people, the Netherlands ranked sixtieth in terms of population.
The Netherlands is famous for its cultivated tulips (this flower is ranked among the symbols of Holland), in this country there is even a flower festival - September 6, when cars, fences and houses are decorated with garlands and bouquets of fresh flowers. Other Dutch holidays include Queen's Birthday on April 30th, Netherlands Liberation Day (on May 5th), Carnival on February 13th. Such traditional holidays as New Year, Easter, Labor Day are celebrated here.
The Netherlands is Holland. This is what this country is often called. However, this is not officially true. The Netherlands has twelve provinces, two of which are North and South Holland. These provinces have been the most developed for a long time, and therefore many countries associated the Netherlands with Holland. As for Russia, this name became widespread after the visit to the Netherlands by the Russian tsar and later by Emperor Peter the Great.
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. In Amsterdam, the monarch takes the oath of allegiance to the constitution. As for the government and parliament, they are located in another Dutch city - in The Hague. The history of the origin of Amsterdam dates back to the end of the twelfth century. It was at this time that a small fishing settlement arose on the banks of both the Amstel River and the Gulf of Ey. It subsequently expanded to become the largest city in the Netherlands. At present, Amsterdam is also the cultural and financial center of the state.
The Netherlands is a unique state. Its name in translation means "lower lands", which, in general, is true. Indeed, almost one-half of the territory of the Netherlands is located below the sea level, which is considered a unique natural situation. Moreover, there is no other similar country on the political map of the world.
Polders are an important concept for the Netherlands. Polders are land taken from the sea and drained by dams and other complex structures; polders make up a significant part of the Netherlands. The lowest level - seven meters after sea level is the lowest level, which is ranked as a world record.
The Netherlands is a country with a temperate maritime climate. This country is characterized by fairly warm winters (the average January temperature is 2 degrees Celsius) and cool summers (the average July temperature is 17 degrees Celsius).
The Netherlands is a country of famous artists. Jan Stein Johannes Wermer, Rembrandt van Rijn (seventeenth century), Pete Mondrian, Vincent Van Gogh (nineteenth and twentieth centuries) created their brilliant works of art here.
The Netherlands is a sports country. Football is very popular, but other sports (field hockey, golf, speed skating, volleyball, cycling, tennis, handball, etc.) are of great importance. In the Netherlands, there is a far from weak school of martial arts. We are talking about karate, Thai boxing, kickboxing, etc. Korfball was invented in the Netherlands. Korfball is essentially a very simplified form of basketball that requires a high degree of athleticism. In relation to the population in all kinds of sports, the Netherlands win a large number of medals.
The Netherlands is a land of interesting facts. The women and men of this country are the tallest in the world. The Netherlands is famous for its Dutch cheese. But not only: also Dutch herring. The population growth in the Netherlands is small - as a rule, one family has only one child. The Netherlands is a state with a reputation for tolerance of any dissent, even same-sex marriage is allowed in this country. In the Netherlands, euthanasia is practiced and light drugs are legalized (such as hashish and marijuana), but the crime rate in this country remains low.
Windmills are one of the landmarks of the Netherlands. So it started from ancient times. Nowadays, windmills diversify and decorate the local landscapes. They also work - they generate electricity.
Amsterdam is a city with a large historical center. It really takes up a large area compared to other European cities. The formation of the historic center of Amsterdam took place mainly in the seventeenth century. This age is called the Golden Age of Holland. At that time, the current appearance of the Dutch capital was largely set - the city center was surrounded by a series of concentric semicircular canals, along which a large number of wonderful mansions and houses found themselves. Most of the houses are residential, and only a few of them serve as offices or public buildings.
Amsterdam is a city that can charm its guests extremely quickly. More than a thousand bridges in Amsterdam give an unforgettable touch to the city, and they are especially beautiful at night, when in the dark you can see a huge number of small lights illuminating these bridges. The atmosphere of the city is created by its cobbled streets, beautiful parks, curved buildings, tree-lined canals and more.
Amsterdam is a city of museums. Indeed, Amsterdam will provide an opportunity for the curious tourist to plunge into the world of history by looking into one or more of the museums available here. You should definitely pay attention to the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt House Museum, Stedelik Museum. Amsterdam has its own world-class symphony orchestra.
In Amsterdam, you can admire the tulips in abundance. Here are their entire plantations, because it's not just that Holland is called the country of tulips. A huge number of different types of these wonderful flowers will open before the eyes of the tourist. The Dutch even arrange a real flower parade, and at the local bazaar everyone can buy tulip bulbs. It will be a real living souvenir brought home from Amsterdam.
The Artis Zoo is the oldest in the Dutch capital. Founded in 1838, the zoo currently contains nearly 1,500 species of animals. Visitors will be able to see giraffes and wolves, lions and leopards, tigers and monkeys, peacocks and penguins and many other animals. Artis Zoo also boasts a miniature savannah. On the territory of the zoo there are zoological and geological museums, as well as a planetarium, a visit to which is included in the price of the main ticket.
The Hague is the second largest city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam. In fact, The Hague is not the second, but the third largest. The Hague is inferior not only to Amsterdam, but also to Rotterdam. The Hague is located in the western part of the Netherlands and is the capital of the province of South Holland. The Hague has been the seat of the Dutch government for a very long time, the queen of the country lives here, and a large number of government buildings are located in the city center. In the center of The Hague, you can see many magnificent squares and parks, luxurious mansions and excellent museums. Many of the mansions located here are the property of embassies and ambassadors of different countries. Three royal palaces give the Hague a unique flavor.
The Hague is a seaside resort. Of course, not the city itself, but the two beach areas available here. One of them is Kaikdayun. This seaside resort is located in the southwest of The Hague. Mostly it is visited only by local residents. The second seaside resort is Scheveningen. It is located in the northwest of The Hague. Scheveningen occupies a larger area than Kaikdayun and is popular in the Benelux countries.
Delft is the most beautiful city in Holland. This city, nestled between The Hague and Rotterdam, is the country's old garrison city. Its beauty has its own history, since it was created during the Renaissance. The streets of Delft are replete with Gothic-style buildings, and the air has absorbed peace and quiet. Leaning lime trees and flower beds add a sense of serenity. The soft beauty of this city was the reason for the delay here of the Dutch artist Vermeer, who spent a considerable part of his life in Delft. Its main attraction is the central market square. Having visited it, the tourist will be able to see the New Church and the Town Hall. An unusually beautiful panorama of Delft opens from the one hundred and nine meter tower. Other attractions in this town include the Royal Armory, the Old Church Museum and the Prinzenhof Royal Court. The latter is currently a museum. Delft's tombstones have preserved a significant part of the history of Holland. In Delft rest Karl Naudorf, William the Silent, the navigator Martin Tromp, Admiral Pete Hein, painter Jan Vermeer and many other outstanding people. The atmosphere of Delft can be felt only by wandering through its streets - every corner of Delft could become a place of inspiration for painters. Hiking around the city can be diversified with canal travel. Water taxis abound here during the summer. A leisurely journey on them on the water will give you many of the most positive impressions.
Delft is a university city. In 1842 a technical university was founded here. Its founder was King William II. Thanks to this renowned university, nowadays there are always a lot of young people in Delft, however, due to the technical specialization of the university, the number of boys far exceeds the number of girls.
Blue-white color is the symbol of Delft. This city is famous for its ceramic products of this color; these products are purchased by tourists as traditional souvenirs in memory of Delft. Those who are especially curious can visit the porcelain factory. In this case, the tourist will be able to see the method of making ceramic products that has come from ancient times, as well as witness hand painting.
Maastricht is a city with a rich history. This city is the capital of the province of Limburg and is located in the south of the country. The historical heritage of Maastricht is indeed great. This is not surprising because the city was founded by the Romans in 50 BC. Currently Maastricht is recognized as the oldest city in Holland. "Wade across the Meuse" - this is how the name of the city is literally translated from Latin. The Maas River divides Maastricht into two parts. The main attractions of the city include the surviving remains of the Van du Moulin defensive line, the most beautiful churches of St. John, Onse live Vrau and Sint Servaskerk, the Maastricht Bridge built at the end of the thirteenth century. The Sint-Petersburg caves are a natural masterpiece. The number of corridors in the vast labyrinth of these caves exceeds twenty thousand. Maastricht is also famous for its extraordinary beauty. A tourist will be able to wander the streets of the city, enjoy the splendor of numerous historical buildings, as well as relax in one of the restaurants or cafes and buy souvenirs in tourist shops. In addition, if you come to Maastricht in February, you will most likely witness the annual carnival held here, which is considered the most famous in the whole of Holland. Its program includes a procession of people dressed up in bright carnival costumes.
Rotterdam is the industrial heart of the Netherlands. It is the second largest city in the country (second only to the capital of the Netherlands - Amsterdam). Rotterdam is located in the province of South Holland. Every year Europort of this city is served by a large number of ships. Moreover, it is rightfully considered the largest port in the world. In addition, Rotterdam is considered the most modern city in the state. Rotterdam has many spacious shopping arcades, modern buildings, etc., which, in general, is not at all typical for other Dutch cities.
Initially, Rotterdam is a small settlement. Its name comes from the Rotte River. The birth of Rotterdam is usually associated with the tenth century. It was then that a small group of Rotterdam residents settled on the banks of the aforementioned river. It took a long time before Rotterdam became an international center for industry, transportation and trade. During the Second World War, the center of Rotterdam was significantly damaged, therefore, immediately after the end of the war, all efforts were focused on its restoration. Currently, tourists come to Rotterdam to see the famous architecture of the city, which is represented by the avant-garde style. Rotterdam's cultural life is extensive. The tourist can visit the many museums available here. The most famous museum is the Boijmann van Beningen art museum. It contains a rich collection of paintings by prominent artists such as Titian, Dali, Rubens and Rembrandt. The Rotterdam International Film Festival is held annually in February.
Utrecht is an old city in the Netherlands. It was founded by the Romans in 47 BC. Utrecht was originally a fortress, but now Utrecht is the fourth largest city in terms of size and is the capital of the Utrecht region. The historical center of the city is represented by a large number of medieval religious buildings, as well as museums. Among the latter, the Central Museum, the Railway Museum, the Museum of the Society of Art and Science, and the Museum of Coins stand out. The Central Museum has included paintings by Dutch artists. The main attraction of Utrecht is the oldest Gothic cathedral in the Netherlands Domkerk. Its peculiarity is the presence of the highest spire in Holland. The special appearance of Utrecht is also associated with the fact that its center is completely permeated with two-tiered canals, which, of course, adds a specific touch to the atmosphere of Utrecht. At the end of summer, a global event takes place in Utrecht. The early music festival takes place here. The music of the Renaissance and Baroque eras fills the buildings of churches. At this time, the world's best performers flock to Utrecht to plunge into the rich cultural life of the city.
Haarlem is a city of flowers. The "City of Flowers" is located some distance from Amsterdam - twenty kilometers from it, in the west of the Netherlands. Haarlem is the capital of the Dutch province of North Holland. Haarlem is located in a very picturesque place. There are beautiful coastal dunes and tulip fields known to the whole world near this city. In addition, Haarlem is an ancient city, so a tourist will be amazed by the abundance of mysterious medieval buildings.The Teyler Museum in Haarlem is the oldest art gallery in Holland.
Keukenhof is the most famous flower park in the Netherlands. The history of its creation begins in the distant fifteenth century. During the period from 1401 to 1436, Countess Jacobe of Bavaria laid out a huge garden here. In this garden, vegetables and a wide variety of greens were grown, which were intended for the count's cuisine. It was this circumstance that was the reason that the park received just such a name, because Keukenhof in translation means a kitchen garden. The park received its modern layout in 1850. It was at this time that a park was laid out on the territory of the garden, a system of lakes and canals was built and beech alleys were planted. The famous park architect Zocher did it according to traditional English customs. As for the modern look, the park got it in 1949, when several flower breeding companies decided to show their products on the territory of this extraordinary park. It is also extraordinary that the Keukenhof Park now attracts up to eight hundred thousand tourists from all over the world during the spring. And this is not surprising, because the area of thirty-two hectares is completely planted with more than six million bulbous flowers, which wonderfully border the numerous reservoirs of the park, delight the eye of visitors on sunny lawns and along shady alleys. Moreover, the Keukenhof park has become the home of the works of twenty-eight famous sculptors of the Netherlands. Sculptures can be seen in the most secluded corners of this park.
One of the specific character traits of the Dutch is politeness. The Dutch are very tolerant of the opinions of others. There are sayings about their politeness. Even in public places, it is customary to greet people present, not to mention business offices.
The Netherlands is an animal protection country. There are indeed many people here who strive to protect the animal world in every possible way. That is why it is recommended not to wear genuine leather products or, for example, natural fur coats.
The Dutch are hospitable. This is almost the main character trait of local residents. It is worth remembering at least the huge windows of the Dutch, which are rarely covered with curtains, even if they go out onto a noisy street. But you should not come to visit without warning. This is not accepted.
The Dutch are economical people. The desire to have as much money as possible is very characteristic of the Dutch. In particular, the passion for excessive economy is characteristic of the inhabitants of the northern part of the country. In Amsterdam, for example, there is no such thing as a "dinner party". If the invitation is made, then, most likely, we are talking about a restaurant or cafe. Moreover, having accepted the invitation, you will also have to visit the restaurant "in Dutch". This means that everyone pays for themselves. "Restaurant traditions" oblige all participants in a common feast to pay only their share in it. Although the abundant table in the Netherlands is not accepted even at parties and festivities. Perhaps, it is precisely because of this prudence and frugality that the Dutch have occupied far from the last place in the international economic arena for a very long period of time. These people know how to make money. It is not customary to dress smartly in Amsterdam. The latter is considered a sign of wastefulness. This is bad form. Moreover, the indigenous Amsterdam people are common people. To achieve anything with your wealth and flaunt it is not supposed to be here.
The Dutch love cleanliness. Often on the streets of Amsterdam, and on the streets of any Dutch city, one can observe a picture of women washing the sidewalk in front of their house with washing powder. The Dutch penchant for cleanliness is a long tradition. Back in the seventeenth century, all travelers who arrived in the Netherlands noted the extraordinary cleanliness of the streets of this country. Every day for the hostess began with cleaning around her house. There is evidence that Monday and Tuesday were spent thoroughly cleaning the floors in the bedrooms and living rooms, Wednesday was spent cleaning the entire house, Friday was devoted to cleaning the cellars and the kitchen. Washing the pavement was compulsory, since the opposite was not even encouraged by justice and was a serious offense.
The Dutch are punctual. That is why any visitor must strictly adhere to the time frame. When inviting or meeting you must be absolutely precise in time.
Fish dishes are the backbone of Dutch cuisine. She presents fish dishes in abundance. This is especially true for herring, which is served peeled and cut. National dishes include smoked eel and smoked herring. Soups are very popular. They must be included in the daily diet. The main dish is often all kinds of stews. Traditional Dutch dishes include: hot asparagus with ham, mashed potatoes with vegetables and slices of stewed pork, mussels cooked in white wine, dumplings with meat. Dessert, as a rule, are sweet cream made from eggs and milk, pancakes with jam (by the way, this is a traditional Sunday meal) or cherry or apple pie. As far as pancakes are concerned, specific "lunch pancakes" are prepared in the Netherlands. They differ from ordinary pancakes in larger sizes. There is an opportunity to have a snack in the Netherlands directly on the street - for example, in the Amsterdam streets there is a rich assortment of seafood and fish dishes. And in the Netherlands, sandwiches are very fond, therefore, in all kinds of snack bars, this product is available in large quantities, albeit at a relatively high price. The national drink of the Dutch is juniper vodka. It is customary to drink it while standing, moreover, in small establishments, which from the inside are made in accordance with the rustic interior.
In the Netherlands, three meals a day are accepted. Not at all. Eat here five times throughout the day. Breakfast is early in the morning. Lunch is in the afternoon. Dinner at about 18.00. in addition, there is a mandatory coffee break between breakfast and lunch, and a mandatory tea break between lunch and dinner. How can this be explained? Most likely, the indigenous peoples' addiction to a variety of sandwiches.
National costume is still worn in the Netherlands. This is not so, although it fell out of use not so long ago - at the beginning of the twentieth century. Residents of several fishing villages, as well as residents of the Marken Island, wear national costumes to this day. Tourists make real pilgrimages to such "ethnographic reserves". Largely due to this, the national costume is preserved in these areas. A dark jacket with narrow sleeves that fits the figure and a dark skirt are the main elements of the women's national costume in the Netherlands. Klompa wooden shoes are recognized as national footwear in this country, which nowadays can sometimes be seen in the countryside, and in cities there are even workshops for their manufacture (in modern Netherlands, a pair of wooden shoes plays the role of a souvenir).