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what is the netherlands famous for - windmills

What is the Netherlands famous for – Facts about Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country in Northern Europe and it shares borders with Belgium, Germany and the North Sea. Over 16 million people live there and it is known for having one of the highest standards of living in the world. The Netherlands has a democratic government and is the fifth largest economy in Europe. It is also well-known for being the seventeenth most densely populated country in the world with almost 500 people per square kilometre, which means there are about 4,938,721 square kilometers of land.

facts about Netherlands

What is the Netherlands Famous for?

The Netherlands is known for being a flat country and low lying country

The entire country is relatively flat. Fifty percent of the nation lies less than one meter above sea level. and almost a third of the country is below sea level. The Netherlands has 6,300km of inland waterways, ranking fourth in the world after USA, Finland and Germany.  With all that water and low lying land, the iconic Dutch dyke or raised waterproof bank is essential to prevent floods and keep the water out.

The Tulips

The Netherlands is famous for flowers like hydrangea, crocus, Dutch roses and of course Tulips.

Tulips, which are native to Central Asia, were introduced to the Netherlands through the Dutch East India Company because they were looking for new plants and crops. They began importing bulbs from Turkey after realizing that there was a market for them. At first, the tulip prices were low because the flower was relatively unknown, but then the rich started to see them as a status symbol and they began trading them at high prices.

Now the Netherlands produces 80% of the world’s flower bulbs which are sold to other countries, making the Netherlands the largest exporter of tulips which are an important part of the Dutch economy.

Tulip bulbs can be eaten during World War II. Dutch people ate them to combat hunger.

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the vast sea of tulips in Keukenhof

Amsterdam – the capital city

The Netherlands’ capital city is Amsterdam, which is also the most visited city in Europe. The canals in the city center of Amsterdam (Unesco World Heritage site ) are one of the popular tourist attractions and along with its famous museums like the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.

Bicycles

The Netherlands is also known for its bicycles. The country has the highest density of bicycles in the world, about 1 million bikes to 5 million people. Bicycles are a very popular way to get around in this nation where driving cars is expensive. Most Dutch people own at least one bike, many own several because there are so many opportunities to ride them. It’s not a surprise then that the average Dutch person cycles around 2.9 km per day.

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The Dutch have approximately 37,000 kilometers (2,990 kilometers) of biking trails compared with the European average of about 30,000. Bicycling is integral to Dutch day-to-day life.

Coffee Shops

The Netherlands is known for its coffee shops. Despite the reputation, these are not places where you can buy marijuana, however if you want to order a joint with your coffee. the Dutch have got it covered. Coffee shops licensed for marijuana are legal in the country but selling cannabis comes with restrictions. You can only smoke inside them and they must be no larger than a certain size. In most places, you have to make other purchases as well, and they cannot be advertised.

Dutch culture of Tolerance for others

The Netherlands is known for being the first country to legalize same-sex marriage (2001) and recreational cannabis use (1976). However, under Dutch law, prostitution is legal but only within licensed brothels.

The World’s tallest people

Dutch people are also known for being tall. In the Netherlands, the average Dutch men is 184.9 cm tall and about 75 kg but both figures vary by ethnicity. Nationally, 1 in 4 men are at least 182 cm tall while another 5% have a height of at least 183 cm which put them in a category called ‘tall’. For women, the average height is 170 cm and the average weight is about 55 kg. However, 1 in 4 women is about 166 cm tall while another 5% are over 167 cm which puts them into a ‘tall’ category.

Wooden shoes – wooden clogs

The Netherlands is also known for its wooden shoes or clogs. Wooden shoes were once worn by farmers and working people in the country since the 13th century because they were easy to make and maintain. Now, you might wear them on holidays like Queen’s Day (April 30) but most Dutch citizens wouldn’t be caught dead in them. They are rather now just souvenirs for tourists than something to wear. The best place to buy them is from a local artist workshop in Volendam.

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Famous Dutch Painters

The Dutch are also known for their world-famous painters. This includes Vincent van Gogh who is one of the most well-known artists in history and dates back to the late 19th century. In addition, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch painter who created some of the world’s greatest paintings, including The Night Watch and The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.

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Museums

If you are an art lover and enjoy museums and art galleries, you should visit some museums in the Netherlands. First, the Rijksmuseum is a famous destination for people who want to see great works of the  Dutch Masters, including Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer. It was converted from an old church after it closed down in 1808. The building was totally refurbished between 1885 and 1890 to make a museum out of it. Another famous museum is the Van Gogh Museum, which was opened in 1973 to house Vincent van Gogh’s collected works.

Dutch Cheese

More than 80% of the population in the Netherlands are cheese lovers, so it is not surprising that Dutch people eat an average of about 14 kilos per year. Dutch Cheese has become world-famous for its delicious and unique texture. You can find hundreds of cheese shops and restaurants that serve hand made, farmhouse cheeses throughout the country.

The Netherlands produces many types of cheese but Gouda is their most important export thanks to its popularity all over Europe. In fact, there are over 6,000 cheese farms in the Netherlands. Some of the most popular kinds include Boerenkaas (farmers’ cheese), which is unpasteurized and made by farmhouse cheeses with no additives or flavorings; Leyden cheese, which has a spicy taste thanks to cumin seeds in it.  Edam cheese is very popular because it is ideal for sandwiches; All of these cheeses are made from cow’s milk.

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Dutch love and eat cheese – lots of cheese

Dutch Beer

The Netherlands is also known for delicious beer that many people enjoy drinking in local bars. It has gained a lot of popularity due to the explosion of craft beers around the world. Dutch brewers are popular because they create great tasting beers using traditional methods. and they are the world’s leading exporter of beer.

Try all kinds of local beer as well as the range of Dutch exports including Heineken, Grolsch, Amstel and Bavaria.

“Dutch Courage”

The term Dutch Courage comes from the English soldiers in the Anglo-Dutch wars in 17th century. It is said that some English soldiers used Dutch gin (Jenver) to help calm them before battles.

Windmills

The Netherlands is known for its windmills. They are iconic Dutch landmarks and they have been used to convert wind energy to industrial power since the 1100s. The first windmill was built in 1150 even though they did not become popular until about 200 years later. Now you can see them all over the Netherlands and they are one of the main attractions of the Dutch countryside. There there are still about 1,500 windmills still in use today.

what is the netherlands famous for - windmills

Same-Sex Marriage

The Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriages, in 2001. The law states that any two people who are over the age of 18 can get married even if they are the same gender. They were also one of the first countries to allow women to vote, in 1917.

Amsterdam Stock Exchange

Amsterdam Stock Exchange the oldest stock exchange in the world, it has been open since 1602.

Is it the Netherlands or Holland?

The country is officially known as the Netherlands. Holland is only two provinces of Netherlands, North and South Holland (provinces not states), which were historically important so they became well known for their economical power. Hence they were used as the name of the country nickname. Only in 2020 did The Dutch Government decide to officially discourage the name “Holland” as a name of the Netherlands.

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Facts about Netherlands

The population of the Netherlands

The population in the Netherlands is 16.8 million people, with a population density of 456 people per square kilometer (1,168/square mile). Making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

68% of the Dutch population lives in urban areas and 32% live in rural areas. The Netherlands has 19 provinces that are divided into water management areas. In the Netherlands, about 2,800 people die each year in traffic accidents. The country is very well-developed when it comes to technology with 96% of homes having internet access in 2017, one of the highest rates in the world. The Dutch are also well-educated with over 90% of the population having completed an upper secondary education and 51% of adults holding a what

Official language

The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, but almost all Dutch people speak English. In fact, being bilingual is very common among Dutch teenagers and young adults.

Dutch language includes lots of words from French, German and English. It is said that Dutch closely resembles German , since it belongs to the same language family as German.

In the Netherlands, there are about 80,000 people who speak Frisian which is another  Indo-European Germanic language, so it is closely related to Dutch. The language has two varieties West Frisian and North Frisian.

Dutch flag

The Dutch flag is red, white and blue. The colours have different meanings. Red stands for the courage to fight for independence. White stands for peace and the purity of intentions. Blue stands for loyalty, truth, justice, and sincerity.

Orange – the National color of the Netherlands

The National color of the Netherlands is orange. It is used by many national teams representing the country in sporting events such as football. The color represents national pride and freedom.

The Orange color is the color of the Dutch Royal Family since King William III (William of Orange) -the Prince of the House of Orange-Nassau and also King of England, Scotland and Ireland and is the founding father of the Netherlands and Dutch independence

Dutch people celebrate King’s Day by wearing orange and flying the Dutch flag.

In the 17th century Dutch farmers cultivated orange carrots in honour of William of Orange. with time the white and yellow carrots disappeared.

Dutch Golden Age

The Dutch Golden Age is a period of political and economic growth in the 17th century. The focus of this event was on art, science, military technology, shipping, trade, and industry which led to an age of prosperity. There was also immigration into the Netherlands that brought many skilled workers. The Dutch Golden Century also saw the flowering of the arts in the form of theatre, music, painting and other visual arts because freedom of expression became more widespread.

The Netherlands vs The Kingdom of the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country in Northern Europe and it shares borders with Belgium, Germany and the North Sea. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a sovereign state that consists of 4 countries: Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, the Netherlands.

Monarchy in the Netherlands

the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy. The current throne was founded in 1815. The monarch is the head of state and it has limited powers.

King Willem-Alexander became the monarch on 30 April 2013. He succeeded his mother Queen Beatrix who abdicated after a 33-year reign. He is the first king after the Netherlands after 120 years of Queens ruling the Dutch Country.

Interesting facts about King Willem-Alexander is that he is an avid pilot and flights for the KLM as the co-pilot.

Netherlands highest point

The Netherlands highest point is Vaalserberg which is about 322 meters above sea level.

Mount Scenery (8,711ft and located on the Caribbean island of Saba) is the highest point in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The mountain exists due to two tectonic plates crashing into each other under Earth’s surface which cause earthquakes. The North American Plate meets with the Eurasian Plate which leads to Vaalserberg

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Ania James

photographer, traveller, mother of twin girls, wife, worldschooler, rulebreaker

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