In a constant battle with the sea to save its land, the Netherlands (through the Dutch East and West India Companies) once ruled a vast worldwide empire of trade. Today's prosperity comes from flowers, electronics, oil and agricultural industries.
Location:- Western Europe, bordering the north sea, between Belgium and Germany.
Latitude/Longitude:- 52° 30'North, 5° 45'East.
Land Area:- 33,920 sq km (13,097 sq miles).
(water: 7,643 sq km)
Coastline:- 451 Km
Landforms:- The land is flat, averaging only 37' above sea level.
Much of the land below sea level is reclaimed and protected by 1,500 miles of dikes.
There are some hills in the southeast.
Elevation extremes:-lowest point; Prins Alexanderpolder -7 meter
-Highest point; Vaalserberg 321 meter
Climate:- temperate marine conditions with cool summers and mild winters.
Capital:- Amsterdam (The Hague is the seat of government).
Population:- +/- 17,003 (2013 )
Languages:- Dutch (official) although Fries is spoken in Friesland and a local dialect is used in the
Government type:- Constitutional monarchy.
Executive branch:- Chief of state: King "Willem Alexander"(since 30 april-2013);
Land Divisions:- 12 provinces (Groningen, Friesland, Drente, Overijsel, Gelderland, Flevoland, Utrecht,
North-Holland, south-Holland, Zeeland, North-Brabant, Limburg).
??? Holland or The Netherlands???
Some times, people ask : "Is your country's actual name, The Netherlands or Holland"?
I know, there is often confusion about Holland.
Some people call the Netherlands, holland, but it is not the same.
Holland is only a small part of the Netherlands and like the Dakotas, and Virginias, there are two Hollands.
"North-Holland" and "South-holland".
Holland used to be an independent country.
It had a "count", its own coinage, its own measuring units and time-butit gave up that independence in the 16th century, when it allied with the Nothern and Southern Netherlands against the armies of the King of Spain whom at the time was officially the "count of Holland" and ruled over this whole area.
The main reasons for war were religious differences, disputes over taxes and the fact that when some cities wanted to break free, the King's army was quite brutal to civilians.
Eventually the Southern Netherlands gave up the fight and stayed occupied by foreign forces until 1830.
that area is now called Belgium.
The Northern Netherlands fought on and won.
Then, along with the counties of Holland, drente, Groningen, friesland, gelderland, Zeeland, and Utrecht
it became a free republic, including the occupied regions of Brabant and Limburg.
All these counties ( called provinces today, together with some new ones) are now called
"The Kingdom of the Netherlands".
Today the province of Limburg still has a governor and to say to someone from limburg
or friesland that he or she is from Holland, is considered an asult.
They are not!!
They consider themselves to be from the Netherlands.
They even have their own language.
People from other provinces ( exept North and south Holland) will perhaps not consider it a real insult, but still they are not from holland.
In summary, Holland gave up it's independence a very long time ago, so calling the Netherlands "Holland",
is like calling Great Britain"Scotland" or "Wales"!!!!
Just to let you know!!
If you plan to visit my country , check the following pages for
information about hotels, musea, etc.
Hotels: search on city or hotel name!
Amsterdam light festival 2014/15 from Jack Fisher on Vimeo.