God created the world, but the Dutch created the Netherlands
God created the world, but the Dutch created the Netherlands Reviews
Sep 14, 2007
The Netherlands is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, and Aruba. The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, located in Western Europe. It is bordered by the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east.
The Netherlands is often called Holland. This is technically incorrect, as North and South Holland in the western Netherlands are only two of the country's twelve provinces.
The Netherlands is divided into twelve administrative regions, called provinces :
Friesland - north; capital and largest city Leeuwarden
Groningen - north east; capital and largest city Groningen
Drenthe - south of Groningen; capital and largest city (proper) Assen
Overijssel - east central, south of Drenthe; capital Zwolle, largest city Enschede
Flevoland - central, north of Utrecht; capital Lelystad, largest city Almere
Gelderland - east central, south of Overijssel; capital Arnhem, largest city Nijmegen
Utrecht - central; capital and largest city Utrecht
North Holland - (Noord-Holland) north west; capital Haarlem, largest city (of the province and the country) Amsterdam
South Holland - (Zuid-Holland) west central, south of North Holland; capital The Hague ('s-Gravenhage or Den Haag), largest city Rotterdam
Zeeland - south west; capital and largest city (proper) Middelburg
North Brabant - (Noord-Brabant) south central; capital 's-Hertogenbosch (or Den Bosch), largest city Eindhoven
Limburg - south east; capital and largest city Maastricht.
The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying and densely populated country. It is popularly known for its windmills, cheese, clogs (wooden shoes), delftware and gouda pottery, dikes, tulips, bicycles, and social tolerance. A liberal democracy, the country is also well-known for its liberal policies toward drugs, prostitution, gay rights, abortion, and euthanasia.
Along with Belgium and Luxembourg, the Netherlands is one of three member nations of the Benelux economic union.
A remarkable aspect of the Netherlands is the flatness. Hilly landscapes can be found only in the central part, the south-eastern tip of the country and where the glaciers pushed up several hilly ridges such as the Hondsrug in Drenthe, the stuwwallen near Nijmegen, Salland, Twente and the Utrechtse Heuvelrug.
Below sea level
About half of its surface area is less than 1 metre (3.3 ft) above sea level, and much of it is actually below sea level. An extensive range of dikes and dunes protects these areas from flooding. Numerous massive pumping stations keep the ground water level in check. The highest point, the Vaalserberg, in the south-eastern most point of the country, is 322.7 metres (1,059 ft) above sea level. The Vaalserberg is a foothill of the Ardennes mountains. A substantial part of the Netherlands, for example, all of the province of Flevoland (largely consists of the largest man-made island in the world) and large parts of Holland, have been reclaimed from the sea. These areas are known as polders. This not only explains why The Netherlands is called "A land won from the sea" but has also led to the famous Dutch saying "God created the world, but the Dutch created the Netherlands".
The country is divided into two main parts by three rivers Rhine (Rijn), Waal, and Meuse (Maas). These rivers not only function as a natural barrier, but also as a cultural divide, as is evident in the different dialects spoken north and south of these "Large Rivers" (de Grote Rivieren).The south-western part of the Netherlands is actually one river delta of these rivers and two arms of the Scheldt (Westerschelde & Oosterschelde).
Now you see, you should definately visit The Netherlands ! It is an amazing, warm, beautifull country !
Part of the The Netherlands travel blog
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