Spring by Kathryn White

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Netherlands: Overview

When we think of the Netherlands, images of windmills and wooden shoes conjure up in our minds, however, it is so much more. Many people refer to the Netherlands as Holland but that is not accurate. Holland is only the western region, consisting of the Netherlands' three largest cities:
The capital city of Amsterdam, The Hague, the seat of the government, and Rotterdam, which boasts Europe's largest port.

Map of the Netherlands:

Fun Facts:

"The Netherlands" and "Holland" are often used to describe the same country.
One quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level.
With only 0.008 % of the world's area, the Netherlands is the world's third largest agricultural exporter after the USA and France.
People in Holland eat raw herring with onions on top.
The Netherlands' favourite sweet is a salty liquorice sweet called "drop".
On average, the Dutch are the tallest people in Europe.
Although Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, the government meets in The Hague.
There are twice as many bikes as cars in the Netherlands.
In an area of the Netherlands called Friesland, there are as many cows as people.
The Netherlands was one of the European Union's founding nations.
There are 206 paintings by Vincent Van Gogh in Amsterdam.
The Netherlands' highest point is 321 metres above sea level, and is officially called a "mountain"!
The Netherlands has one of the highest population density in the world. This means that there are more people living per square kilometre of land than anywhere else - over 400 people per sq km.
Most Dutch people speak at least one foreign language - usually English.
One in every three Dutch people belongs to a sports club.
Rotterdam is the world's largest port.
Almost all Dutch people can swim and skate.
Many Dutch people spread chocolate on their bread for breakfast.
Amsterdam has 1,281 bridges.
Dutch people take their own bags to the supermarket to pack their groceries in.
The above facts were found at this wonderful site where you can read more facts about the

Some books that I found useful:

The Netherlands consists of 12 provinces, one of which is Friesland.

I will be making reference to the towns and villages in this part of the Netherlands:

This is just one of the many scenes I plan to share over the next few posts.
(Dokkum... the town where my mother was born)

Stay tuned...