Netherlands has a coast in the North Sea that is 280 kilometers long. Many islands can be found along the coast. Offshore stretches vast sandy areas that reach as far as the state, where levels, wetlands and sandy lands can be found. The Dutch fought for many centuries at sea, to prevent flooding and to regain land covered with water. The region in the southwestern state is a more mountainous area, which includes round and soft hills. The mild climate is affected by proximity to the sea. Winter is not very cold, and there is little snow.
Politics and Population:
Netherlands is a constitutional parliamentary democratic monarchy. The head of state is the king, who appoints the presidents of both houses of parliament and the state council, a body that advises the government on various issues. The state constitution was signed in 1815, and last amended in 1983. The Netherlands is divided into 12 provinces. The country is a member of the European Union. More than 83 percent of the residents live in cities, and the population density in the Netherlands is the highest in Europe. Apart from the Dutch, the country lives in Paris (a minority German-speaking minority) and half a million foreigners (many of them Muslim immigrants). About fifty percent of the Dutch are Christians.
Economy and Transport:
Netherlands was and remains a trade and sea state. She has to rely almost entirely on imports to satisfy her need for raw materials. Therefore, the economy is focused on exports, and is characterized by processing industries such as food and consumer goods industries. Manufacturing of machinery, appliances and petrochemicals completes the picture. Agriculture is very productive, export-oriented, and is characterized by crops of vegetables, flowers and cattle. Dutch milk and cheese products are known throughout the world. More than 70 percent of the workforce is active in the service sector, mainly in the tourism industry. The road network in the country is excellent. The Port of Rotterdam is the busiest port in the world.
The area in which Holland is today is divided in the ninth century between France and Lorraine. In the tenth century, several smaller countries emerged such as the counties of Holland and Zealand. From the 15th to the mid-17th centuries, the Netherlands was under the rule of the Habsburg Empire from Austria and the Spanish. In 1648, after an 80-year war of independence, the state was liberated. The 17th century is considered the “golden age” of the Dutch: the small merchant state became a leading naval power, and established a colonial empire in America and East Asia. At that time Belgium and the Netherlands were united under Dutch rule, but in 1830 Belgium declared independence, and disengaged from the Netherlands. In 1848 their own constitution was amended in such a way that the Netherlands became a constitutional parliamentary democratic monarchy. By that time, the Netherlands had already lost power, after the British, Portuguese and French took control of its overseas estates. The Netherlands remained with few territories in America and Indonesia’s archipelago, remaining under Dutch control until the 20th century. During World War I, the Netherlands was neutral. During World War II, the Germans violated Holland’s neutrality and conquered the country with great force. In the second half of the 20th century, the Netherlands was a driving force behind the idea of European Union. The eternal Dutch works of art were published around the world thanks to artists such as Rubens, Rembrandt, Van Dyke, Jordans, Hals, Vermeer, and in the 19th century Van Gogh. Other symbols of Dutch culture are the windmills, clogs and tulip fields.
Netherlands is full off urban and nature spots as well, it’s a perfect place for a group trips.