When mentioning The Netherlands or Holland, I can promise that the first images that spring to mind will include windmills, clogs, canals, cheese and bicycles. Having spoken to various Dutch nationals, they have supplied a list of facts they believe most individuals will not know. How Netherlands savvy are you? Let us know in the comments box at the bottom!
Laten we beginnen met The Netherlands!
1. If a levee were to collapse in the area, it would take as little as 48 hours for the majority of Flevoland (a section three times the size of New Yorks Manhattan) to become completely submerged – dislodging over 300,000 people.
2. As agreed by 40 judges from 17 countries undertaking the tasting of 2,500 different cheeses at the US World Cheese Making Contest , Dutch cheese is the best cheese in the world.
3. The official colour of The Netherlands is orange, due to the House of Orange (later to become the Dutch Royal Family) leading the Dutch revolt against Spain.
4. The Netherlands were one of the six founding members of the European Union.
5. Originally called ‘Jenever’, Gin was invented by the Dutch for use in medicinal procedures during the 16th century.
6. There are many differing types of Dutch windmill. The most common ones were used for spices and grains, with others pumping water from lakes and ponds to prevent flooding.
7. A vast majority of the Dutch population speak English as a second language, close to 86%.
8. The Netherlands and Holland have the highest population density in Europe, with 487 inhabitants per square kilometre (as of 2012).
9. Due to the high number and network of certified midwives, around 30% of all Dutch babies are born at home.
10. ‘Klompen’ – known as clogs or wooden shoes – have been popular for more than 700 years. Originally used as industrial footwear for farmers, fishermen, artisans and factory workers among others, to keep feet dry and free from injury.
11. The world-famous tulip fields didn’t initially originate from the country. The first tulip bulbs were originally imported from Turkey.
12. Holland and The Netherlands are not tantamount. Holland is mostly the western coastal region – Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Haarlem, Leiden and the Hague.
13. Besides the Sean Connery 007 adventure ‘Diamonds are Forever’ and the 2014 Anthony Hopkins thriller ‘Kidnapping Mr. Heineken’, The Netherlands have hosted major motion pictures including Oceans Twelve, The Fault In Our Stars, The Human Centipede, Layer Cake and the remake of Nosferatu.
Fancy discovering Holland and The Netherlands rich history for yourself?