Netherland | Amazing

Netherlands Amazing Facts

70 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Netherlands | Amazing Facts 4U 

Land &  Geography
  • In fact Netherlands and Holland are not synonymous. Holland is largely the western coastal region of the Netherlands, comprising of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Haarlem, Leiden and the Hague contributing the most to the Dutch kingdom’s economy and wealth.
  • Netherlands also includes three Caribbean islands : Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. Their citizens are Dutch and can vote in EU elections.
  • The Netherlands borders Belgium and Germany. The population of the Netherlands is estimated to be around 17 million.
  • The capital and largest city in the Netherlands is Amsterdam. Other major cities include Rotterdam and the Hague. Around 20% of the Netherlands is located below sea level.
  • An entire province is made from land reclaimed from the sea: Flevoland became a province in 1986 and is largely made of land reclaimed from the Zuiderzee in the 20th century.
  • The ‘Netherlands’ mean “Low Country” in Dutch. About half of its surface area is less than 1 metre above sea level. Amazingly its highest point Vaalserberg is just 321 metres (1,053 ft) above sea level.
  • The lowest point is in Netherland is Zuidplaspolder 7 metres below sea level. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, where most visitors land, is actually 4 metres below sea level.
  • Amazing fact is that Maeslantkering, a movable storm surge barrier near Rotterdam is twice as long as the Eiffel Tower is tall.
  • Netherlands has more than 4,000 km of navigable canals, rivers and lakes.
  • The village of Giethoorn, in the province of Overijssel, does not have any roads. All transport is done by water over one of the many canals. It is known as the “Venice of the Netherlands”.
  • Amazing fact is that it once had 10,000 windmills.
  • Keukenhof Park is the largest flower garden in the world.
  • Netherlands had the highest percentage of broadband subscriptions in the world, with most of the population connected.
  • There are close to 1,000 museums in Netherlands.
History
  • The Dutch national anthem, Wilhelmus, is the oldest in the world which was written and first used from 1568, althoughofficially adopted in 1932. The national flag of the Netherlands dates from 1572 and is also the oldest tricolour flag.
  • The Dutch were the first Europeans to discover Australia and New Zealand in the 17th century. Australia was then named “New Holland”. New Zealand was named after the province of Zeeland. Tasmania was named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman (1603-1659).
  • Orange-coloured carrots appeared in the Netherlands in the 16th century. Before that carrots were white, yellow, black, purple or red. Orange carrots are said to have been bred in honour of the House of Orange, who led the Dutch Revolt against Spain and later became the Dutch Royal family. Orange is still the official colour of the Netherlands and a sign of patriotism. The Dutch national football team wears a bright orange shirt. And the country’s largest financial institution, the ING Group, makes abundant use of the national colour on its logo and on the decoration of its banks.
  • New York City started as Dutch colony called New Amsterdam. Many places names in New York remind of the Dutch origins of the city, such as Flushing in Queens (famous for Flushing Meadows), named after Flushing in the Dutch province of Zeeland.
  • The island country of Mauritius was named in 1598 in honor of Prince Maurice of Nassau, the Stadtholder (Chief magistrate) of the Netherlands at the time.
  • Although the Portuguese were the first Europeans to “discover” tea in East Asia, it was the Dutch who introduced the beverage commercially to Europe in 1610. Tea didn’t reach England until the 1650’s.
  • Indonesia was a Dutch colony until 1945. Jakarta was then called “Batavia”, after the Latin name for the Netherlands. Dutch language is still spoken by a minority of Indonesians.
Places / Architecture
  • The village of Giethoorn, in the province of Overijssel, does not have any roads. All transport is done by water over one of the many canals. It is known as the “Venice of the Netherlands”.
  • There are 1180 windmills in the Netherlands. Amazingly there are over 1,000 windmills still standing from 1850. These were used to pump away water for hundreds of years.
  • Keukenhof Park is the largest flower garden in the world.
People Customs & Culture
  • In fact Netherlands has the highest population density (500 inhabitants per square km – water excluded) of any European country with over 1 million inhabitants. Worldwide, only Bangladesh and Taiwan, among major countries, have a higher density of population.
  • The Netherlands is a largely secular country: up to 40 % of Dutch say they have no religion, compared to 30 % who are Catholic and 20 % who are Protestant.
  • The Netherlands is the healthiest country in the world for diet: It ranked first in the world, above France and Switzerland, for having the most plentiful, nutritious, healthy and affordable food among major 125 countries.
  • Dutch people are the tallest in the world, with an average height of 184 cm for men and 170 cm for women. Dutch males have grown some 20 cm over the last 200 years compared to just 6 cm that Americans grew due to various environment factors.
  • The Netherlands has the highest English-proficiency in Europe: and the second-highest in the world, after Sweden. Some nine in 10 Dutch people speak English as a second language.  94 percent of Dutch people could speak two languages, well above the EU average of 54 percent. In fact, half of the population also speak German.
  • The Dutch are the most physically active EU population: 52 % of the population participate in sport on a weekly basis, well above the European Union average of 38 %. The Netherlands ranked the highest for recreational non-sports physical activities.
  • More than 40 percent of people in the Netherlands live in the Randstad area, a megalopolis in the central-western part of the country mostly consisting of the four largest cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.
  • Home births are still encouraged in the Netherlands and about 30% babies are born at home which is one of the highest home birth rates in the developed world. In fact, home births are covered by Dutch health insurance while hospital births without medical necessity can be refused.
  • A UNICEF report on child well-being in rich countries ranked the Netherlands as the best country for children to live.
  • The Netherlands is home to more bikes than people: There are around 18 million bikes in the country. Dutch cycle an average distance of 3 km per day and use bicycles for more than 25% of all trips, compared to just 2 % in the UK.
  • Cycling in the Netherlands is the safest in the world. There are 35,000 km of excellent cycle lanes and that bikes get the same respect as cars. Pedestrians are not allowed to walk on cycle lanes. Groningen station has a whopping 10,000 bike spaces.
  • Wooden shoes or clogs or “Klompen” have been popular in the Netherlands for about 700 years as industrial footwear worn by farmers, fishermen, factory workers, artisans and others to protect their feet from injury and keep them dry.
  • Despite the rainy weather, the Dutch use raincoats and rain “suits” instead of umbrellas because the wind is too strong and it is very difficult to hold it and cycle at the same time
  • The main square of every city has its own brightly lit Christmas tree.
  • Dutch people have the lowest incidence of lactose intolerance of any country – only 1%.
  • Netherlands had the highest percentage of broadband subscriptions in the world, with 38% of the population connected.
  • In Netherlands most graves are leased for 10, 15 or 20 years only and not purchased due to the short supply of grave space.
Politics/ Legal
  • The Netherlands has two capitals : Amsterdam (the official capital by constitution since the 19th century) and The Hague (the seat of government and first capital since 1584).
  • It was one of the six founding members of the European Union.
  • Soft drugs (e.g. cannabis, “magic mushrooms”) are legal in the Netherlands. Only licenced “coffee shops” are allowed to sell such drugs, although people are allowed to grow cannabis at home for their personal use.
  • In fact prostitution is legal in the Netherlands. However, prostitutes must be at least 18, and clients must be at least 16.
  • Abortion on demand at any point between conception and viability has been legal since 1981.
  • The Dutch government has legalized same-sex marriages since 2001 and euthanasia since 2002.
  • The Dutch government plans to ban the sales of petrol and diesel-powered cars in 2025 to promote green energy. The government’s goal is to have only electric cars driving on Dutch streets in future.
  • Amazing fact is that Netherlands is closing 8 prisons due to a lack of prisoners!
Economy & Corporates
  • The first multinational company, stocks and stock exchange were Dutch. The Dutch East India Company is recognized as the first truly multinational company and the first to issue stocks in 1602. It established the Amsterdam Stock Exchange the same year, which is considered the oldest ‘modern’ exchange in the world.
  • Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport offers more direct flights than any airport in the world. Schiphol is 100% government-owned and handles around 60 million passengers per year.
  • More than 60 % of the Netherlands is agriculture and horticulture. It is the world’s second largest exporter of fresh vegetables. It is also one of the world’s largest exporter of seeds, live trees, plants, bulbs, roots and cut flowers. Many of the world’s tomatoes, cucumbers and flowers are exported from the Netherlands.
  • The Dutch have been making cheese since 400 AD. It is the largest exporter of cheese in the world with a dairy industry contributing around EUR 7 billion.
  • Tulips were imported from the Ottoman Empire and became very popular in Holland in the early 17th century. Nowadays, the Netherlands is the world’s first producer and exporter of tulips. In fact nine billion bulbs and millions of flowers are grown each year primarily for export.
  • Famous Dutch companies include Philips, Akzo Nobel , Royal Dutch Shell (half-British), Unilever (half-British), Heineken, Aegon, IKEA (formerly Swedish) as well as the banks ING and ABN-AMRO.
  • The KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) is the longest running national airline in the world. It was founded in 1919.
  • Dutch brewery Heineken is the 3rd largest beer brewer in the world with over 140 breweries in over 70 countries. At home , it owns around 50 percent of the Dutch beer market.
  • The Netherlands has long been one of the richest countries in the world. Its GDP per capita was estimated to be the highest in the world in 1820, and the 2nd highest in Europe in 1900 (after Belgium). Nowadays, it still enjoys the 4th highest nominal GDP per capita (or 3rd at PPP) within the European Union.
  • The Netherlands have the highest level of foreign direct investment per capita in the world.
  • Rotterdam, in South Holland, is the largest seaport in Europe. It used to be the largest port in the world by cargo tonnage, until being overtaken by Singapore in the 1990’s, then Shanghai in 2003.
  • The Netherlands has long been one of the richest countries in the world. Its GDP per capita was estimated to be the highest in the world in 1820, and the 2nd highest in Europe in 1900 (after Belgium). Nowadays, it still enjoys the 4th highest nominal GDP per capita within the European Union.
  • The Netherland has the highest level of foreign direct investment per capita in the world.
  • Rotterdam, in South Holland, is the largest seaport in Europe. It used to be the largest port in the world by cargo tonnage, until being overtaken by Singapore in the 1990’s, then Shanghai in 2003.
  • The Netherlands is the world’s second biggest beer exporter ,  one-third going to US markets. It was the world’s biggest exporter of beer until 2010, when it was overtaken by Mexico.
Inventions
  • Gin was invented in the Netherlands under the name of Jenever. It was first sold as a medicine in the late 16th century.
  • Dutch people started the science of microbiology and virology. The first compound microscope was built in the Netherlands in 1590. In the 1670s, Antoine van Leeuwenhoek, called ‘the father of microbiology’ viewed and researched microbes.
  • The telescope, pendulum clock and the mercury thermometer are all 16th or 17th century Dutch inventions.
  • In 1898, Martinus Beijerinck showed that disease could be caused by an agent smaller than bacteria, which he called a virus.
  • The Dutch company ‘Philips’ invented the audio tape (in 1967), the video tape (in 1972), the Compact Disk (in 1982) and the CD-ROM (in 1985).
Famous People
  • The Netherlands has spawned many world-class painters, such as Rembrandt, Jan Vermeer, Jan Steen, Vincent van Gogh etc

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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