17 Interesting Facts About The Netherlands

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1. Holland and Netherlands are not the same. Holland is an area of 2 provinces, namely North Holland and South Holland, in the Netherlands. - Source

2. In Dutch, the 'Netherlands' means "Low Country" and it is a low country: 26% of the Netherlands’ area is below sea level. Schiphol Airport, where most foreign visitors first land in, is three meters below sea level. - Source

3. Tulip is considered national symbol (flower) of the Netherlands with over 1,500 varieties, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the world's tulips. Tulip, however, is not native to the Netherlands: it was imported from Turkey in the 16th century. During 'Tulip Mania' in the 1630s, the price of a single tulip bulb had been raised as much as a house before the economy collapsed, leaving huge crisis afterward. - Source

4. The national color is orange, taken from the House of Orange, who led the Dutch revolt against Spain and then became the Dutch royal family. The King of the Netherlands now is King Willem-Alexander ascended the throne in April 2013. He is the first Dutch king in 123 years, following three queens. - Source

5. The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage in 2001. - Source

6. Prostitution is also legal in the Netherlands. However, prostitutes must not be younger than 18, and clients must not be under 16. - Source

7. Keukenhof, which means "Kitchen garden” in Dutch, also known as the Garden of Europe, is one of the largest flower gardens in the world. About 7 million flower bulbs are grown annually in the park, covering an area of 32 hectares. - Source

8. The Netherlands’ anthem, Wilhelmus, is the world’s oldest anthem with both the music and lyrics dated from the 16th century. - Source

9. The windmill is also an unofficial national symbol of the Netherlands. Together with a complicated system of draining, the windmills help keep the low land dry for habitation and cultivation. The windmills built the country – without them, Holland (the lowest but most important part of the Netherlands) would be very different today. - Source

10. The term “Go Dutch” is a joke about the practice of splitting bill when dating in Netherlands. The Dutch have two reasons for that. First is gender equality. The Dutch appreciate the gender equality very much, and they think males and females should play an equal role in a relationship. Secondly, the Dutch have a notable reputation for their thrift. However, to be clear, many visitors to the Netherlands do not think the Dutch are scrimpy at all. - Source

11. The traditional Dutch toilet has the hole situated toward the edge of the seat for 2 reasons: (1) the observation deck allows you to inspect your “deposits” for health reasons, and (2) it uses less water, which matches the Dutch style as they always care about energy efficient ideas - Source

12. The Dutch are the biggest eater of licorice in the world. 32 million kilos of licorice are consumed in the Netherlands every year. - Source

13. Bikes outnumber people in the Netherlands. There are more than 18 million bikes while there are about 17 million people. A Dutch person cycles 2.5 km a day on average, and the Netherlands has about 15,000km of bike lane with high priority for the cyclers. - Source

14. The Dutch discovered both Australia and New Zealand. They named Australia “New Holland” after the province of Holland and named New Zealand after the province of Zeeland. - Source

15. In the Netherlands, the average height of men is 184 cm, and that of women is 170 cm, making Dutch the tallest people in the world. Some believe it results from both DNA and dairy. - Source

16. A Dutch person drinks 74 liters of beer per year on average. And according to The Brewers of Europe, the Netherlands exports approximately 50% of its beer production, which is a bigger proportion than that one of any other country in the world. - Source

17. Clogs or "Klompen" are Dutch wooden shoes which have been used in the Netherlands as industrial footwear for factory workers, farmers, fishermen, artisans, etc. to protect their feet. - Source


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