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Brief Data
  • Name:
  • Area:
  • Capital:
  • Currency:
  • Population:
  • National Day:
  • Der Nederlanden
  • 41,526 km2
  • Amsterdam
  • Euro
  • 16,408,557
  • 30 April

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Other Facts:
  • Coordinates:
  • Lowest Pt.:
  • Highest Pt.:
  • Median Age:
  • Ethnicity:
  • and
  • 52 30 N, 5 45 E
  • Zuidplaspolder -7 m
  • Vaalserberg 322 m
  • 40 years
  • Dutch 83%
  • Others 17%

The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying and densely populated country. It is popularly known for its traditional windmills, tulips, cheese, clogs (wooden shoes), delftware and gouda pottery, for its bicycles, its dikes and surge barriers, and, on the other hand, traditional values and civil virtues such as its classic social tolerance. An old parliamentary democracy, the country is more recently known for its rather liberal policies toward recreational drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, and euthanasia.


Its name is derived from Amstel dam, indicative of the city's origin: a dam on the river Amstel. Founded as a small fishing village in the 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age, a result of its innovative developments in trade. During this time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded and many new neighbourhoods and suburbs were formed.


The Hague is the actual seat of government, but, somewhat anomalously, not the official capital of the Netherlands, a role set aside by the Dutch constitution for Amsterdam.

The Hague does not have a reputation for a bustling night life, the exception being one week of January each year in which high school students from around the world attend The Hague International Model.


The port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe and was the world's busiest port from 1962 to 2004, until it was overtaken by Shanghai. Rotterdam is situated on the banks of the river Nieuwe Maas ('New Meuse'), one of the channels in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse rivers.


The city's name is derived from its Latin name, Mosa Trajectum (Mosa-crossing), referring to the bridge over the Meuse river built by the Romans during the reign of Augustus Caesar. Nowadays, Maastricht is widely known as a centre of tradition, history and culture, and popular with tourists for recreation.