The Netherlands is a small, but very rich and developed country in Western Europe. The streets of the major cities impress with their striking diversity and cosmopolitan. Here live people from all religions, races and from all over the world. Netherlands (or Holland) can boasts that it is the most liberal country in the world.
Geography. The Netherlands is located in the western parts of mainland Europe. It occupies an area of 41,528 sq.km.
To the east and south-east it bordered with Germany and to the south – southwest bordered with Belgium. The country is located between 50 and 53° north latitude and between 3 and 7° east longitude. To the north and to the west Netherlands has a wide outlet to the North Sea.
Relief. The Netherlands is the country in the world with the lowest altitude. Approximately one third of the country‘s territory is below the sea level.
The name itself – the Netherlands – means low land. The country leads a constant fight with the involving waters of the North Sea.
Through a chain of dams and canals, Holland managed to maintain its territory from the dangerous of floods that can affect some of its most fertile lands.
The highest point of the Netherlands is Vaalserberg hill, which rises to 323 m altitude in the southern parts of the country, where the Netherlands meets Belgium and Germany. The coastline of the country is not very indented.
Climate. The Netherlands has a temperate oceanic climate. The summers are cool and the winters are mild.
There are exceptions of course, when the temperatures in the summer are much higher than usual. The same applies for the winter.
Although the proximity to the North Sea prevent the invading of too cold air masses, sometimes the temperatures can become very low and freeze some rivers, lakes and canals, and the country is covered by thick snow.
Sometimes the people say that Britain has arrogated to undeserved the fame as the darkest and cloudiest European country and that “title” on the right belongs to the Netherlands.
Almost two thirds of the year the sky is covered with lead, gray clouds that often fall very heavy rainfalls. Usually the daily temperature in January is around 4°C.
The warmest weather is in the second half of July and first half of August. After the short, cool summer, the autumn begins in September with a rapid decrease in the temperature.
The autumn begins with temperatures of around 17 – 18°C in September and ends with a temperature of about 5°C in December.
December, January and February are the coldest months. During this period the thermometers rarely show more than 4 – 5°C.
In March, the spring quickly remind about its coming. In the first half of March the temperatures already reach 10°C.
The spring ends around the first half of June with temperature about 20°C. The spring is much more pleasant in comparison with the autumn, not only because it is sunnier, but also because the sky is not constantly covered with gray clouds.
The rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, though most rainy month in the Netherlands is August. Driest are the spring months March and April.
Nature. The Netherlands has beautiful scenery. Outside the cities alternate farmland and forests. The Netherlands is known for its vast variety of flowers that grow well in the local wet and cool climate.
In the southern part of the country is located the delta of one of the largest and deepest European rivers – the Rhine.
Economy. The Netherlands has a highly developed economy. It is a member of the European Union and the Euro-zone. It is one of the so called privileged countries.
This is a group of countries in Europe, which have very small area and are not rich in resources, but have very highly developed economies because of the proximity of the giants in the global economy – Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain.
Huge role in the economy of the Netherlands plays the Rotterdam’s port, which for many years was among the largest in the world.
Netherlands is the largest producer of flower bulbs in the world, and we have to mention the tulips, which are emblematic for the country. The tourism is also important for this country.
Every year here arrive more than 10 million tourists. The finances and the banking occupy a large share of the economy. The livestock-breeding is highly developed.
Holland relies on meat – dairy farming. This means that the animals are not just looking for meat, but also for milk, from which is produced the famous Dutch cheese. Much of the agricultural production is exported.
Population. The Netherlands has a population of almost 17 million inhabitants. The population is get in years, but the huge influx of workers compensated for that fact.
The country is highly urbanized. Much of the population lives in urban areas, because the agriculture is highly mechanized and harvesting machines are mainly used.
The largest proportion of population professing Christianity (Catholics and Protestants). The second most popular religion is the Islam.
– Amsterdam. This is the largest city in the Netherlands and the capital of the country. ‘That modern Western metropolis is home to nearly 2.2 million residents, many of them foreigners.
The city is very green and all is pierced by dozens of channels, such as Venice and St. Petersburg. The old part of the town is impressive. Here is located the “red-light district”.
The city is known as one of the places with the most liberated lifestyle. This is one of the hottest spots in the country, which attracts millions of tourists annually.
– Rotterdam. Much smaller than Amsterdam, Rotterdam is home to 1.6 million inhabitants. As ethnic composition, however, the local population is not less cosmopolitan.
Rotterdam is popular with its port, which is among the largest in the world. Port is complemented by modern skyscrapers. Rotterdam is situated in the delta of the river Rhine.
This is the main reason because of which the place is very suitable for port with such proportions.
– The Hague. The Hague is the second capital of the Netherlands (the country has two capitals). Unlike Amsterdam, this city has only administrative functions.
The population of The Hague is almost one million inhabitants. Here is the seat of the parliament, as well as most of the embassies. Here lives the royal family of the Netherlands.
The Hague is located in the southwest of the country between Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
These three cities because of their geographical proximity form together large megalopolis of more than 5 million inhabitants.
Tourist attractions. One of the biggest attractions of the country are the windmills that you can find anywhere in the province. With the leaving of the cities, you get amidst the most accurate picture of the Netherlands.
Huge areas are covered with tulips. This is something that can not be seen everywhere. If you travel across the north, you will surprise how many channels cross the country in different directions.
Their purpose is to drain the country, much of which is below sea level. The Netherlands can impress everybody with its exceptional beaches. The sand is golden and very tender.
Many resorts worldwide import sand from here to improve the quality of their beach strips.
Ironically, however, the weather very rarely can tempt you to enter the sea, because the water is quite cool even in July and August.
When to visit the Netherlands? Interestingly, when you visit this country, it will enchant you with its beauty. The summers are not too hot and winters are not too cold.
At any time of year however, you have to wear some warm clothes, as here even in summer sometimes becomes quite cool.
In fact, when you visit the Netherlands, the chances to encounter a good weather are not very large.
Some features of the Netherlands.
• The Netherlands is considered to be one of the most democratic countries all around the world.
• Marriages between same-sex couples are perfectly legal and properly adopted by this society. Many countries subsequently follow its example.
• The Netherlands has legalized some soft drugs. It is assumed that this will decrease the drug using among the local population.
• The prostitution in this country is a legitimate business. Thus the informal economy is removed to the light and introduce tax money in the coffers of Holland.
• The Netherlands is one of the foundation members of the European Union.