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Most Interesting Facts about Netherlands

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facts about netherlands

From its canals and windmills, to the tulip flower and now even its nightlife, the Netherlands has more reasons than one for people to explore it.

Interesting Facts:

1. The city of Amsterdam was actually built upon swampy land, so, most buildings are standing on top of 12 metres long wooden poles which were first placed on the sand for support.

2. A journal called eLife had been tracking the heights in 187 countries and revealed that Dutch men are the tallest men in the world! Well, I sure look up to them (pun intended). ?

3. Unlike most European countries, this one accounts for 20% home births.

4. It was the first country in the world to legalize same sex marriage! Go, Netherlands! They permitted this back in the year 2001 itself, thus, turning a new leaf with the turn of the millennium.

same sex marriage
Source: https://www.businessinsider.in/politics/the-25-countries-around-the-world-where-same-sex-marriage-is-legal/articleshow/61707572.cms

5. It is the most bike friendly country in the EU along with Denmark. In fact, the country has more bicycles than people! There are more than 18 million bikes approximately. The country has actually been credited as one of the safest places to ride bicylcles with its 35,000kms long stretch of cycle lanes, 10,000 bike spaces and firm following of regulations even for cyclists.

6. Hello, party animal friends of mine. You may want to head to De Drie Gezusters to let your hair down, after all it is THE biggest pub in all of Europe.

De Drie Gezusters
Source: https://www.entreemagazine.nl/nieuws/branchenieuws/nieuwe-eigenaar-drie-gezusters-groningen28867

7. They have the oldest national anthem in the world, the Wilhelmus which has been around since the 16th century and refers to “Dieste Bloed” or “Nederlands”.

8. The country had seen a three generations long female reign since 1890. So, King Willem-Alexander was actually the first king in over 123 years!

9. You know licorice? The sprinkles that adorn your cupcakes and other deserts. They are locally called “drop” and the country consumes approximately 32 million kilos annually! Sweet tooth? Yes, please!

10. The first Monday of every month sees, or rather hears, an alarm go off for about 1 and a half minutes sharp at noon. The monthly siren is simply to test whether its functioning.

11. While Christmas maybe celebrated worldwide, the Dutch sections of the world also celebrate Sinterklaas on December 5th in honour of St. Nicholas. But the celebration also meets criticism because as per ancient practice Sinterklaas’s helpers known as the Zwarte Pieten or Black Pete were black people. So, even in the celebration carried out today those enacting the helpers’ roles paint their faces black, wear wigs and dress up in a manner that many deem to be racist. The festival thus sees a lot of protests too.

Zwarte Pieten
Source: https://www.dw.com/en/dutch-zwarte-piet-reignites-blackface-debate/a-51232646

12. The Schipol Airport is actually 4 metres below sea level. What?! Yep, in 1852 the Harrlemmer Lake was drained and that is where the airport was constructed. Before you get any concerns about this airport you should also know that it has been recorded to operate the highest number of direct flights. Sure, sounds safe then eh? In fact, the province of Flevoland has also been built upon land reclaimed from the Zuiderzee sea!

13. Who likes some family fun? Well, this country sure does where a 4 days long event called the Avondvierdaagse is conducted annually. The event basically involves kids walking with either their parents or teacher. The objective is to be the first to reach and the distance can be between 10-15 kilometres. The real objective though lies in the “gezelligheid” which is Dutch for cosiness or fun, thus, the idea really is to partake in a fun filled activity with your child even as you promote a good exercise! But caution has been advised as the competitiveness can cause injuries too at times, unfortunately.

Avondvierdaagse
Source: http://casteluzzo.com/2017/06/07/the-march-of-death-aka-avondvierdaagse/

14. Speaking of healthy things, the country also ranked as number 1 for having the most plentiful, nutritious and yet affordable food amongst 125 countries, as per an Oxfam report.

15. In fact, the country wants to go green and the government has proposed to ban the sale of petrol- or diesel-powered cars from 2025. And thus, pushed for a switch to electrical cars instead!

16. I suggest you walk around as well seeing as Amsterdam alone has some 1,231 bridges connecting about 165 canals. The country also has over 1,000 windmills which have been standing since the 1850s.

canals in amsterdam
https://www.thecrazytourist.com/25-best-things-netherlands/

17. When you visualize carrots what colour do you imagine them to be in? Orange, right? That’s where our minds immediately go. This is thanks to the fariming and breeding of Dutch farmers back in the 17th century when carrots could also be found in pale yellow to purple shades. Now that I cannot picture! But this was actually done as a mark of respect or tribute to William the III of England who helped the Dutch gain independence from Spain and was then known as William the Orange.

18. The country has also contributed to the world of art. Having given us artists such as Van Gogh, Vermeer and Rembrandt to modern day names such as MC Escher and the creators of Miffy.

19. In 2019, the country was ranked as the 5th happiest in the world! The city of Houten also came to be ranked as one of the safest around the globe.

20. 80% of the world’s flower buds actually come from Netherlands and it is also the biggest exporter of tulips but tulips are not actually native to Nethelands. No wonder it has such magnificent gardens.

Trip Leader Niyati’s Recommendations:

1. And on that note, love yourself some flowers? Well, you may want to pay a visit to Keukenhof – Garden of Europe – which is one of the world’s largest flower gardens. With the number of flowers, the sheer riot of colours and the wind mills in the backdrop, this garden will make your heart sing.

Keukenhof
Source: https://www.bedandbreakfast.eu/blog/spring-in-holland-keukenhof-tulip-fields/, Shutterstock

 

2. Visit Zanse Schans if the windmills leave you wondering. Zanse Schans is a chance to walk around a Dutch village where craftsmen worked, where the 17th and 18th century influences are still alive.

Zanse Schans
Source: https://www.thecrazytourist.com/25-best-things-netherlands/, Shutterstock

 

3. If history excites you then make way to Rikjmuseum for a date with art, culture and history at this museum which has collected artefacts and antiques from the 1800s. It’s a chance to learn more about the country you are visiting.

Rikjmuseum
Source: https://www.antennainternational.com/case-studies/how-the-rijksmuseum-app-and-beacon-network-enhanced-its-visitor-experience/

4. In fact, speaking of museums there is also the museum of Anne Frank. Anne Frank a Dutch-German girl of Jewish origin. She is one of the most widely known victims of the Holocaust as a result of her diary which was published posthumously called “The Diary of a Young Girl”. The museum is actually the building where she spent the last two months of her life and penned the diary that has been recognized as one of the most important books in the world.

5. For exploring some wildlife the Hoge Veluwe National Park is your pick.

6. The village of Marken is a slice of Dutch heaven. It is an ancient village adorably preserved in traditional ways with its distinctive style of housing. You can also visit the nearby Ijsselmeer Lake. The historic Valkenburg in the beautiful Geul Valley offers a taste of history as you tread along the canals and the pretty little town.

marken
Source: https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/going-dutch-on-a-day-trip-from-amsterdam

7. Wooden houses and clogs in a fishing village, all making for one pretty picture, that is Volendam and that is a day trip that you will want to take. Take strolls, gaze and just merrily make the most of your vacation.

Volendam
Source: https://www.thecrazytourist.com/25-best-things-netherlands/

8. In Amsterdam, indulge in the Heineken experience that the city is known for! Head to the Dam Square during the day. And live up to a crazy night because this city promises you a gala time.

Read about Day Trips from Amsterdam in detail here!

We annually have trips to Amsterdam, if you’d like to have some of these experiences you could join us someday!

How to Reach:

When you fly down to Netherlands from India, you will have a layover in either France, Istanbul, UK or Germany.

For Visa:

https://wordpress-825601-2838871.cloudwaysapps.com/visa-netherlands/

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