There are a number of fascinating facts that are uniquely Dutch, that make the Netherlands one of the most interesting countries in the world. Let’s take a look at 8 of these interesting facts.
#1 The country’s location
One of the unique facts about the Netherlands is that it’s located on two continents, with 12 of its provinces located in the northwestern Europe, and three of its islands located in Latin America.
#2 Population of the Netherlands
The Netherlands is currently the most densely populated country in Europe, with about 487 people found per every square kilometer. This means that this country leads other European countries in terms of population density by more than 1 million people.
#3 Migration habits of the population of the Netherlands
In spite of the Netherlands being among the strongest economies in Europe, a large number of Dutch residents migrate to other countries every year in search for a better life, with most of them immigrating to Canada, Australia, the United States of America, South Africa and Brazil.
#4 The Dutch are the tallest people in the world
Scientists have discovered that the Dutch people are actually the tallest people in the world, with men averaging aheight of about 1.84 meters, whereas females average a height of about 1.70 meters. This has been attributed to a number of factors such as the Dutch DNA, welfare as well as nutrition. There has also been speculation that their height is a result of their abundant consumption of dairy products.
#5 More than 50 per cent of Netherlands is less than a meter above sea level
It’s an amazing thing that the Netherlands is not located in a tsunami prone area of the world because it would have presented quite a challenge for this populous nation which has over 50 per cent of its land mass less than a meter above sea level. At least a quarter of the country is actually below sea level and protected from sea waters by sand dunes and dykes.
#6 The City of Amsterdam is built entirely on poles
Most of the soil in the City of Amsterdam consists of clay as well as thick layers of fen therefore making construction quite tricky. As a solution, wooden poles are fixed at an average depth of at least 11 meters into the ground and buildings constructed atop these poles.
#7 Tulips are not originally Dutch
The Tulip festival by the Dutch has grown to become one of the largest and most celebrated flower festivals in the world. However, it’s interesting to note that Tulips are actually not originally Dutch. They were originally imported from Turkey and seemed to thrive best in the Dutch soils and have since become a symbol of Dutch culture and economic prosperity.
We hope that you enjoyed these fascinating facts and that they will make you much more interested to visit this beautiful country and get to experience them first hand
One of the best ways to know what to expect from your travels especially when visiting a new country is learning as much as possible about its capital city. A country’s capital is usually it’s center of power, culture, and the best representation of what the country and the people stand for.
This article is about the Dutch capital, Amsterdam and seeks to share tips on everything you need to know about this city prior to your visit.
Amsterdam is not the center of Government
One of the first things you must know about the City of Amsterdam is that unlike many other capital cities, it’s actually not the Dutch center of Government, that would be The Hague. Amsterdam on its part is not only the capital of Netherlands but also a center of the vibrantDutch cultural heritage which are synonymous with its artistic heritage, medieval architecture and its renowned canal system, which are legacies of the Dutch Golden Age during the 17th century. This is the best city to visit in the Netherlands if you are looking to learn and experience more about the history and cultural heritage of the Dutch people.
Amsterdam is the Dutch economic capital
Amsterdam is not only the commercial capital of the Netherlands, but also among the top financial centers in Europe. The city is home to the oldest stock exchange in the world, and the fifth largest sea port in Europe. This city has been ranked highly by many independent experts. Some include the rank as the second best city to live in in 2012 by the Economist Intelligence Unit, ranked third in innovation by the Australian Innovation Agency in 2009, and ranked 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer. Much of this journey to economic success began way back in the 17th century during what is commonly referred to as the Dutch Golden Age.
The climate of Amsterdam
The City of Amsterdam mostly has an oceanic climate which is mainly influenced by the city’s proximity to the North Sea which is located to the west of the city and responsible for the prevailing westerly winds. Generally, Amsterdam does not experience extreme weather therefore you can schedule your visit almost any time of the year. However, the best time to visit is between mid-April and mid-October when the weather is believed to be at its finest. The tourist season however is known to peak in between July and August. If you prefer travelling off season, Amsterdam is still a good bet because it remains lively and attractive throughout because of its friendly climate.
All in all, Amsterdam is a highly multicultural city, in fact, one of the world’s most multicultural cities with a representation from at least 177 nationalities from across the globe. This ranks this city among the best travel destinations in the world.
In order to appreciate the true achievements of the modern day Kingdom of Netherlands in terms of its vibrant and rich socioeconomic and vibrant cultural position not only in Europe but globally, one has to understand and appreciate the journey the Dutch people have travelled throughout the centuries past.
We take a look at historical facts that have shaped the Kingdom of Netherlands and contributed to its current socioeconomic and rich cultural heritage.
The strong system of governance
The Monarchy was introduced in Netherlands in 1815 and has been in existence for over three centuries. During this period, the Dutch have had a smooth transition of authority from one monarch to the next and this level of political stability has contributed to the socioeconomic stability of this great Kingdom as well as the building of a great cultural heritage that the Dutch are proud of. The monarchy is enshrined in the country’s constitution and clearly spells out the process of transition from one monarch to the next. There also exists a government which is the executive source of legislation, and it oversees all local decisions, activities, and international relations. In as much as it’s a monarchy, there is an element of democracy as there exists a Parliament consisting of a 75-member council with the right to vote on, approve or reject government decisions.
The strong sense of nationhood
Over the centuries, the Dutch people have won and lost many battles but what’s significant is that the people of Netherlands always emerged stronger and united thanks to their strong sense of nationhood. From the 5th century when they were able to expel the Roman Empire from their land, to the 18th century when they expelled the Frenchand finally in the 20th century when Netherlands was under the occupation of the Germans after World War II, the Dutch have been able to rebuild their society both socially and economically. In spite of being surrounded by stronger economies and influences such as Spain, Germany, Belgium and France, and even falling into the control of some of these nations,the rich Dutch cultural heritage has never been swallowed or diluted. The Orange culture is uniquely Dutch and this speaks to the people’s strong sense of nationhood.
The Dutch today are a proud nation with a strong economy and a rich cultural heritage that is admired throughout Europe. It’s believed that this is partly the reason why The Hague which is the third largest city in the Netherlands is home to some of the world’s most important judicial bodies such as the ICC, the ICJ and the ICTR, and is the fourth major center of the United Nations. The Hague also hosts numerous academic institutions that specialize in the fields of international law, international relations and international development.
If you are a traveler looking to experience a land with a vibrant history and cultural heritage, then a visit to the Netherlands is definitely one you will relish as this land is home to some of the world’s renowned cultural events, as well as famous historical, natural and archaeological sites.
Let’s take a look at 3 Dutch historical and cultural attractions that stand out.
#1 The Tulip festival
The Tulip is undoubtedly the most important flower in Dutch history and a symbol of the country’s rich culture and economic prosperity. The Tulip festival draws its history back in the 16th century when Tulips became a very popular flower in the Netherlands and the center of the Dutch Golden Age. This festival has now become a tourist sensation and an epitome of Dutch culture worldwide as it is commemorated annually in every country that has a Dutch presence.
2 The Historical Dutch Castles
Netherlands is home to over 700 castles most of which were in use in the Middle Ages and have now been converted into archaeological sites and tourist attractions. The most famous castle is the Castle Durweth which is one of the oldest Dutch castles that dates back to the 12thcentury. This castle is renowned for its beautiful architecture, pristine and tranquil surrounding, as well as its strategic positioning on the banks of the Rhine river, which contributes to its picturesquescenery. Other notable castles are the castle of Amerongen and the Weldem Castle.
3 The Hollandic waterline
The Hollandic water line was a series of water-based defenses that were conceived and built in the 17th century and further improvements made over the centuries. This water line essentially transformed Holland into an island thereby offering good cover against ground invaders. The Dutch successfully used these defenses to win a number of important battles in their history. Today, many of the forts that were built along the water line throughout the centuries are still intact and provide an interesting tourist attraction to both local and international tourists. You can opt to take a bike ride or a hike along the water line as you learn more about the history and appreciate the medieval architecture of the various forts.
There are of course plenty more attractions that the Netherlands has to offer but we believe the above options should be at the top of your itinerary as they will give you an opportunity to fully appreciate the Dutch history and rich cultural heritage.
So, the Netherlands government recently decided to join other European countries like France and Belgium to impose a ban on trading in binary options. Question is what does this ban mean for Dutch investors?
For starters, let’s demystify binary options. According to Wikipedia, a binary option is essentially a financial option in which the payoff is either some fixed monetary amount or nothing at all. It’s considered by some as an exciting form of investment because an investor gets to know up front what they stand to gain or lose, whichever direction their investment goes. For other’s however, this is considered as a form of gambling because binary options promise huge payouts to investors, and in most cases, they seldom bear fruit.
Let’s look at a few implications of the binary options ban for Dutch investors.
Reduction in investing in risky ventures
There are a significant number of investors who believe that the higher the risk, the higher the reward. However, all throughout history, investors have lost big when they have put their money on many of these high risk ventures that are mostly unregulated. Binary options are a perfect example. Because most of the platforms that provide trading in binary options are online, it’s virtually impossible to regulate this industry therefore making it difficult for national financial regulators to protect local investors. The move by Dutch financial regulators to impose a ban on binary options will go a long way in reducing the practice of investing in risky ventures by Dutch investors.
The ban will put a serious dent on the industry
It’s estimated that the daily volume of trading in forex and binary options globally is about $5.3 billion. This indicates that this is a big industry that has attracted millions of investors globally, with Dutch investors contributing a significant number. The ban on trading in binary options that seems to be the trend in Europe is definitely going to dent this industry as investors will start exercising more caution on ventures where they put their money.
It’s however worth noting that a complete ban on binary options is literally impossible owing to the nature of the industry therefore, the nature of the bans being imposed are meant to deter potential investors from engaging in them as well raising awareness about their risks.
If you have an appreciation for geography, history and culture, then you will appreciate this bit of background information about the topography of the Netherlands, which is one of the contributing factors to this country’s unique landscape.The Netherlands is considered to have an unusual topography owing to the fact that much of its land is below sea level. This is because a huge chunk of the country’s 41.5k square kilometers was reclaimed from the sea and is protected by dikes for obvious reasons.
This country has three natural geographical divisions which include sand dunes, lowlands and highlands each with unique features that contribute to its topography. Let’s take a look at the3 distinct features that make up the Dutch topography.
#1 The coastal dunes
The coastal dunes are an important part of the Dutch topography because it’s what protects the Netherlands from the sea waters. These dunes that are made up of sand,rise between 4.5m to 7.5m and they protect the inland from flooding as a result of storms in the North Sea.
#2 The low and flat lands
The low and flat lands in the north and west of Netherlands make up about half of the country’s surface area and is made up of land that has been reclaimed from the sea. Most of this land is below sea level with the highest point being less than one meter above sea level. Most of this land is utilized for urban settlements and agricultural production.
#3 The Southern highlands
The only part of Netherlands that is above sea level is the southern highlands of the country where the highest point rises to about 322 meters above sea level. This region is characterized by fertile soils, which support crop production.
In spite of this unusual topography, the Netherlands is highly urbanized and is among the world’s most densely populated countries, currently ranked at position 30.