The Netherlands is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Dutch: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden), which is formed by the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, located in northwestern Europe. It borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east.
Amsterdam is the capital city (hoofdstad), and The Hague (Dutch: Den Haag or 's-Gravenhage) is the Netherlands' seat of government (regeringszetel), the home of the monarch (residentie), and the location of most foreign embassies.
The Netherlands is a densely populated and geographically low-lying country (its name literally means "low countries" or "low lands") and is popularly known for its windmills, clogs (wooden shoes), dikes, tulips, bicycles, and social tolerance. Its liberal policies receive international attention, such as those concerning drugs, prostitution, same-sex marriage, abortion and euthanasia. The country is host to the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
The Netherlands is the 15th most densely populated country in the world, with 395 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,023 sq mi)—or 484 people per square kilometre (1,254/sq mi) if only the land area is counted, since 18.4% is water. Partly because of this it is also one of the most densely cabled countries in the world. Internet penetration is at 66.2% the 7th highest in the world.
The 5 largest cities are, in order of population: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague (Den Haag), Utrecht, Eindhoven.
Eindhoven is the only of these cities that is not located in the Randstad.
In the Dutch Golden Age, literature flowered as well, with Joost van den Vondel and P. C. Hooft as the two most famous writers. In the 19th century, Multatuli wrote about the bad treatment of the natives in Dutch colonies. Important 20th century authors include Harry Mulisch, Jan Wolkers, Simon Vestdijk, Cees Nooteboom, Gerard van het Reve and Willem Frederik Hermans. Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl was published after she died in the Holocaust and translated from Dutch to all major languages.
Efteling is a famous amusement park in the Netherlands.
The official language is Dutch, which is spoken by practically all inhabitants. Another official language is Frisian, which is spoken in the northern province of Friesland and has a strong resemblance to Dutch, German and especially English.
30% of the population consider themselves to be Roman Catholic, 20% Protestant (predominantly Dutch Reformed) and 8% 'other denominations'. 42% consider themselves unaffiliated. Church attendance however is much lower than these figures may suggest: some 70% of the population 'rarely or never' visit a house of worship (be it a church, mosque, synagogue or temple), and even then it is mostly for occasions like weddings and baptisms. Most Protestants live in the northern provinces while the southern provinces, Noord-Brabant and Limburg, are mainly Roman Catholic, along with some regions in the east of the country like Twente in Overijssel.
THE NETHERLANDS ATTRACTIONS: Anne Frank House, Museums of Amsterdam, De Wallen, Red Light District of Amsterdam, SAIL Amsterdam.
NETHERLANDS National Animal : Lion
NETHERLANDS National Flower : Tulip Tulipa
Netherlands National Name : Kingdom of the Netherlands
Netherlands Area : Approx. 37,354n Sq Km (14,422 Sq. Mi), 0.03% of total
Netherlands Population : 16,609,743 in 2010 (0.24% in total)
Ethnicity in Netherlands : Dutch 83%, other 17% (9% of non-Western origin, mainly Turks, Moroccans, Antilleans, Surinamese, and Indonesians) (1999 est.)
Netherlands Languages : Dutch (official language), Frisian (official language).
Religions in Netherlands: Roman Catholic 31%, Dutch Reformed 13%, Calvinist 7%, Islam 6%, none 41% (2002)
Currency : Euro ,EUR
Time Zone :
UTC-04 (AST) - Aruba and Netherlands Antilles
UTC+01 (CET) - main territory of the Netherlands