Welcome to Netherlands
Tradition and innovation intertwine here: masterpieces, windmills, tulips and candlelit coffees coexist with innovative architecture, modern design and phenomenal nightlife.
Art and Architecture
The legacies of Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Frans Hals, Hieronymus Bosch, Piet Mondrian and MC Escher hang from the walls of Holland’s world-famous museums as well as contemporary Dutch works. more than millennia, from magnificent Romanesque and medieval Goths to Dutch Renaissance creations, revolutionaries, houses of the Golden Age and engineering endeavors including canals, neoclassicism, Berlage and the Amsterdam School, functionalism, modernism, structuralism, neorationalism, postmodernism and neomodernism, with pioneering structures that make their mark on urban landscapes.
Geography plays a key role in Holland’s iconic landscapes. More than half of the country with pancakes is below sea level, and 20% have been recovered from the sea, making ubiquitous rows of polders (land drained). Uninterrupted winds from the North Sea have wind turbines since the 13th century, pumping water over the dikes and grinding flour and more. About two-thirds of the surface is devoted to agriculture, including tulip fields.
The flat and fabulously scenic landscapes make cycling in the Netherlands a pleasure (obstacles do not hold up). Cycling is an integral part of life and locals live on their (bike) fiets: more than a quarter of all trips across the country are cycling, rising to more than a third in large cities. wind in your hair cycling is a breeze. Bicycle rental points are ubiquitous, and the country is crossed by some 32,000 kilometers of bicycle paths, including the Dutch motorways of cycling, LF long-distance routes. Take some wheels and start exploring.
When the Dutch say coffee, they refer to a pub, and there are thousands of them. In a country that values socializing and talking more than drinking, cafes are places of contemplation and camaraderie. Many cafes have outdoor terraces, which are glorious in the summer and sometimes covered and heated in the winter. Most serve food, from snacks to fabulous meals. The most atmospheric is a brown coffee, named for the nicotine stains of past centuries – the best place to experience the Dutch state of gezelligheid (conviviality, coziness).
almost half have already been flooded, Holland
is one of the most densely populated, urbanized nations on the planet, with a
huge variety of crowded places to visit in a relatively small area. A notable
country – no more than the size of the American state of Maryland – is a largely man-made subject,
about half of which is at or below sea level. Its fertile, pancake-filled
landscape is filled with ditches and drainage canals, under huge open skies,
while the country’s towns and villages are often untouchable and unchanged
places of triangular homes, beautiful canals and church pinnacles. Despite the
small size of the country, each city is often a deeply secluded place with its
own identity – in fact, there may be no other place in the world where you can
hear so many different accents, even dialects, in such a small area. In spring
and summer, the bulbfields provide strong splashes of color, and in the west
and north the long coastline is marked by miles and miles of protective dunes,
retreating into broad stretches of perfect beach.
A great colonial power, the Dutch merchant fleet once challenged the British for world naval supremacy, and throughout its seventeenth-century Golden Age the standard of living was unmatched. There have been some economic ups and downs since then, but today Holland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest population density in Europe. It is also an international and well-integrated place: most people speak English, at least in the densely populated west of the country; and most of the country is easy to reach on a public transit system for trains and buses, whose efficiency can make British and American visitors cry in envy.
Dutch governments have turned to political consensus – indeed, this has been
the trend since the Reformation, when the competing pillars of Dutch society
have learned to live – or ignore – one another, aided by the fact that
commercial wealth was enriching the most people. Almost by accident, Dutch
society has become tolerant and, in its enthusiasm to lessen conflict,
progressive. Many experts nowadays say that the motive behind liberal Dutch
attitudes towards drug use and prostitution is not so much tolerance as apathy
- and even that is under threat, with an official restriction on Amsterdam’s coffeeshop
culture. In addition, the country’s declared multiculturalism has been really
tested in recent years with the gunfights of Theo van Gogh and the politician
Pim Fortuyn persuading many to re-evaluate the success of the consensual policy
of the Netherlands.
Towing your bike on cobblestones, passing through a line of triangular houses
reflected in a soft channel like mirror …
Holland is as you imagined. In the Golden
Age of the Netherlands
in the seventeenth century, Dutch merchants established a global economy – and
financed a culturally rich society in their homeland. Tiny Holland can have the largest concentration of
great artists in the world and exhibits their work in several world-class
museums. Be sure to venture beyond Amsterdam
- take advantage of the efficient train network that puts almost all Dutch
destinations on an easy day trip. Rent a bike and stroll through the flat
landscape. Wherever you wander, look back through its placid exterior, where
you will find a complex blend of modern technology, upstanding traditions,
unique landscapes, outrageous architecture and wise, global-minded people.