ABOUT Netherlands

Country Briefs: Known for its traditional images of canals and interminably flat lands, windmills, dykes, bicycles, wooden shoes and tulips, Netherlands is a unique place to be. Netherlands is located in the northwestern Europe and it borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south and Germany to the east.

As the name suggests, Netherlands is a low-lying country that spreads in an area of 41,526 square kilometers. With an estimated population of 16, 341, 925, Netherlands is also one of the densely populated countries of the world.

Apart from scenic splendor and other attractions, Netherlands is also incredibly popular for its capital city, Amsterdam. Amsterdam is the largest city of the region and is breathtakingly beautiful with some timeless attractions such as its museums. Due to this Amsterdam is not just a hot vacation destination but also a perfect shooting site for films.

Netherlands has an extensive history to its name. Reflecting over the past of Netherlands we find that around 1st century BC the Roman forces had captured the area. The prosperous Roman rule remained for 250 years after which Germans invaded the country. Around 800 Charlemagne came to power after which the Scandinavian Vikings conquered the region. The Vikings raided many areas and built many towns.

During the Middle Ages Netherlands, like other Low Countries belonged to the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century these countries combined under the Habsburg rule. In 1555 the Habsburg ruler Charles granted the control of Spain and Netherlands to his son Philip II. Philip II turned out to be an atrocious ruler and so his atrocities instigated the Dutch to wage a war of independence.

In the years that followed there was a Protestant church movement in Netherlands. In 1566 the country witnessed anti-catholic riots. Philip sent Spanish troops and this produced a revolt that was led by prince of Orange.

In 1579 the Union of Utrecht, an alliance of all northern and southern territories, was formed. Those provinces that combined with this union were to become Netherlands while the rest were to form Belgium. In 1581 the Union of Utrecht proclaimed independence and after a series of struggle in 1648 Spain recognized the sovereignty of the Dutch Republic.

By middle of the 17th century Netherlands with its capital Amsterdam became a commercial, maritime and financial hub of Europe. During 1650s and 1660s the country was an arena to two Anglo-Dutch Wars.

In 1810 after a conflict between conservatives and those who desired democratic reforms, Napoleon I incorporated the Low Countries into the French Empire. The Kingdom of Netherlands was restored after the fall of Napoleon. The new territory of what is Belgium now was clubbed to it. But soon after, the Belgians revolted and established their independence in 1830.

During the 19th century the Netherlands? government was liberalized. The country witnessed a horde of social reforms and the administration of the colonies was reformed. During the Second World War the Germans invaded Netherlands and it suffered immense loss of life and property.

However after the war Netherlands prospered and progressed to a great extent. Netherlands was one of the 12 founding members of the NATO.

Netherlands Provinces
Province HASC FIPS Conv NUTS Population Area(km.²) Area(mi.²) Capital
Drenthe NL.DR NL01 D. NL13 461,000 2,655 1,025 Assen
Flevoland NL.FL NL16 Fle. NL23 281,000 1,412 545 Lelystad
Friesland NL.FR NL02 F. NL12 615,000 3,359 1,297 Leeuwarden
Gelderland NL.GE NL03 Gld. NL22 1,887,000 5,015 1,936 Arnhem
Groningen NL.GR NL04 Gr. NL11 558,000 2,346 906 Groningen
Limburg NL.LI NL05 L. NL42 1,137,000 2,169 838 Maastricht
Noord-Brabant NL.NB NL06 NB. NL41 2,307,000 4,943 1,908 's-Hertogenbosch
Noord-Holland NL.NH NL07 NH. NL32 2,475,000 2,663 1,028 Haarlem
Overijssel NL.OV NL15 O. NL21 1,058,000 3,340 1,289 Zwolle
Utrecht NL.UT NL09 U. NL31 1,081,000 1,363 526 Utrecht
Zeeland NL.ZE NL10 Z. NL34 369,000 1,793 692 Middelburg
Zuid-Holland NL.ZH NL11 ZH. NL33 3,346,000 2,877 1,111 The Hague
12 provinces 15,575,000 33,935 13,101  
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes. If periods are replaced by hyphens, these are the same as the province codes from ISO standard 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Conv: Conventional abbreviations used in the Netherlands.
  • NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics. Note: by taking the first three characters of the NUTS codes, the provinces can be grouped into four regions: NL1 Noord-Nederland, NL2 Oost-Nederland, NL3 West-Nederland, and NL4 Zuid-Nederland.
  • Population: 1997 estimate.
  • Area: Land area.
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