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Welkom bij het Nederlandportaal!

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Location of the Netherlands within Europe

The Netherlands is one of four constituent countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch, located in northwestern Europe. It borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east.
Since 2010, the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius have become part of the country of the Netherlands, whereas Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten are considered separate countries within the Kingdom, however only the Kingdom functions internationally as a sovereign state.

Although the Netherlands is often referred to as Holland, this use is strictly incorrect, as Holland is a region in the central-western part of the Netherlands, consisting of only two of the country's twelve provinces. The country's constitutional capital is Amsterdam, but the seat of government is in The Hague. The Hague also locates most international embassies, as well as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

The Netherlands is a very densely populated and geographically one of the most low-lying countries in the world (its name literally means "Low lands") that is popularly famous for, among other things, its dikes and canals, windmills, wooden shoes, tulips, bicycles and social tolerance. Its liberal policies, for instance regarding drugs, homosexuality or prostitution receive international attention.
As of 2014 the country ranks fourth in the world on the United Nations Human Development Index, or third on the inequality-adjusted H.D.I.. The Netherlands also ranked as the fourth happiest country in the world in the U.N.'s 2013 World Happiness Report, reflecting its high quality of life.

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The museum building in 2013
Museum de Oude Wolden is a regional museum in the village of Bellingwolde in the Netherlands. The museum focuses on art and history of the regions of Oldambt and Westerwolde. It opened on 10 August 1973. In the first decades, it primarily exhibited historical objects documenting everyday life. In the late 1990s, the museum started to exhibit artworks of artist collective De Ploeg and magic realist painter Lodewijk Bruckman. Since 2012, it has a permanent display of paintings by Bruckman and temporary exhibitions.

The municipality of Bellingwedde employs the museum staff and provides most of the museum's budget. Since 2003, the museum had around 1,800 to 3,200 visitors per year. With 1,798 visitors in 2012, when the museum was partially closed for renovation, it is one of the lesser-visited museums in Groningen.

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Credit: Massimo Catarinella

The Keizersgracht and the Reguliersgracht are canals in Amsterdam. In 2010, the 17th-century canals of Amsterdam were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Rembrandt
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (July 15, 1606 – October 4, 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period that historians call the Dutch Golden Age.

Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, his later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardship. Yet his drawings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high and for twenty years he taught nearly every important Dutch painter. Rembrandt's greatest creative triumphs are exemplified especially in his portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible. The self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity.

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