Portal:Netherlands

Welcome to the Netherlands Portal!
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.

Selected article

An Amsterdammertje
An Amsterdammertje is the typical red-brown steel bollard that is used to separate the sidewalk from the street in Amsterdam. Amsterdammertje means literally 'little one from Amsterdam' in Dutch. The bollards have the three Saint Andrew's Crosses from the coat of arms of Amsterdam.

Around 1800, more and more individual people in Amsterdam started to use bollards to protect the sidewalk in front of their houses. These bollards were made of metal (of old cannons), stone, or wood. In the late 19th century the first cast iron bollards were made. From 1915 onwards there was a standard bollard of 70 kg cast iron with three Saint Andrew's Crosses from the coat of arms of Amsterdam. This bollard already looked like the modern Amsterdammertje, although, amongst other differences, it was thinner and heavier.

Selected picture

The bend in the Herengracht, Amsterdam
Credit: Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde, 1685

The bend in the Herengracht, Amsterdam, by Dutch artist Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde, depicts life in the Dutch Golden Age, a highly prosperous period of Dutch history. The period lasted roughly the whole of the seventeenth century and saw Dutch trade, science, and art being among the most acclaimed in the world.

Selected biography

Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben is a Dutch footballer who currently plays as a winger for Bayern Munich. He is also a part of the Netherlands national football team and has appeared in the UEFA Euro 2004, the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2008.

Robben was named F.C. Groningen's team player of the year during the Eredivisie 2000-01 season and the Netherlands' Young Player of the Year during his time at PSV Eindhoven. He was also the FA Premier League Player of the Month during the month of November 2005 at Chelsea F.C..

Born in the town of Bedum in the province of Groningen, the Netherlands, Robben took to football from an early age. He began playing with local club VV Bedum. Robben became an adherent of the Coerver Method, created and popularised by Dutch football coach Wiel Coerver. Robben's skill in ball control and technical footwork made him a valuable player, and he was quickly signed by local club F.C. Groningen.

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