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Netherlands

A brief history of Netherlands

The Netherlands is country that is located in Northwestern Europe and constitutes the major part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It sits along the border of the North Sea with Belgium to the South and Germany to the East. The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam and The Hague is the seat government. Most of the time the Netherlands is called Holland. The people, language, and anything that pertains to the Netherlands is often referred to as Dutch. The Netherlands is a very densely populated and is mostly known for its windmills, tulips, clogs, delftware and Gouda cheese, and much more. Most of the Netherlands land is below sea level. In fact there aren't many countries with as much as land below sea level as the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has vibrant colors, a ton of land, a lot of water, and wind that makes it so beautiful. There are 1,180 windmills, 5,046km of water ways, and everyone that resides in the Netherlands is very tall. The Netherlands always has some kind of entertainment and fun going on even though it is small in size, the events, attractions and activities are always big. There are exciting exhibits and beautiful cycling routes to explore. The Netherlands is known to have the most invigorating flower shows and great hotel accommodations.

In the Netherlands the official language is known as Dutch which is what is spoken by most of the people that reside in the country, with the exception of immigrants. Another official language for the Netherlands is Frisian which is spoken by the people residing in the northern part of Friesland. Learning foreign languages in the Netherlands is very common, in fact 70% of the people know English, 55-59% of the people know German, and 19% know French. The Netherlands is not a very religious country, with only 39% of the people being religiously affiliated which 31% of those people are under the age of 35 and only 20% of them actually attend church. The largest religion in the Netherlands is the Roman Catholic which occupies the religious home of about 26.3% of the Dutch people.

The nature in the Netherlands is a big part of the country, they have 20 national parks and hundreds of other nature reserves. Almost all of the nature reserves are owned by Staatsbosbeheer and Natuurmonumenten and they include lakes, heathland, woods, dunes, and many other habitats. The Netherlands ranks at 12th out of 157 countries for having one of the most free market capitalist economies in the world according to the Index of Economic Freedom.


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Ross Castle in Ireland

Historic Netherlands

The Netherlands has a very interesting historic background with great monuments and castles to prove it. It is said the castles in the Netherlands is the most impressive with more than 300 of them. Most of the castles, country estates and ruins are open for the public to tour. Some of them are still decorated with the style from centuries ago which makes the experience even more interesting. They include things such as objects, paintings, and works of art that will take visitors back to the days that are long gone. Some of the castles are the Duivenvoorde Castle, Castle Loevestein, Groeneveld Castle, Muiderslot, Castle Amerongen, and many others.

The Mills in The Netherlands are from hundreds of years ago and they had about 10,000 operational mills. These mills did a lot of work such as ground grain, sawed timber and controlled water level since it was a low lying country. Due to the modern technology in the machinery, more and more mills were disappearing and were not needed anymore. A large number of the mills were destroyed in fires, heavy thunderstorms, and acts of war but fortunately there are still about 1,100 mills that are still standing. Some of the mills that are still available for tourists are The mills at kinderdijk, The Zaanse Schans, The stilling mills of Scheidam, Flour Mill De Leeuw, The post mills of Heusden, and The Schermer Museum Mill.

The Netherlands also has Unesco World Heritage monuments which are buildings or areas of land that are considered an outstanding value which qualify them for the Unesco World Heritage List. Some of these speacial areas and buildings consist of The Beemster Polder, The defense line of Amsterdam, The mills at Kinderdijk, Rietveld Schroderhuis, Schokland, and D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station.

The Netherlands also has beautiful Gardens & Parks to explore and enjoy the amazing scenery. The gardens have colorful flower events that happen all throughout the Netherlands at any time of the year. The Spring and Summer months are said to be the best times to go to see the flower parks along with the flower parks and the colorful bulb fields. Some of the parks and gardens available to see are Ada Hofman's Botanical Pond Garden, The Gardens of Appletern, Arboretum Notoarestoen, Arboretum Oudenbosch, Beemster Arboretum, Jan Boomkamp Gardens, and many more.


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Northern Ireland

Things to do in The Netherlands

One of the best things about the Netherlands is the attractions for the families and children that come to visit. It is known as "a land where children are in charge." There are many things for the children to enjoy such as Madurodam which is a Mini Holland, Noordwijk Space Expo which is a place to discover outer space, Aeolus which is a technical centre for young and old, Fun Forest, Duinrell which is a water park, Efteling which is a fairy tale park, Linnaeushof which is the largest playground in Europe, and there are many more places to have a great time as well.

The Netherlands also has plenty of places to come face to face with many different animals from all over the world. There are many great zoos to visit and interact with all different kinds of species. Some of the zoos are Apenheul, Artis, Burgers' Bush and Safari, Amersfoort Zoo, Rotterdam Zoo, Wissel Zoo, Dolfinarium, Zoo Emmen, and Sea Aquarium Bergen aan Zee. These are great for families with all different ages as well as being very educational and exciting.

The Netherlands has different exhibitions for the families to enjoy. These exhibitions are of all different types and can accommodate even the liitle children with the Sesame Street in Madurodam. Then there is the Wildebeest exhibit that is very fascinating for everyone to experience. The Vodou exhibit is of magic dolls, human bones and freaky characters which tells a little bit about slavery and how it originated from different African religions that is also mixed with different elements. Then there is the Van  Gogh and the colors of the night which holds many interesting paintings from Van Gogh and tells about Van Gogh and how he became a painter.

The Coast in the Netherlands is a beautiful place to be while on vacation. There are more than 40 seaside resorts that are along the Dutch Coast. There are many water activities besides just swimming such as kitesurfing, catamaran sailing, or offshore fishing. Some of the highlights of the Coast are the many monuments and attractions that sit along the Dutch Coast other than just the sun, sea, and sand. Some of the best beaches in the Netherlands are Callantsoog, Oostvoorne, Retranchement, Scheveningen, Schoorl, and many others.