世界旅游
Universal Travel Corporation
Your Exotic Tour Specialists
Home » Destinations » Country
LOCATION MAP
 
INTRODUCING THE NETHERLANDS
Local Name: Nederland
Other Name(s): Holland, Nederlân, Hulanda
The Netherlands is a small parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy in the west of Europe, between the North Sea, Belgium and Germany, and is known for much more than cheese, windmills, wooden shoes and tulips.

Its recorded history starts with the Roman invasion halfway through the first century AD, but it had its heyday in the 17th century when it disputed hegemony of the Seven Seas with the English and the Spanish empires.

In February of 1953, a huge storm caused the collapse of several dikes, and almost 2,000 drowned in the resulting tidal surges. So began the Delta Project, a project that included a huge series of outer sea-dikes, and inner canal and river dikes built to protect this fragile land from disastrous flooding brought on by the constant pressures applied to it by the North Sea.

Today nearly 50% of the land here remains just above sea level. The massive and costly Delta Project and other engineering marvels have to date prevented the North Sea from doing any significant (additional) damage. However, climate change and rising waters could prove daunting to the Netherlands in the future. Always waging war against rising water, there's an old Dutch saying, "God created the earth, but the Dutch created the Netherlands".

In the 1960s and 1970s, social changes in drug policies, environmental issues, euthanasia, religion, same-sex marriages and women's rights propelled the country into a mecca of liberal ideology. The country was a founding member of NATO. It also proudly joined the European Union (EU), and adopted the Euro in 1999.

Though most historic town centres in the Netherlands date back to the Dark Ages, most building was done in the era of oversea expansion and in the 19th century when the industrial revolution started. In Amsterdam, Leiden or Utrecht you can see the big 17th century mansions once owned by the commanders of the Dutch fleet and those of the rich merchants who financed the wars with their overseas gains.