"WELCOME TO MY THE NETHERLANDS PAGE......:-)" Netherlands by eden_teuling
Netherlands Travel Guide: 31,857 reviews and 86,668 photos
A FEW QUOTES FIRST:
"Wolf Solent" - John Cowper Powys.
We have been a KINGDOM for centuries and for the 4th time we have a Queen, not a King.
When King Willem 3rd died his wife EMMA was Queen Regency till WILHELMINA was 18 years of age and took over!
When she died her daughter JULIANA was our queen and now her daughter BEATRIX is our Queen.
We have a crown prince WILLEM ALEXANDER who one day will succeed his mother, with his MAXIMA at his side as queen.
This carriage (picture) is covered with GOLD and is only used each year on PRINSJESDAG in September the moment this picture was taken. The Queen then opens the new Parliamentary year with a speech.
Here she arrives at the BINNENHOF in THE HAGUE (see the Hague page) with her beloved husband who unfortunately died in 2002. He was the best of husbands, of fathers and we all loved and appreciated him very much.
We are a small, densely populated country near the NORTH SEA from which sea we reclaimed parts that now are our country and so we live below sea level...
We always had & have to fight the water especially now the sea level rises because of Global Warming. Exactly 50 years ago we suffered severe floodings here in my Province of Zeeland and part of Zuid-Holland in which some 2000 people lost their lives and thousands more their houses and animals and everything..
We shall remember that night and days (31st January - 2 February) especially this year, 50 years after and most of the survivors still can tell their sad stories.
Dunes and dykes and pumps protect us night and day...
We are DUTCH and speak Dutch and we don't have second languages here.
But in school we all learn to speak/read English, German, French and Spanish and Russian and of course first and for all DUTCH.
This we have always done because we are a trading Nation but we shall never use foreign languages here with compatriot.
We were a SEAFARING NATION with lots of colonies and no body else speaking Dutch (only the Flemish part of Belgium that used to belong to THE NETHERLANDS as did LUXEMBOURG) learning foreign languages was a necessity!
Now it is in our genes!
Our Capital is the famous AMSTERDAM .
Our country is beautiful with its ny cities, towns, villages, lots of museums and monuments with ENDLESS COLLECTIONS OF TREASURES FROM CENTURIES OF GIFTED PAINTERS, SCULPTERS, MASTERBUILDERS AND SCIENTISTS .
Rich, very rich collections of art which you should come see one day!!
Think of REMBRANDT VAN RIJN, VINCENT VAN GOGH, VERMEER, FRANS HALS, RUYSDAEL and many many others.
(Did you realize that REMBRANDT is the only one whose first/christian name we always use? ) Funny isn't it?
SO MANY CENTURIES OF HISTORY AND ART, SO INTERESTING
Reasons enough to come and visit us!!
5th MAY IS LIBERATION DAY
30th APRIL IS "KONINGINNEDAG" (the day we ALL celebrate our QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY)
These 3 days are NATIONAL HOLIDAYS......
I feel good and rich and privileged to be born and bred DUTCH....
all countries, the whole world to be exact, except THE NETHERLANDS : he left that to US.
Quite a job to have to create a country from an always wet and swampy piece of sand and clay, bordering the sea that invades that piece of "land" every 6 hours...wherever it gets the chance to come in.....
Through the Centuries there have been many people with "creative minds" who came with ideas to reclaim land from the sea and to subsequently protect that land against that "friend & foe", our neighbour called 'NORTH SEA"
This is a very special plan from a certain Ir. Jer Wenmaekers. $s*
He was Dutch by birth but went to live in Belgium and got the Belgian Nationality afterwards.
In 1863 he asked the Dutch Government permission to reclaim the ZUIDERZEE (NOW IJSSELMEER) and the WADDENZEE (now still the WADDENZEE) according to the plans he handed the Government.
His idea was to realise 16 compartments with canals in between them, canals for SHIPPING TRAFFIC and DRAINAGE
Imagine: over 1,000 kilometers of DYKES would have to be built.
No fears: he had invented a "MACHINE" that, whatever the weather, some 100 meters of dyke could build......he didn't want to show the machine or to tell what kind of thing it was.....that was his secret!
He expected that the project would take some 16 - 20 YEARS and therefore it would cost ONLY some 6 million of DUTCH GUILDERS....
Luckily the GOVERNMENT wasn't very pleased with the idea of PRIVATISATION of these works.....and The Netherlands are NOT as drawn in this map!!
The WADDENZEE is still the WADDENZEE and on the WORLD HERITAGE LIST OF PROTECTED NATURAL AREAS.......it is such an important and unique area........
The ZUIDERZEE was closed with the ENCLOSURE DAM according to the ideas of Ir. CORNELIS LELY ......of course it took years and years of study and experiments.
28th MAY 1932 was THE DAY that the last gap in the DAM was closed and we can say that this courageous and historic plan was the start, the OUVERTURE of many, many WATER WORKS to be realised........
Unfortunately, Cornelis Lely never saw his most famous WORK......he died before it was ready.
In DEN OEVER is a STATUE of this CONQUEROR of the ZUIDERZEE and the Capital-to-be of the 12th PROVINCE of The Netherlands got his name: LELYSTAD.
In fact it is a never ending fight against the SEA, who can't stand it that we kept and always will keep her out of our, OUR, country which we CREATED OURSELVES....
Being small (some 41,000 square km) we had to become a shipping/trading NATION.
We are not very proud of the past in which we had many COLONIES which made us rich: we just had to sail there, fill the holds to the brim with e.g. tea, spices, silk, porcelain and later on SLAVES (SHAME ON US ).......We also went to the BALTIC countries for wood, fur & hides and stockfish.
We also EXPORTED and still do, lots of our own product such as: CHEESE, FLOWERS, JENEVER, FRUIT and VEGETABLES.....
ROTTERDAM is world's largest SEAPORT and we here in my Province of ZEELAND have 2 deepwater PORTS: TERNEUZEN and VLISSINGEN..........
Thanks to our location the HINTERLAND is huge and vast and thus PARAMOUNT.......
It was also very fortunate for us to discover GASS deep under ground and this too was and still is exported....
All in all we are doing VERY FINE and are a WEALTHY country, although we too, know times of dips & recession but.... LUCTOR ET EMERGO: WE STRUGGLE AND EMERGE.....
From all over the world refugees know where to find THE NETHERLANDS, where it is good to live.......and wherever I come and say that I am from HOLLAND, THE NETHERLANDS, smiles appear and by saying AMSTERDAM, TULIPS AND CHEESE people show that they know about my country, which if course is GREAT!
For some more postcards about A VERY SPECIAL DAY see THE LAST OF MY MANY TRAVELOGUES!
God created this world which was quite a job, so after some time he decided to take
a rest. At that very moment it was only The Netherlands that weren’t on his chart yet and
he must have thought: I could let them do it themselves I am tired of creating. I feel curious
what they will make of it. He then put down his head on a fluffy cloud to rest and forgot
about the Netherlands.
And there we were in dire straits.
There was a lot of water and just a few, wet spots, swampy and boggy with rough grass.
What to do??
The only solution was getting rid of the water, force it back as far as we could.
Although we were only few we worked hard and we plodded and hammered away
God watched us and thought: not bad, not bad at all. I shall leave it to themselves, that would be a nice experiment.
This is just a funny story but in fact we were a handful of poor people in a swampy place.
These Low Lands were indeed just a piece of Low Land between the sea and higher
dry grounds to the East. We “existed” some 6 hours at low tide and “drowned” at high tide for the next 6 hours.
Ceasar, the general, writer and explorer couldn’t believe that we could live here: in “DE BELLO GALLICO (see chapter 6) he writes about us. According to him we were just a bunch of poor creatures living on pieces of higher grounds surrounded by the muddy, cold water. We seemed to have been muddy and unhealthy bags of bones. He, Caesar, wanted to leave, escape this uninhabitable region as soon as possible.
We shrugged our shoulders and slaved away, forgetting these visitors, we had better things
Our objective was to fight that seawater away as far as possible. We started making mounds
and knolls where we could wait till the water had gone for some hours.
And, yes, soon we knew how the sea came and went time and again. And we realised that we had to make do with what we knew and with our own hands.! Our knolls and mounds became bigger and stronger,we could build better huts, but I don’t think that there were reasons to relax and laugh.
But we were an inventive, tough sort of people and quite soon we got the hang of living with the water.
We knew that it was important to to forbid the water to swallow us and our wet and
feeble huts . In fact WE wanted to reign over this piece of swampy grounds and by trial and error we learned that we had to dig canals, ditches and pools as resting places for the water!
(God could be proud of us)
- Pros:THE BEST COUNTRY TO BE BORN IN AND TO LIVE.....
- Cons:AN UMBRELLA COULD BE A GOOD THING ......
- In a nutshell:A SMALL BUT GREAT KINGDOM, WORTHY OF YOUR VISIT, FULL OF SURPRISES!!
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