The Netherlands is often called Holland, because of the role the two western provinces North and South Holland played in its history. This region encompasses Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and other well-known Dutch cities such as Delft, Leiden and Haarlem. However, officially, it is the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of three parts: the Netherlands itself in Western Europe, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba in the Caribbean.

Surface Holland is quite small, the surface area is 41,528 square kilometres. The greatest distance from north to south is 300 kilometres, and from west to east 200 kilometres. Holland is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It has a population of sixteen and a half million and an average of over 400 inhabitants per square kilometer.

Did you know that:

  • One-quarter of Holland is below sealevel?
  • The International Court of Justice (at the Peace Palace) and the International Criminal Court are both in The Hague?
  • Holland still has around a thousand working ancient windmills?
  • Holland is the third biggest exporter of agricultural produce, trailing only the US and France, even though only 3% of the Dutch population works in the agriculture sector?
  • Holland has no less than 15,000 km of cycle paths?
  • The Dutch are the tallest people in Europe?
  • Every Dutch person has a bike and there are twice as many bikes as cars?
  • The highest point in Holland is 323 metres above sea level, and is referred to as a ‘mountain’?
  • Most Dutch people speak a foreign language as well as Dutch?
  • Rotterdam is the second largest port in the world?