Portal:Netherlands

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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.

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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.

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Goliath Poldermolen.jpg
Credit: Uberprutser

The 19th-century smock mill Goliath and the 21st-century wind farm Growind are standing side-by-side in Eemshaven, Netherlands.

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Selected biography

Anne Frank's tree in the back garden
Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank was a German-born Jewish girl from the city of Frankfurt. She gained international fame posthumously following the publication of her diary which documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.

Anne and her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933 after the Nazis gained power in Germany, and were trapped by the occupation of the Netherlands, which began in 1940. As persecutions against the Jewish population increased, the family went into hiding in July 1942 in hidden rooms in her father Otto Frank's office building. After two years, the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps. Seven months after her arrest, Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, within days of the death of her sister, Margot Frank. Her father Otto, the only survivor of the group, returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that her diary had been saved, and his efforts led to its publication in 1947. It was translated from its original Dutch and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl.

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