About the Netherlands

by Buildreps

Since I am a Dutchman (from Rotterdam), I am supposed to know slightly more about the Netherlands than most tourists. I will show you a few places that are perhaps unknown to you.

The Netherlands is a little country with a long, rich history. When you visit the Netherlands there is so much to see, that you will have to make some choices. Not only the common themes like cheese, flowers and windmills, but also modern day things can be very interesting as well.

Rotterdam is well known as one the largest ports in the world, but that it is also very nice to spent a few days in this vibrant city, is perhaps not so obvious for you.

I will show you a few places and attractions that you probably never heard of.

The Dutch were Discoverers - Some Historical Facts

  • In 1606 discovers the Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon Australia, with his ship the Duyfken.
  • In 1609 discovers Henry Hudson the river that he called to himself, The Hudson.
  • In 1616 discovers Willem Cornelisz Schouten Tierra del Fuego, the most Southern part of Argentina.
  • In 1626 Peter Minuit buys the island Manhattan from the Manhattoes Indians for 24 dollar. He called it Nieuw-Amsterdam, the later New York.
  • In 1642 discovers Abel Tasman New-Zealand.
  • In 1652 Jan van Riebeeck lays the foundations for the occupation of South-Africa. Until 1795 The Netherlands exploited South-Africa.
  • In 1659 the famous scientist and inventor of the pendulum clock, Christiaan Huygens discovers the Rings of Saturn. He also developed many mathematical theories.
  • In 1665 Antoni van Leeuwenhoek builds his own microscope and discovers microscopic life forms. Later he obtained the nickname 'Father of Microbiology'. In 1679 he discovers the Sperm Cell.
  • In 1722 discovers Jacob Roggeveen Easter Island in Pacific.
  • In 1900 Hein Lorentz discovers the Lorentz transformation which was the basis of the Special Relativity Theory of Albert Einstein.
  • In 1911 Kamerlingh Onnes discovers superconductivity in his Cryogenic laboratory in Leiden.

The Netherlands - A Short Introduction

View on Rotterdam

Like I showed you above has Netherlands a long history with colonies, like Suriname, South-Africa and Indonesia. Dutch sailors made many discoveries like Australia and islands like Eastern island and New Zealand. In the 17th century became Amsterdam the most powerful and rich trading city in the world. This atmosphere of power and enlightenment is still tangible in Amsterdam.

During several centuries, especially in the 17th and 18th century fought the Netherlands many naval battles with Spanish and English fleets all over the world.

The most famous naval hero was Admiral Michiel de Ruyter. In the Netherlands a movie about Michiel de Ruyter just finished the last shots of the movie Michiel de Ruyter. The movie will be in the cinema's around February 2015.

The history of Holland becomes increasingly complicated at the end of the late Middle Ages, from 1500 with the growing power as a global trading nation. The highlight of the Dutch history is the 80-year war with Spain and the murder of Willem van Oranje in 1584.

The Netherlands is most famous of the typical Dutch things like:

  • Cheese,
  • Wooden shoes,
  • Windmills,
  • Delft's Blue,
  • Tulips.

Rain Drops Twinkle on Blooming Tulips on a Field near Freiburg, Germany
Rain Drops...
Winfried ...
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Tulip Fields with the Rijnsburg Windmill, 1886
Tulip Fields with...
Claude Monet
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Wooden Clogs, Amsterdam, Holland
Wooden Clogs,...
Gavin Hellier
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A visit to the Netherlands is often combined to visits to other European countries as well, so there is often not much time to spent in the Netherlands.

The most famous places are:

  • Keukenhof Gardens,
  • the Canals of Amsterdam,
  • Delft and Delft's Blue,
  • the Windmills of Kinderdijk,
  • the Cheese market of Edam,
  • the Rijksmuseum, especially "The Nachtwacht",
  • Van Gogh museum.

That there are also other nice places to go is obvious to most people, but where to find the information?

I wrote on Hubpages a much larger article about the Netherlands with many other unknown places to visit. I selected from 10 provinces (from a total of 12) nice unknown attractions, here is my short list:

  • The catacombs of Valkenburg, Province of Limburg
  • Lelystad Batavia shipyard, Province of Flevoland
  • Peat Corpses of Assen, Province of Drenthe
  • World famous World Heritage in Lemmer, Province of Friesland
  • The thickest tree of Holland, Province of Gelderland
  • Leaning tower of Bedum, Province of Groningen
  • The Vatican of Oudenbosch, Province of Noord-Brabant
  • The Defence Lines of Amsterdam, Province of Noord-Holland
  • Maeslantkering of Rotterdam, Province of South-Holland
  • Fort Rammekens of Ritthem, Province of Zeeland

That Rotterdam is also a very nice city to go to, is perhaps less obvious for many tourists.

Did you ever visited the Netherlands?

View on The Maas
View on The Maas

Best Places to Visit in Rotterdam

The centre of Rotterdam was heavily bombarded by the Nazi's at the start of WWII. Only a few buildings remained after the war, most of them are in the "Delfshaven" - the oldest part of the city with many pleasant restaurants and café’s. Other old buildings that remained are the Town Hall, the Laurens Church, the 17th century "Schielandshuis" and the 18th century Witte Huis (White House).

  • Euromast - this 185 meters high rotating space tower gives a view over the whole city, including the port of Rotterdam as far as The Haque. The Euromast was built in 1960 for the Floriade World Horticultural Exhibition. The space tower was built on top in 1970.
  • Waterbus - this amazing vehicle is able to drive on the road like a normal bus and also able to  sail like a normal boat. The bus makes a tour along many special places of the city.
  • The old harbour - close to the centre this is probably one of the best place to spent your nightlife. The somewhat shaky video below gives an impression.
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen - this is one of the best museums in the Netherlands with a fine permanent collection. Boijmans has often exciting new exhibitions. On the map below it is shown as "Kunsthal".
  • Maeslantkering - This huge doors were the alternative for dike reinforcement and forms in normal weather no obstacle to shipping of the 360-meter-wide waterway. The doors are strong enough to withstand the heaviest storms and highest tides.
  • Hotel New York - this pre-war hotel was once the place of departure for people who left to America, the promised land. The location became a pleasant restaurant and hotel. It is also pleasant to walk on the boulevard along the river 'De Maas'. On the map below Hotel New York is close to "Cruise Terminal Rotterdam".
View on Delfshaven
View on Delfshaven


So, when you ever plan to visit the Netherlands I hope you remember one or more of the places I mentioned here, because they are worth a visit as well. Hope to see you soon in Holland!

Beach near The Hague
Beach near The Hague
Updated: 08/21/2014, Buildreps
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