General information about Holland

Location

Location of Holland in the world Holland or like the official name is, Kingdom of the Netherlands is a country located in the North western mainland of Europe, bordering in the west to the North Sea, in the east to Germany and in the south to Belgium. Location of Holland in Europe

Although many refer to the country as "Holland", that's technically not correct.
Holland is a part of the Netherlands, two provinces in the west of the Netherlands called North-Holland and South-Holland.
The capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam, is located in the province of North-Holland; The Hague - where the government resides - and Rotterdam, Europe's largest port, are in South-Holland. Location of Holland in the Netherlands

On this site when we talk about Holland, we actually mean The Netherlands.

In English, the people of The Netherlands - 16.5 million in 2009 - are called the Dutch as is the language.

Form of Government Queen Beatrix

The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy and the present head of state is Queen Beatrix(1938). Her son, Prince Willem Alexander(1967) will be the first king after three queens were head of state during more than 120 years. Queen Wilhelmina, grandmother of Queen Beatrix, became Queen at age 10(!) in 1890 when her father, King Willem III died. Queen Juliana was head of state from 1948 until 1980.

The Dutch Royal House is the House of Orange-Nassau; that's why the national color of Holland is orange.

The political system of The Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy. The people vote for a parliament and its members appoint a government which is headed by a prime minister. The role of the Queen or King as head of state is very limited and mainly ceremonial.

Water

Dike in North-Holland At least 25% of the country would be under water if it wasn't protected by the dikes. I was born in a suburb of Amsterdam, 16 feet below sea level!
Holland is protected against flooding by a huge system of dikes and other barriers along the coast and the rivers (Rhine, Meuse). A complicated system of drainage ditches, canals and pumping stations keep the low lying parts dry for habitation and agriculture. Many of windmills that are so typical for the Dutch landscape were used to keep the water out of low areas.

The eternal fight against the water has been headed by the world's finest hydraulic engineers, mainly educated at the Technical University in the city of Delft.
The Delta Works (an article about it will be published soon!), an impressive project of several dams and barriers to protect the South-West of the Netherlands is world famous.

Economy

Euro banknotes Measured by the number of inhabitants The Netherlands with its 16.5 million people is on rank 61 in the world.
In the list of the world's economic powers it ranks on number 16 with a GDP of around $ 800 billion and ranks 10th in GDP (nominal) per capita.
Foreign trade has always been an important part of the Dutch economy. Rotterdam has the largest port in Europe, with the rivers Meuse and Rhine providing excellent access to the hinterland upstream reaching to Basel, Switzerland and into France.
The main exports are machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels and foodstuffs.
Internationally well known Dutch companies include Unilever and Heineken (food processing), ING (financial services), DSM (chemicals), Shell (petroleum refining), and Philips and ASML (electrical machinery).
Being one of the 16 sovereign states of the EuroZone, Holland's currency is the Euro (€).