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25 Things You Do Not Know About the Netherlands

Updated on December 13, 2018
Writer Trissie profile image

I am a citizen of the Netherlands, so I think you may assume that I would know this things, but even I am surprised by my own country.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands is located in the northwest of Europe and originally developed as the delta of the river the Rhine. Today, the Netherlands is considered to have one of the most developed economies in the world despite the fact that a significant part of the Netherlands is below sea level.

A familiar Dutch view.
A familiar Dutch view.

5 Famous Dutch companies

1. VOC (Dutch: Verenigde Oost-Indische Companie)

Known for being the world's first multinational.

2. Philips

An electronics company in Eindhoven founded in 1891.

3. Unilever

A producer of food, personal care and cleaning products.

4. Heineken

A brewery active in 192 countries, producing more than 218 million hectoliters of beer every year.

5. ING

A bank that operates in more than 40 countries and serves over 30 million customers. The profit for 2017 is around 5 billion euros.

Many headquarters are located in the Netherlands, because of the favorable taxes.
Many headquarters are located in the Netherlands, because of the favorable taxes.

The Dutch society

1. The people who live in the Netherlands cycle an average of 2,5 km per day.

It means that on average Dutch people cycle over 900 km per year.

2. Dutch people drink an average of 83 liters of beer per person per year.

That corresponds to roughly 1.1 billion liters of beer

3. Dutch citizens own more than 20 million bicycles.

Meaning that there are more bikes than people in the Netherlands.

4. People living in the Netherlands are the tallest people in the world.

With an average length of 1 meter 85 for men and 1 meter 69 for women.

5. The Dutch eat two kilos of liquorice per person per year.

The annual consumption of liquorice in the Netherlands is around 32 million tonnes.

The amount of beer drunk in the Netherlands is not healthy.
The amount of beer drunk in the Netherlands is not healthy.

Historic facts about the Netherlands

1. There are currently 1170 working mills in the Netherlands.

There used to be more than 10,000 of them scattered throughout the country to ensure that the Netherlands was not flooded.

2. In 2001, the Netherlands was the first country to allow gay marriage.

As early as 1967, gay marriage was a subject of conversation after two young men had their marriage blessed in a church located in Rotterdam.

3. The Dutch national anthem is considered to be the oldest existing national anthem in the world.

The text dates from 1570 and the current melody was created in the seventeenth century.

4. In 1967 a naked woman appeared for the first time ever on Dutch television.

This naked appearance was a protest against the conservative view of the population.

5. The richest company that has ever existed is a Dutch company.

It is, after all, the VOC. It's capital at the highest point is estimated at 7,800 billion euros(After adjustment with regard to the inflation).

The Dutch flag was the first three-colored flag in the world.
The Dutch flag was the first three-colored flag in the world.

The Royal family of the Netherlands

1. The current Dutch king is the first king after more than a century.

Three queens preceded the current king Willem Alexander.

2. Amalia, the eldest daughter of King Willem Alexander, will become the queen of the Netherlands in the future.

The full name of Princess Amalia is Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria. Her name includes a reference to Princess Beatrix, the mother of King Willem Alexander.

3. Officially, the Netherlands is not the Netherlands, but The Kingdom of the Netherlands.

This is a sovereign state formed by the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

4. Orange is the national colour of the Netherlands. For example, members of The Royal Family are also known as The Oranges.

This colour originates from the time when the stadtholder William of Orange (1533-1584) was in charge of the independence war against the Spaniards.

5. The lion is the national symbol of the Netherlands.

However, the Netherlands is not the only country that uses the lion as its national symbol. 12 other countries also use the lion as a national symbol.

The Royal Palace of Amsterdam.
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam.

5 Random facts about the Netherlands

1. Originally, carrots are purple in colour. Dutch farmers changed its colour to Orange as a tribute to the Dutch royal family.

2. If you die in Amsterdam without surviving relatives, a city poet will provide a unique poem during your funeral.

3. In south Africa many places are literally named after Dutch places.

4. Schiphol is located 4.5 meters below sea-level.

5. Although tulips are a well-known Dutch export product they actually originate from Turkey.

The famous Dutch tulips.
The famous Dutch tulips.

© 2018 Tristan


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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      18 months ago from UK

      Thanks for the information. I had noticed the link with St. Andrew but this gives more detail.

    • Writer Trissie profile imageAUTHOR


      18 months ago from University Wageningen

      Thanks for your advice, I did make a change in the presentation an added some extra content to increase the value of the article. Hope it is better now!?

    • Writer Trissie profile imageAUTHOR


      19 months ago from University Wageningen

      Thanks. The crosses are called the 'Andreaskruisen' which in English are called the "Saint Andrew's Cross"

      These crosses are based on a story about Andrew The Apostle:

      More specific about the crosses:

      I hope this helps you to understand the story behind these crosses. It is important to realize that the crosses have different meanings and names, but in Amsterdam they are based on the Story of Apostle Andrew.

      Feel free to ask for more info if my response is not completely clear or complete.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      19 months ago from UK

      This is a fascinating list of facts combined with great illustrations. Some of them I was familiar with, but a lot I did not know. If you read my article on the Amstel hotel, can you please explain what the three crosses stand for in the Amsterdam flag?

    • poppyr profile image


      19 months ago from Enoshima, Japan

      There are some really interesting facts about the Netherlands here! This could be a great hub if you fixed the presentation.


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