Interesting facts about Holland
- The drinking age is only 16 so I haven't been asked for ID.
- Soft drugs and only soft drugs like Marijuana and Magic Mushrooms are legal in Holland and can only be sold at licensed coffee shops. You can however grow your own. What's going to happen next year when the smoking ban is introduced?
- Prostitution is legal but you must be at least 18 years old and you must be at least 16 to participate.
- Why do Dutchies like orange so much? It's the name of the royal family "House of Orange".
- Tulips don't actually come from Holland. They come from Turkey just like the Kiwifruit is actually from China (the Chinese Gooseberry). They do however grow and sell the most.
- Some people still wear clogs and dress in the old "Milk maid" outfits. Of course this isn't everyday people walking down the street on the way to work but older more traditional communities (not just the tourist towns).
- Holland has the highest population density in Europe with over 493 people per square kilometer.
- Netherlands literally means low country. Only half of the country is over higher than one meter whilst 27% is actually below sea level. It's highest point is only 321 meters. When sitting on an airplane at Amsterdam the elevation shows as 15m below sea level.
- A large part of Holland has been reclaimed including the worlds largest man-made island Flevoland. This led to the Dutch saying "God created the world, but the Dutch created the Netherlands".
- As well as reclaiming huge amounts of land the Dutch also blocked off part of the sea and turned in into a giant lake, the IJsselmeer.
- New York used to be named New Amsterdam as it was a Dutch colony. Australia was named New Holland and New Zealand was named after the Dutch province Zeeland by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman.
- Rembrandt van Rijn, Vincent van Gogh, Escher are a just but a few of the famous Dutch artists.
- The Dutch are the tallest people in the world. Men average 1.84m and women 1.7m. None of Renate's side of the family are exceptionally tall :-)
- Dutch inventions include the cassettes and video tapes, CDs, microscope and telescope.
- Some of the world biggest companies are Dutch including Philips Electronics, Royal Dutch Shell, IKEA (was Swedish), ING and ABN-AMRO (maybe be British very soon).
- At its widest point Holland is 260kms wide and 295kms high and it less than one sixth the size of New Zealand.
- If you were to put Holland in the same place in the Southern hemisphere Amsterdam will be south of Invergarvill just south of Auckland Island. Being on the mainland the temperatures are more extreme than in New Zealand.
- The Dutch are the third largest exporter of agricultural products which is way more than New Zealand for a lot smaller country.
- When you buy a car in Holland you get 3 number plates. One for the front, one for the back and a spare for your bike rack.
Got your own interesting fact about Holland? Add it to the comments.
Update You may also want to have a look at Interesting facts about New Zealand