Introduction to the Netherlands

The Kingdom of the Netherlands or alternatively Holland is a country located in North-West Europe and is also the owner of a number of islands in the Caribbean. The country shares sea borders with the UK, Germany and Belgium and land borders with Belgium to the South, Germany to the East and the North Sea to the North and West.

Its capital city is Amsterdam but strangely the country’s government is not located there, instead it is based at The Hague. The Netherlands was once one of the leading powers of the world having an empire that stretched across the globe. With the end of empire the country remained one of the most important nations on the continent and has a substantial presence in the European Union being one of the 17 members of the Euro-zone.

The Netherlands is a low-lying country with around 20% of its area and over 21% of its population located lower than sea-level. Half of its land is only one meter above sea-level and it’s this feature that gives the nation its name. The Netherlands literally translates as ‘the low country’.