The history of the Netherlands, like any of the countries located in Western Europe, is quite eventful. For a long time, the territory of the country was under the control of more powerful neighboring powers. In such an uncertain status, the coastal territories were both under the control of the mighty Roman Empire, and after its collapse – when they repeatedly changed hands due to wars waged by neighbors, mainly French and German kings.
However, the Dutch cities, favorably located from a commercial point of view, gradually developed, and, following the economic upsurge, a political one followed – at the end of the 14th century, the Low Countries took the first step towards gaining independence. The northern provinces of the region, the most economically developed, for the first time in history, independently united in order to repulse the Spanish troops. The uprising was led by Prince William of Orange, who laid the foundation for a living and still royal dynasty.
After a long, hard war that lasted about 80 years, which finally led to the Dutch bourgeois revolution, a new state was formed on the map of Europe – the Republic of the United Provinces, which immediately began to expand its own territory. Already in the 17th century, the Republic began extensive territorial seizures, mainly in Southeast Asia and Central America. The remnants of the colonial possessions in the Caribbean region are still part of the country. Aruba is currently an overseas territory. However, the heyday lasted a little over a century – the revolutionary turmoil that swept Europe brought new changes to the state status of the Low Countries. Within two decades, the status of the country changed three times – in 1795-1800 in the territory of the Netherlands, occupied by French troops. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Netherlands.
In 1815 the situation changed – the Netherlands were united with Belgium into the Kingdom of the Netherlands (until 1830), in which the Netherlands occupied a dominant position. It was from this moment that the deafening growth of the Dutch economy began, based on the favorable position of the country’s seaports and the development of the technology sector (as a result of which the Philips company, known to this day, was founded in Eindhoven), which determined the economic success of the country in the next – XX century, in which the country was expected to experience significant shocks, despite the fact that in major military conflicts the role of the Netherlands, due to its small territory, was small. The Netherlands was able to remain a neutral country during the First World War, but during the Second World War, such a policy was not successful. In May 1940, German troops invaded the country, which, despite desperate resistance, was completely captured within four days. The occupation continued until 1945, when the Netherlands was liberated by Canadian and American troops.
After the end of the war, the Netherlands lost some of its colonies. In 1949, despite the opposition of the mother country, the Dutch colony of Indonesia declared its independence, and in 1975 Suriname followed the same path.
The Netherlands is now considered one of the most highly developed countries in the European Union, and at the time of its founding was one of the few countries whose financial system was best prepared for the introduction of a single currency.
WEST FRISSIAN ISLANDS
The West Frisian Islands are located off the coast of the Netherlands in the North Sea. The largest of these islands is Tessel, its area is 16 thousand hectares, its length is 24 km, and its width is 9 km. The islands are considered an ecologically clean area, only some of them and only local residents can drive cars. This is a great place to relax, where you can sunbathe and swim or cycle through the local landscapes. Boats are constantly running between the islands. There are several nature reserves here, where a variety of birds settle, and tourists are also attracted by numerous sandy beaches surrounded by dunes.
Many medieval fortresses, palaces and castles have been preserved on the territory of the Netherlands. Middachten Castlewas built in the 12th century. This is one of the few completely preserved medieval castles of the country, along with all the furnishings. It stands in the middle of a garden that was modeled after the gardens of Versailles.
Castle De Haar, which is located near Utrecht, is the largest castle in the Netherlands. It was built in the 14th century in the Gothic style on one of the tributaries of the Rhine. Now there is a collection of paintings, furniture and antiques.
The country’s most popular castle is Muiden. It is located near Amsterdam. The original version of the castle was erected in 1280, later it was reconstructed. Now it is a square castle with four towers, it is surrounded by a moat, along which, from the side of the castle, there is a walking path. In the Middle Ages, the castle served as a local prison, and now it is a state museum. Valkenburg Castle stands on a hill called “Castle Hill”. It was built in the 12th century and rebuilt in 1672. Of greatest interest are the numerous underground passages that were laid in the rocky foundation. These passages lead to underground caves. In the valley of the Meuse River, 10 km north of the city of Verlo, there is the village of Arsen with the castle of the same name of the 17th century. The castle is surrounded by gardens, which have been a popular tourist attraction since 1988. These gardens feature a variety of plants and flowers. A rose garden, a garden of subtropical vegetation of Casa Verde, Chinese and Japanese gardens were laid out here.