Area 5,488 km² (2,000 sq mi) Population 6,065,459 (2006 est.) Density 1105.22/km² (3032.72/sq mi) Regions 2 Demonym Hollander Languages Dutch Hollandic Brabantian Flemish Time Zones CEST (UTC+1) Summer ( DST ) CEST (UTC+2) Largest cities (2008) Amsterdam (739,290) Rotterdam (539,650) The Hague (473,940) Haarlem (146,960) Dordrecht (118,540)
Holland is situated in the west of the Netherlands. A maritime water-oriented region, Holland lies on the North Sea at the mouths of the Rhine and the Meuse (Maas). It has numerous rivers and lakes and an extensive inland canal and waterway system. To the south is Zealand. The region is bordered on the east by four different provinces of the Netherlands.
Holland is 7,494 square kilometres (land and water included), making it roughly 13% of the area of the Netherlands. Looking at land alone, it is 5,488 square kilometres in size. The combined population is 6.1 million.
The main cities in Holland are Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Amsterdam is formally the capital of the Netherlands and its most important city. The Port of Rotterdam is Europe's largest and most important harbour and port.
Reclamation of the land
The people of Holland found themselves living in an unstable, watery environment. The inhabitants set about cultivating this land by draining it. By the tenth century this area was brought under cultivation. The drainage however resulted in extreme soil shrinkage, lowering the surface of the land by up to fifteen metres.
The early inhabitants understood that human intervention was needed to save the land. The counts and large monasteries took the lead in these efforts, building the first heavy emergency dikes to bolster critical points.
However, the Hollanders did not stop there. Starting around the 16th century, they took the offensive and began land reclamation projects, converting lakes and marshy areas into polders. This continued right into the 20th century.
County of Holland
Until the 9th century, the inhabitants of the area that became Holland were Frisians. The area was part of Frisia. At the end of the 9th century, Holland became a separate county in the Holy Roman Empire. When John I, count of Holland, died childless in 1299, the county was inherited by John II of Avesnes, count of Hainaut.
In this time a part of Frisia, West Friesland, was conquered (as a result, most provincial institutions, including the States of Holland and West Frisia, would for centuries refer to "Holland and West Frisia" as a unit).
The last count of Holland was Philip III, better known as Philip II king of Spain. He was abolished in 1581 by the socalled Act of Abjuration, although the kings of Spain continued to carry the titular title of count of Holland until the Peace of Münster signed in 1648.
Holland's prominence in the United Provinces and Dutch Republic
In 1432 Holland became part of the Burgundian Netherlands and since 1477 of the Habsburg Seventeen Provinces. In the 16th century the region became more densely urbanised, with the majority of the population living in cities. Within the Burgundian Netherlands, Holland was the dominant province in the north; the political influence of Holland largely determined the extent of Burgundian dominion in that area.
Comitatus Hollandiae (1682)
In the Dutch Rebellion against the Habsburgs during the Eighty Years' War, the naval forces of the rebels, the Watergeuzen, established their first permanent base in 1572 in the town of Brill. In this way, Holland, now a sovereign state in a larger Dutch confederation, became the centre of the rebellion.
Kingdom of Holland
From 1806 to 1810 Napoleon styled his vassal state, governed by his brother Louis Napoleon and shortly by the son of Louis, Napoleon Louis Bonaparte, as the "Kingdom of Holland". This kingdom encompassed much of what would become the modern Netherlands. The name reflects how natural at the time it had become to equate Holland with the non-belgian Netherlands as a whole.
Provinces like any other
After 1813, Holland was restored as a province of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Holland was divided into the present provinces North Holland and South Holland in 1840, after the Belgian Revolution of 1830. This reflected an historical division of Holland along the IJ into a Southern Quarter (Zuiderkwartier) and a Northern Quarter (Noorderkwartier).
From 1850 a strong process of nation formation took place, the Netherlands being culturally unified and economically integrated by a modernisation process, with the cities of Holland at its centre.
The language primarily spoken in Holland is Dutch. Hollanders often refer to the Dutch language as "Hollands".
The standard Dutch that is spoken in the Netherlands is mostly based on the Dutch spoken in Holland; however, there are many local variations in dialect throughout the Netherlands.
The main cities each have their own traditional dialect. A small number of people, especially in the area north of Amsterdam, still speak what is considered to be an original, older dialect, called "Hollandic". The areas where people still speak with the Hollandic dialect are Volendam and Marken and the area around there, West Friesland and the Zaanstreek.
Traditionally, Holland is the land of tulips, windmills and cheese . The colorful bulb fields are a feast to the eye, whereas the windmills define the landscape. Cheese has left its mark on cities like Alkmaar, Gouda and Edam.
Holland is also famous for its potato eaters. As indicated in the famous "Potato Eaters" painting by Vincent van Gogh , the main ingredient in old-fashioned Dutch dinners is potatoes.
Holland doesn't have one single national costume. It does, however, have a rich variety of traditional regional costumes. The most famous part of the Dutch costume are the wooden shoes. Not too long ago they were approved for industrial use by European Community regulations. Wooden shoes are therefore not only abundant in souvenir shops, but are also worn by many farmers and bulbgrowers as cheap, long-lasting and safe working shoes.
Schooling is free and compulsory between the ages of five and sixteen. Children may be enrolled for an optional year at age four. Primary education ends at age twelve. Students may go to a Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, or “non-religious” school, but the basic curriculum is the same. Secondary school begins with two years of “basic education”; all students study the same 15 subjects that emphasize practical applications of knowledge. After that, they can choose between different types of high school, ranging from pre-vocational to pre-university. The number of years varies with the program. Vocational schools train students in such professions as accounting, nursing, or teaching. Graduates of vocational and general high schools often enter apprenticeships. Higher education is subsidized by the government. There are 13 universities, the oldest of which, Leiden, was founded by William of Orange in 1575.
On 1 January 2002, the Euro became the legal currency of Holland, or the Netherlands, and eleven other European states, namely Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain. Together, these countries form what is known as the Eurozone.
In Holland, the previous currency had been the Dutch gilder (or gulden, in Dutch). The gilder had been the currency of Holland for around 700 years. When the Dutch gilder was replaced with the Euro in 2002, one Euro was equivalent to 2.20371 Dutch gilders
The Netherlands is a prosperous and open economy depending heavily on foreign trade. The economy is noted for stable industrial relations, moderate inflation, a sizable current account surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs no more than 4% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for the food-processing industry and for exports.
GDP - real growth rate: 0.3% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $26,900 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3.1% industry: 25.7% services: 71.2% (2001 est.)
expenditures: $134 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries: agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing
The predominance of Holland in the Netherlands has resulted in regionalism on the part of the other provinces. This is a reaction to the perceived threat that Holland poses to the identities and local cultures of the other provinces. The other provinces have a strong, and often negative, image of Holland and the Hollanders, to whom certain qualities are ascribed.
Hollanders themselves, however, have a weak self-image. They take Holland's cultural dominance for granted. To them, the concepts of "Holland" and the "Netherlands" coincide. Consequently they see themselves not primarily as "Hollanders", but simply as "Dutch" (Nederlanders). This phenomenon is called "hollandocentrism".
Holland tends to be associated with a particular image. The stereotypical image of Holland is an artificial amalgam of tulips, windmills, clogs, cheese and traditional dress (klederdracht). As is the case with many stereotypes, this is far from the truth and reality of life in Holland. This can at least in part be explained by the active exploitation of these stereotypes in promotions of Holland and the Netherlands. In fact only in a few of the more traditional villages, such as Volendam and locations in the Zaan area, are the different costumes and wooden shoes still worn by some inhabitants.
Holland belongs the European Union, is a very attractive market, which means that the goods, the capital, the services and the trade can freely flow through the fifteen states members of the European Union.
The economy is stable and technology grows very fast. The U.E. is the greater market of the World, and represents a 40% of the Worldwide trade.
BUSINESS WITH HOLLAND
Our project is to export marmalade and syrups that are produced based on fruit scraps . To get rid of fruit scraps has generated high expenses and a big problem for those manufacturers that produce fruit essences.
If we take advantage of this new project, we could save this money and the scrap would be used as aroma for producing syrups and marmalade.
BUSINESS WITH HOLLAND
The opportunity that we have is big because we do not have a lot of competitors in the market, because we are taking advantage of the fruit scraps.
It generates Income to the manufacturing companies of juice.