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Thursday, August 02, 2007

TT #51: Dutch provinces

TT51

Thirteen provinces of The Netherlands

This week I decided to teach you a geography (and a bit of history) lesson about my country.

  • I have to cheat right away, because my country only has 12 provinces. :-) I'll use the opportunity to tell you that "Holland" is not interchangeable with "The Netherlands". Holland is only a small part of the Netherlands. We have North-Holland and South-Holland. Holland used to be an independent country. It had a Count, its own coinage (until the 19th century), its own measuring units and time - but it gave up that independence in the 16th century, when it allied with the Northern and Southern Netherlands against the armies of the King of Spain whom at the time was officially the Count of Holland and ruled over this whole area. The main reasons for war were religious differences, disputes over taxes and the fact that when some cities wanted to break free, the King's army was quite brutal to civilians. Eventually the Southern Netherlands gave up the fight and stayed occupied by foreign forces until 1830. That area is now called Belgium. The Northern Netherlands fought on and won. The counties of Holland, Drente, Groningen, Friesland, Gelderland, Zeeland and Utrecht formed a free Republic, including the occupied regions of Brabant and Limburg. All these counties (called provinces today, together with some new ones) are now called "The Kingdom of The Netherlands." Today the province of Limburg still has a Governor and to say to someone from Limburg or Friesland that he or she is from Holland, is considered an insult. They are not! They consider themselves to be from the Netherlands. They even have their own language. People from other provinces (except North and South Holland) will perhaps not consider it a real insult, but still they're not from Holland. In summary, Holland gave up its individual independence a very long time ago, so calling the Netherlands "Holland", is much like calling Great Britain "England." Wrong in both cases. (source: WorldAtlas)

  • Zuid Holland - capital Den Haag or 's Gravenhage (The Hague) , seat of national government and the Queen’s official place of residence. Rotterdam with its mainport is the largest city.
  • Noord Holland - capital Haarlem. Amsterdam is also in this province, but that's the capital of the whole country.
  • Noord Brabant - capital Den Bosch or 's Hertogenbosch. Eindhoven is the largest city. South Brabant is now part of Belgium.
  • Gelderland - capital Arnhem (remember "A Bridge Too Far"?). The old city of Nijmegen is also internationally known because of the yearly Vierdaagse.
  • Utrecht - capital Utrecht. The smallest province and geographically the heart of The Netherlands.
  • Limburg - capital Maastricht. Situated between (Brabant, )Belgium and Germany. Perhaps you've heard of the American Military Cemetery in Margraten.
  • Overijssel - capital Zwolle. It has three areas: Twente, Salland and North-Overijssel. Deventer, Kampen and Zwolle were powerful Hanseatic towns.
  • Friesland - capital Leeuwarden. Has its own language (not dialect!) Frisian, also known because of the Elfstedentocht.
  • Groningen - capital Groningen. Consisting of Groningen City and surrounding areas, often called the "Ommelanden'' (lands around).
  • Drenthe - capital Assen. Well-known in our country and abroad for the Hunebedden (megaliths).
  • Zeeland - capital Middelburg. The Delta Works are world famous, built after the colossal flood disaster in 1953.
  • Flevoland - capital Lelystad. The newest province of The Netherlands. First all of it was water, the Zuiderzee. After closing the sea and the impoldering it became land in the 20th century.

See a more detailed map here. If you follow the blue line from Amsterdam to the coast (the North Sea Channel) my place of residence IJmuiden is on the end.

Of course there's sooooooo much more to tell about each of the provinces with their own unique qualities, but right know I just wanted you to know about the mere existence. :-) If you want to explore, go to Wikipedia for a list of figures and more info!

~*~*~*~

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ Robin ~*~ SusieJ ~*~ JennieBoo ~*~ Damozel ~*~ Candy Minx ~*~ Nancy ~*~ Sanni ~*~ pussreboots ~*~ Suprina ~*~ Sue ~*~ Lori ~*~ Ed ~*~ Susan Helene ~*~ Crimson Wife ~*~ L^2 ~*~ Janie ~*~ Gattina ~*~ Tilly Greene ~*~ Mark ~*~ Busy91 ~*~ Tempest Knight ~*~ Sparky Duck ~*~ Nancy Liedel ~*~ Gabriella Hewitt ~*~ Laura Williams ~*~ Alasandra ~*~ Nancy Bond ~*~ Ann ~*~ julia ~*~ Qtpies7 ~*~ Lisa Andel ~*~ This Eclectic Life ~*~ Daisy ~*~ Dorothy ~*~ Shannon ~*~ Heather ~*~ Practical Chick ~*~ Joely Sue ~*~ Christine d'Abo ~*~ Lara Angelina ~*~ The Cat Realm ~*~ colleen ~*~ Luka ~*~ Dragonheart ~*~ Titania Starlight ~*~ GuusjeM ~*~ Linda ~*~ Joy Renee ~*~


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50 comments:

  1. This makes me want to return to the Netherlands and see more. I've only ever made it to Amsterdam and the Hague (for a brilliant kite festival many years ago).

    Happy TT.

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  2. OK -- next week, pick one, and tell us 13 things about each one. Great post.

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  3. I feel like I'm back in Geography class.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Happy TT!

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  4. Excellent one. I suppose I "knew" that Holland and the Netherlands weren't really interchangeable but you hear people hear using them as if they were and I have probably been pretty sloppy about it myself.

    I really enjoyed this; I too would like to hear more about the Netherlands.

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  5. Hey Utrect is an art supply store here in America!

    This was so informative...I had no idea of about half the things you wrote about. I wish I could hop on a plane and come for a visit!

    Here is my TT:

    http://gnosticminx.blogspot.com/2007/08/worst-album-covers.html

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  6. Thanks for educating me on your country. I did not know about Holland and th Netherlands being seperate....

    Happy Thursday.

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  7. Hellooooo, my dear neighbor! Thanks for sharing this educating TT, Tink! I have been to 6 out of the 12 provinces ;)

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  8. Thank you for teaching me abou the Netherlands

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  9. Oh, Great TT!
    I learned something new today! Thanks! :)

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  10. Terrific idea for a TT and thank you for the geography lesson .. :) Happy TT and have a great weekend!

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  11. Great info...Im going to share it with my kids:) Happy TT.

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  12. Thanks for the lesson. It was really interesting.

    Ed
    http://edsthread.co.nr

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  13. VERY cool, Tink, as always. I can always count on you to teach me new things, week after week.

    I'm with SusieJ, btw. Next week, pick one area and tell us more!

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  14. Interesting TT! I knew that the Dutch call their country the Netherlands rather than Holland but I always thought it was just one of those cultural things. For instance, people from other countries saying "the U.S." while Americans tend to refer to it as simply "America".

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  15. Geography was always one of my worst subjects, so thanks for the lesson. This was very interesting.

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  16. Very informative! I definitely want to visit there now.

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  17. The history is very interesting, although I knew a bit, but why didn't you keep the flemishs, lol ! Since I travelled with a flemish group I became racist ! They all spoke a different dialect and couldn't even understand each other. The poor guide who spoke dutch couldn't understand them either. So I was the only one who tried to speak the beschaevde (??) nederlands ! As my son lives in Amsterdam and his "wife" is dutch I am quite often there. I speak english with her.

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  18. Very interesting. You do hear many people call The Netherlands - Holland. But I never realized there were this many provinces, or that one of them, much less two were called Holland [North and South]. Yup, very interesting...thank you Tink.

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  19. A very informative list this week as always. I think most of my knowledge of the Netherlands' geography comes from thrillers which probably are not the best source :-)

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  20. very interesting. I've not heard of some of these. Happy TT!

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  21. very interesting list. what I want to know is how come in most soccer tournaments, its called Holland and not the Netherlands.

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  22. Fascinating as always, and I hope you had a blessed Lughnasadah!

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  23. Thanks for the comments! I'll remember the tips for the future; The Netherlands will be back in my TT's!

    @impworks: I like thrillers too and the description of my country is not too bad most of the time; just a bit too much emphasis on Amsterdam, drugs and the red light area.

    @Sparky: unfortunately fellow countrymen have adopted the wrong name... I'm from Holland AND from The Netherlands. :-)

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  24. Tink - you are going to beat me with a moldy sock. I thought The Hague was in Germany. (skulks away ashamed)

    Thanks for the geography lesson. It's all goed!

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  25. This is cool!! I may just have to print this out to put it in our foreign country unit studies folder.

    http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com/2007/08/thirsday-thirteen-why-i-love-being-sahm.html

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  26. Thanks for telling us about Holland and The Netherlands. I always enjoy learning about the history of places.

    My TT is about August this week.

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  27. Very informative and interesting! Great idea for TT.

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  28. Cool list. I always enjoy learning new things, and I totally agree with everybody who would like to learn more. Happy TT.

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  29. Wonderful TT and very cool link to the megaliths. Yes, give us more, give us more! I find it funny when ideas survive strongly in popular imagination that are just plain wrong. Like Canada, for instance - many people are shocked to discover that Canadians might have a use for an air conditioner.

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  30. I love the names of the provinces. So different that how things are named around here.

    Good TTing

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  31. I agree with Susie J. I want you to pick one and tell us about it. I'm intrigued when you say that Friesland has its own language. Tell us more!

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  32. I wish I could visit there!

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  33. I absolutely loved reading about where you live. Thank you for the history lesson. It gives me a greater perspective on thins.

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  34. Great TT! I love learning something new. :)

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  35. Thanks for the geography lesson! I know of a shoe called the Utrecht - never knew it was a Netherlands name!

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  36. THis is really neat. We want to go over in that area so bad. My mother's maiden name is Rudisill and I was told that it is either swedish or Norweigian. My older son is the only blond! LOL

    Thanks for the welcome back. ;)

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  37. I never knew so much about the Netherlands! Happy TT!

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  38. This is faboulous Tink! One of these days I'd love to visit, but it will have to be after my trip to Scotland...

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  39. This was wonderful and so interesting! One thing struck me: didn't VanGogh paint alot in the Hague (if I'm saying that right?). I just remember seeing that alot when I was reading a story about his life.
    Great TT and thanks for visiting mine!

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  40. That is so cool! Our maid loves the Netherlands, she has been there many many times. At one time one of her grandmothers lived there! And she has a Dutch last name!
    Dank U well!

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  41. When I first heard about the Netherlands I thought it might be where Peter Pan was from.

    But seriously, I have been to Holland and LOVED it. And think I had a past life there.

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  42. i just want to GO to Holland! :-) that would be so much fun! I'm a TT'er too

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  43. Thanks for the geography lesson on The Netherlands and a little bit of the history of your country. :)

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  44. A very educational T13. I find your countyr so fasinating. I have never been to Europe but would love to tour someday.:o)

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  45. Thank you for the Geography lesson - I learned something - and yes, my name is Dutch and so am I, though I was born in America!

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  46. How interesting ... I always thought that Holland and The Netherlands was the same thing !!
    Thanks for the lesson.
    Take care, Meow

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  47. Oh, cool TT! :)

    Thanks for visiting mine at Raven's Roads :)

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  48. excellent geography lesson. love it when i learn something new. i'm with susiej who suggested you take them one by one for future TT. not necessarily consecutively; just whenever the mood strikes.

    thanx for visiting my Natalie Merchant TT. sorry it took me so long to get here.

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