Netherlands – a country in Western Europe. It shares borders with Germany and Belgium. The capital and largest city – Amsterdam, but the government agencies and parliament are located in The Hague. The largest port – Rotterdam.
The country’s population – 16.5 million people;. It consists of two indigenous groups (the Dutch and Frisians) and a large number of immigrants. Over 40% of Christians (Catholics, Protestants) Official language – Dutch (Dutch). Currency – Euro. The climate is generally mild, sea, thanks to its proximity to the North Sea. The best time to visit – March-April, when the blooming tulips and hyacinths.
The Netherlands has adopted a form of government – a constitutional monarchy. The head of state is the king. The history of these lands began about 8,000 years ago. It is known that in I century BC Celts settled here, which eventually drove the Germanic tribes.
a large number of rivers, canals and dams is typical for this country. Especially popular channels of Amsterdam, in which about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges. Equally popular in the Netherlands, the Palace of Peace and the Van Gogh Museum
Canals of Amsterdam
Canals of Amsterdam – the main reason the capital of Holland called the “Venice of the North ‘; an integral part of and scenic attractions of Amsterdam. This city is custom in all respects. In his water space you can move with the same ease as on roads by car or bicycle.
The city is actually built on the water. More than a hundred kilometers of occupied channels, which at last count at least 165. Channels began to build in the Netherlands in the 15th century, which was caused by the need for mobility, irrigation and water abstraction from the land. First channel Singel was dug (1428), which first called Steydegrahtom (“City Channel”). Today it is one of the most important internal channels in the city. It begins at the central station and leads to the Amstel river. On the perimeter of the channel can be seen a series of houses built in the “Golden Age” of the Netherlands (16-17 centuries).
In addition to the Singel in Amsterdam there are three main channels that were built later: Keizersgracht (“Imperial Canal.”), Herengracht and Prinsengracht ( “Princes Canal”). Keizersgracht was so named in honor of the Roman emperor Maximilian I. Along this channel lie luxurious mansions. By the way, in due course, in continuation to the main canals were dug new, give the city a half-moon shape. Construction Herengracht began in the first half of the 17th century. Today, the way this channel covered with two- and three-storey luxurious mansions. The most famous site is called “Gold bend”.
The longest of all channels is the “Prince of the channel.” Previously, only the rich merchants could afford to build a house on the shore of this and other channels. The landscape would not be complete without a scenic bridges and numerous islets. Sailing on the canals of Amsterdam, you can see funny “floating houses”. Earlier in the boats only poor people lived. Do not be surprised, and water taxis are bright yellow. Pleasure boats in Amsterdam are small but quite comfortable.
Red Light District
Red Light District – one of the most famous neighborhoods of Amsterdam; sensational place in Holland. In fact, it is not just the quarter, and the whole area in the central part of the city where the 14th century lawfully prostitutes work. Stunned tourists with great curiosity traversed the streets of the area, which, incidentally, is the oldest in the city. The locals affectionately call their neighborhood De Valletes.
In the evening and night life in the area is in full swing. Prostitutes vying offer their services to the curious passers-by. The word “red” in the title emerged by chance. Just after dark the streets are filled with red light, pouring from the windows behind which sell their body of a woman of easy virtue.
Standing in the window with the drawn curtains, they pointedly silent, but every passerby knows for sure what kind of service is sold on the streets of the red light district. Nothing to be ashamed of in this profession there is, as the Netherlands – the only country where prostitution is legalized vice.
And yet it is very colorful quarter. Not only typical illumination creates an appropriate atmosphere, but also melodic music, the crowd of tourists with dazed eyes, and, of course, themselves “prostitutes.” The windows on high bar stools are presented as if inanimate items, a variety of girls and women: mulattos, blonde, brunette, beauty, simpleton, donuts, etc. They wink at passersby, beckoning, beckoning finger. During the day, many windows do not work. Often, you can see how prostitutes leisurely leaf through fashion magazines, do a manicure, or discuss urgent matters.
No one was surprised that the Red Light District has grown around the old church, as well as that on the Sunday Mass there half-naked women. In fact, the place to create such a specific street was not chosen by chance. Nearby is the port, and for tired after a long voyage sailors zazyvno red light district was just the place. Brothels has long coexisted with tavernas.
Today you can also find sex shops, sex theaters, and even prostitution Museum. Next door is a small Chinatown, which is perfect for those looking for a decent coffee shop or bar. The nearest metro station to the attractions – Nieuwmarkt.
Amsterdam Royal Palace
Netherlands Attractions. Amsterdam Royal Palace – one of the few palaces in the Netherlands, which on Parliament Decree may dispose of the monarch; the former town hall on Dam Square. Located in the heart of Amsterdam and was built in the heyday of the state, in the so-called “Golden Age” of the Netherlands (17th century)
Jacob van Campen, inspired by Roman architecture, created the project for the construction of both grand and restrained luxury of the palace in the classical style. For walling 3-storeyed palace was used yellow sandstone brought from the German Bentheim. On bookmark strong foundation took more than 13 thousand wooden piles. Ends dome shape with a weather vane in the form of a marine vessel. The interior decoration was actively used marble.
The palace served as the residence of Louis Napoleon, though originally built as a city hall. Today it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the Dutch capital of the central square. It often hosts state visits and official events. These include the annual Prince Claus Award and the award “The Royal Award for Painting”.
Incidentally, in the walls of the palace are stored paintings of famous Dutch painters: Rembrandt, Jordaens, etc. In addition, experts in arts and crafts will appreciate the extensive collection of medieval furniture (more than 2,000 exhibits).
The Royal Palace is open daily from 12.30. Day off – Monday. At his side the trams depart from Central Station. Next to the construction of many other attractions are located in Amsterdam, for example, the Gothic church Nyuivekerk, Madame Tussauds, War Memorial.
Rijksmuseum – the main museum of the Netherlands, representing the country’s history in the objects of everyday life and art, leading chronicle of the 12th century to the present day. During the year, more than 2.2 million visitors come to the halls of the Rijksmuseum. Exclusivity artifacts collected in these halls, once again underline the historical value and cultural significance of the museum.
Museum building stretches the impressive size of almost a quarter on the banks of one of the many canals of Amsterdam. Peaked roof of the building could be seen from afar. Initially, the exhibits kept in Trippenheyse but growing collection did not fit there. Then, in the 1880s. architect P. Kuipers designed the new building of the gigantic proportions of red brick. It then became “home” for one of the best art museums in the world.
Incidentally, the idea to create an art museum in Amsterdam by a Dutch governor of Louis Bonaparte. It was he who founded the Rijksmuseum in 1808. And at the end of the 19th century, the collection was moved to a new building. The centerpiece of the exhibition is the work of Rembrandt’s “Night Watch”, which can be seen on the second floor in the “Hall of Fame”. The museum has a large number of paintings by Dutch painters of the “Golden Age” (17 in.), For example, Vermeer, De Hooch, Ruisdael.
But the history and development of the country, you can find out more on the collection of objects of decorative and applied arts. Antique furniture, jewelry, luxury goods, porcelain utensils – all this and much more is stored in the Rijksmuseum. An unforgettable experience produce items Delft porcelain in blue and white and doll houses, the oldest of which was made in 1670-ies.
The museum is open daily from 9 am. Output – January 1st. There is in it and the work of Italian, Spanish, Flemish masters, but not too much. From the Central Station in the direction of the National Museum sent trams 145, 170 and 172. Get off at Hobbemastraat need to stop.
Netherlands Attractions. Keukenhof Park – famous throughout the world of the royal park of flowers; One of the most popular attractions Holland. During the season in the park Keukenhof is more than 1.1 million people. Geographically, it is located in Lisse and occupies 32 hectares of land.
It is no secret that the Netherlands is famous for its tulips, and the Keukenhof dominated these flowers. Although there are greenhouses with roses, orchids, daffodils and lilacs. The park is open only two months a year. Usually, the opening in the second half of March and the closing of the second half of May. Going into the realm of flowers, tourists are returning with hundreds of new photos and fresh impressions. Europeans this park safely called “Garden of Europe”.
Park Keukenhof is open from 8 am. Ticket office open until 6 pm. It is located almost at the coast in the provincial city of Lisse en route from Amsterdam to The Hague. The cultivation of flowers in the city comes to an industrial scale.
Get to Lisse can be on the highway A44 from Amsterdam. Of all the major Dutch cities to go Lisse trip and sightseeing buses. By train you can get from the station to the capital of Leiden, and then transfer to a direct bus to the Keukenhof.
Keukenhof takes pride of first place in the world in the number and variety of tulips. Here grow over 4.5 million tulips a wide variety of grades, sizes, shapes and colors. In the park grow bright red, yellow, pink, white and even purple tulips. After all, these flowers have long been a symbol of the Netherlands. Despite the fact that the park was designed in the mid-19th century, the first public exhibition was held in 1949.
Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh Museum – the most visited museum of Holland; one of the essential places to visit in Amsterdam. Connoisseurs of Dutch painting realize how interesting the museum exposition. It is the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and even the works of some of his contemporaries, made in the spirit of post-impressionism.
It was founded in 1973 based on an extensive collection of the artist’s personal accessories. Today, it houses more than 200 paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, and more than 500 written documents and sketches, one way or another connected with his life. In addition to the permanent exhibition, the museum hosts exhibitions in the new wing, designed by in 1999 by the famous Japanese architect K. Kurokawa.
According to the latest figures for the Van Gogh Museum attracts more than 1.5 million people. These figures place it at the 23 th place in the world in attendance. The museum in addition to works by Van Gogh, you can see some paintings by Picasso, Gauguin, Monet and other famous artists. The territory of the institution is divided into five thematic sections, according to the chronology and the most important stages of the artist’s work.
This, first of all, his early work. Well, the other four of the represented cities where he lived and worked as a Van Gogh. This is Paris, Arles, Saint-Rémy and Auvers. Quite an interesting collection of the artist’s letters to his brother Theodorus (Theo). It survived thanks to the efforts of Johanna B. – the wife of his brother. Among the most important paintings should be allocated to one of three paintings “Sunflowers” and “Bedroom in Arles”.
The museum is open all year round from 10am. It has a great educational value, so the trips there are almost all the time. You can save considerably if you buy a ticket paired with other museums in the city such as the Museum of Madame Tussauds. Aside attractions go trams 2 and 5.
Peace Palace in The Hague
Peace Palace in The Hague – is one of the most beautiful buildings in the center of The Hague, Netherlands; official residence of the International Court of Justice. Inside the palace housing the main judicial institutions of the planet, a huge library and a thematic museum. Hague Academy of International Law often organizes courses for their students within the walls of the Peace Palace. The building was built by the famous entrepreneur and philanthropist E. Carnegie in the early 20th century.
Moreover, it is one of the most memorable sights of the city. The architect of the palace appeared L. Cordonnier. The exterior can be traced harmonious interweaving of the two dominant styles: Byzantine and Romanesque. Also in the Gothic facade elements can be traced.
The building used granite, sandstone and red brick. Before the palace sprawled neat lawn with a few sculptures. Clock tower with chimes stands proudly in the left corner of the building. Its height is 80 meters. The whole complex is surrounded by a park of 7 hectares.
The idea to create such institutions in The Hague appeared during the first meeting on the disarmament, convened in 1898 on the initiative of Nicholas II. The construction took about 5 years (1907-1913). In 1987 the building was attached additional wing for offices.
Indoors stored objects of art made of wood, mosaic, tapestry. Many of them were given to the heads of the various states and international organizations. Among the unique sculptures bust of Mahatma Gandhi, a marble copy of the throne of the king Minos, etc.
Walking through the palace with a visit to the museum takes about 1.5 hours. In the days when the scheduled major hearings, tours, respectively, does not happen. The museum is open only from 11 to 15 hours. To get to the sights by bus 24 or tram 1 and 10.
Netherlands Attractions. Binnenhof – amazingly beautiful castle in the Netherlands in the heart of The Hague; Former count’s castle, which today is the Parliament. According to its luxurious design and grandeur Binnenhof resembles a real royal palace, even though the latter is a little more modest and is located on the outskirts of The Hague. Today, around the medieval palace like mushrooms growing modern buildings. At the same time it is surrounded by a large number of historical monuments and museums.
The history of the castle began in the early 13th century and is connected with the Dutch Count Floris IV. It is because of this man appeared city Hague. He actually started the construction of the first castle on this land, which was later expanded and the city. The son and grandson of the Count continued to expand ownership Binnenhof. Willem II built a hunting lodge, and Floris V ridderzaal erected, which today hosts various celebrations, including Prinsesdag (Day of King / Queen). This festival is celebrated every year in late April.
It is worth noting that the Gothic building ridderzaal (trans. “Knight’s Castle”) is quite interesting from an architectural point of view. The triangular façade of the castle is decorated with two monumental towers on the edges and on the round window above the main entrance you can see the coats of arms of the ruling dynasties of the Netherlands.
The centerpiece of the interior is a large Knight’s Hall with magnificent stained glass windows. Interestingly, it was found in the Binnenhof asylum brother of Napoleon in the 17th century. One of the towers of the complex serves as the residence of the Dutch prime minister.
In the courtyard is a palace pond dug back in the 14th century. Much later it was installed a fountain Wilhelm II. Geographically Binnenhof is located just a kilometer to the west of the main train station. In turn, to The Hague can be easily reached by train from Amsterdam and other nearby cities. From Amsterdam trains depart every 15 minutes. Travel time – about 40 minutes.
Madame Tussauds museum
Madame Tussauds – the first branch of the world-famous Madame Tussaud’s Museum in London, opened recently in Amsterdam. Today it is one of the most visited museums in the Netherlands. At first there were only 20 of wax celebrities, but the museum’s collection of constantly growing and expanding. It’s not even a museum, and the whole show with favorite celebrities.
Geographically, the museum building is located on Dam Square in the heart of the Dutch capital. Fans of artists such as Madonna, John E., A. Jolie, Pitt B., M. Monroe, K. Minogue will be pleasantly surprised to see their idols in full growth. Idols can be hugged, to be photographed with them, shake their hand. By the way, the wax copies depict not only celebrities of our time, but also people who have left the Netherlands contribution to the history. For example, there are rooms dedicated to Rembrandt, and Hieronymus Bosch.
From politicians and prominent public figures in the Amsterdam branch of Madame Tussauds Museum you can see Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Queen of the Netherlands, John. F. Kennedy, General de Gaulle and others. In this informal atmosphere make excellent pictures. Especially curious tourists can look into the workshop, where they create the wax figures. The doors of the museum are open daily from 10 am. The ticket office closes at 17.30. When buying tickets coupled to several museums have discounts.
Dam Square – the “heart” of Amsterdam; the main square of the Netherlands, on which the important historical and modern attractions. The word “Dam” is found not only in the area of the title, but in the name of the city itself. Anyway, it is associated with the construction of a dam on the Amstel River in the 13th century. It is on the basis of this dam there was a central square, and then himself Amsterdam has grown around it.
It should be noted that the first is the space occupied two areas: Platz and Middeldam. Then they merged into a single rectangular Dam Square, which over time has become a socio-political and commercial center of the country. A special place on the square is the National Monument, also known as the War Memorial. This white stone stele was erected in 1956 in memory of those killed in World War II people.
Other significant attractions include Madame Tussauds, which is the first branch of the famous London museum and the Royal Palace in the neoclassical style. Last until the early 19th century was the town hall.
the central square of Amsterdam Visitors do not overlook building of a Gothic church of the 15th century Nieuwe Kerk. This church has always been used for royal coronations, inaugurations and special ceremonies.
All these attractions have turned the Dam Square in a popular tourist area. As atypical city in every respect, Amsterdam and here may surprise. Right on the square are the tram tracks. Therefore, to reach the city center by tram directly from the train station. While walking the walk from the station takes less than 15 minutes. Around the square are many streets lined with shops and cafes.