Large parts of the land and the majority of the people sit below sea-level. The country spends serious money
to keep it dry and safe. Today the dikes and dunes are designed to withstand a one in 10.000 years flood.
and Parliament are located in The Hague ('s Gravenhage) but Amsterdam is the country's capital.
Rotterdam is by far
Europe's largest seaport.
Sea level and river flows continuously changed the lower-lying lands so pre-historic finds
come mainly from the higher grounds.
Hunter-gatheres arrived some 10.000 years ago, probably from Scandinavia. Around 4000 BC
people had changed over to agriculture.
The Frisian Kingdom with Utrecht at the center was a lose alliance of
several smaller entities but disappeared around 750 AD.
The Dutch Republic was created after declaring independence from Spain
As one of the founders of the EU and the Euro zone the Netherlands today is a prosperous and mostly