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Amsterdam
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The Kingdom of the Netherlands holds four countries, but the most important one sits at the North Sea and is called TheNetherlands.
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.  
 
Government 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 in 1581.
The 17th century was the Dutch Golden Age.
 
Since 1815 the Netherlands is an independent monarchy under the House of Oranje-Nassau.
 
As one of the founders of the EU and the Euro zone the Netherlands today is a prosperous and mostly liberal country.
Heeg
Den Haag
Den Bosch
Naarden
Wierum