The country spends serious money to keep everything dry and safe. Today
the dikes and dunes are designed to withstand an extreme 1 in 10.000 years flood.
Government and Parliament
are located in Den Haag, Amsterdam is the country's capital and Rotterdam is Europe's largest seaport.
and river-flows continuously changed the lower-lying lands so prehistoric finds come mainly from the higher grounds, like
the hunebeds in Drenthe province.
Hunter-gatheres arrived 10.000 years ago and by 2000 BC most people had changed over to agriculture.
The Dutch Republic was created in 1581 after declaring independence from Spain. The ensuing war dragged on for 80 years but in the
end the Dutch won.
The 17th century was the Dutch Golden Age. The ships of the VOC gathered huge wealth from its colonies and
harbors in Asia, making the Republic a superpower.
As one of the founding fathers of the EU and the Eurozone the Netherlands today is a
prosperous and at times liberal country.