Netherlands Political System, Famous People, Animals and Plants

By | January 15, 2023

Netherlands Political system

Based on the constitution of 1848, which has been revised several times, the Netherlands is a parliamentary monarchy. The last amendment took place in 1983. At the head of the state is the queen or the king. Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard has held this office since 1980, but she resigned for reasons of age. Since April 30, 2013, her son Willem-Alexande r has been King of the Netherlands. See AbbreviationFinder for more information about Netherlands politics, and acronyms as well.

According to COMPUTERMINUS.COM, the government is led by the Prime Minister appointed by the monarch. Usually it is provided by the strongest party or coalition.

The parliament (“Staten-General”) consists of two chambers: The 75 members of the first chamber (“Eerste Kamer”) are elected indirectly by the provincial parliaments for four years. In the second chamber (“Tweede Kamer”) the 150 members are directly elected by the people for four years. A so-called “Council of State” with a maximum of 28 members, who are appointed by the monarch, has an advisory function. All citizens over the age of 18 have the right to vote.

The official name of the country is:

Koninkrijk der Nederlanden Kingdom of the Netherlands

National anthem

Based on flag descriptions by, the national anthem of the Netherlands was most likely written between 1568 and 1572 by Philips van Marnix (1540-1598) in honor of William I of Orange during the uprising against the Spanish occupation. It became the country’s official anthem in 1932.

  • Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in Netherlands.

In Flemish it is

WilhelmusWilhelmus van Nassouwe

Ben ik van Duitsen bloed,

Den vaderland getrouwe

Blijf ik tot in den dood;

Een Prince van Oranjen

Ben ik, vrij onverveerd,

Den Koning van Hispanjen

Heb ik altijd geeerd.

In Godes vrees te leven

Heb ik altijd contemplated,

Daarom ben ik verdreven,

Om land, om luid ‘brought;

Maar God zal mij regeren

As een goed instrument,

Dat ik zal wederkeren

In mijnen regiment.

Luidt u, mijn onderzaten,

Die oprecht zijn van aard,

God zal u niet verlaten,

Al zijt gij nu bezwaard;

The vroom desires te leven,

Bidt God night end dag,

Dat hij mij kracht wil geven,

Dat ik u helpen mag.

(12 more stanzas follow)

In the English translation (the first 3 stanzas)

I am Wilhelmus von Nassawe of German blood, I will stay withthe fatherland

until death;

A printze of Urania

I am frey inexperienced, I have always honored

the king of Hispania

.I have always considered living in God’s research, that is

why I am expelled, lost

to land and people;

But God should rule me

as a good instrument

that I like to return

to my regiment.Sorry to you, my subscribers,

who are reckless of art,

God will not forsake you,

all complained since ye now;

whoever wants to live, ask

God night and day to

give me strength,

that I may help you:

Theologians and philosophers

Geert Groote (1340 – 1384), theologian

His Protestant feast day is August 21.

Erasmus von Rotterdam (1469 – 1536), writer and humanist

He is considered one of the founders of the Reformation and was in contact with all outstanding personalities. From Rotterdam tried to reconcile the Christian religion with humanistic values. His most important writings include “The Education of the Christian Prince”, “On Free Will” and “The Lament of Peace”.

Hugo Grotius (1583 – 1645), philosopher, theologian and legal scholar.

Karel Houben (1821-1893), priest, one of the first Passionists in the Netherlands. He was born in 1821 in the south of the Dutch province of Limburg. At the age of 36, he went to Ireland, where it was extremely poor. He shared the harsh lot of the population with his friars. His experience made the clergy more sensitive to the problems of the Irish people. So it was not surprising that many people sought the way to him, where they could find a hearing and understanding for their needs.

Houben was beatified in 1988 by Pope John Paul II and on June 3, 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI. canonized.

The Passionists are a Catholic religious order that was founded in 1720 by Paul von Kreuz. The official name is: Congregation for the Passion of Jesus Christ. The main concern is the special devotion to the passion of Christ.

Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)

The great Dutch philosopher of Sephardic descent represented a metaphysics in which he assumed an infinite substance as the basis of all things and as the only really existing one, which is supposed to be identical with God. That is why he was often mistaken for a pantheist, but this label only partially fits his rationalistic theology.

In his most important work, the posthumously published “Ethics according to the geometrical method”, he also advocates a theory of human affects in addition to substance ontology.

Johannes d ‘Outrein (1662 – 1722) preacher and author of theological-evangelical works.

Netherlands: doctors and scientists

Natural scientist

David Fabricius (1564-1617), astronomer and cartographer.

Christiaan Huygens (1629 – 1695)

mathematician, physicist and astronomer from the Netherlands, who made fundamental discoveries in optics. The Huygens principle became the basis of wave optics. He discovered the Saturn moon Titan with a telescope he had developed and calculated the rotation of Mars.

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723), researcher and developer of microscopes.

Johannes Diderik van der Waals (1837 – 1923)

As a physicist, he discovered the interaction of forces between molecules – the van der Waals forces that were later named after him. In 1873, as part of his doctoral thesis, van der Waals developed a model for the continuity of gaseous and liquid states of matter. From this he set up an equation of state that showed that states of aggregation for gases and liquids not only merge into one another, but that these states of aggregation are based on the same basic physical principle. In 1919 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for the “Van der Waals equation” that he established.

Jacobus Henricus van’t Hoff (1852-1911), chemist.

In 1901 he received the first Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his laws of chemical dynamics and osmotic pressure in solutions.

Hendrik Antoon Lorentz (1853 – 1928), mathematician and physicist In

1902 he and the physicist Pieter Zeeman received the Nobel Prize in physics for research into the interaction between magnetic fields and ionizing radiation (Lorentz force).

Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (1853 – 1926), physicist In

1913 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics “for his investigations into the properties of matter at low temperatures, which among other things led to the production of liquid helium”.

Thomas Jean Stieltjes (1856 – 1894), mathematician

The Stieltjes integral is named after him.

Pieter Zeeman (1865 – 1943), physicist In

1902 he and his teacher Hendrik Antoon Lorentz received the Nobel Prize in Physics for their research into the interaction between magnetic fields and ionizing radiation (Lorentz force). The Zeeman effect is the splitting of atomic spectral lines when an external magnetic field is applied.

Peter Debye (1884 – 1966)

The chemist and physicist received his doctorate in Munich in 1908. from 1935 he was director at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin. Due to disagreements with the Nazis, he went to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in 1939. In 1936 he received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry “for his contributions to our knowledge of molecular structures through his research on dipole moments, on the diffraction of X-rays and on electrons in gases”.

Anthony Fokker (1890 – 1939)

The aircraft manufacturer and engineer received his training in Bingen and Mainz, and then in 1911 he set up his aircraft factory in Berlin Johannisthal. Thousands of his fighters shaped the air battles of World War I. The technology for synchronizing machine guns and propellers goes back to him. In 1919 he relocated his works to Amsterdam in the Netherlands to build civil aircraft there.

Jan Hendrik Oort (1900-1992), astronomer.

The Oort cloud, a cluster of comets on the edge of our solar system, is named after him.

Gerardus’ t Hooft (* 1946)

The physicist and mathematician made important contributions to the renormalization of gauge theories, the confinement of quarks, the theory of anomalies in quantum field theory and the theory of instantons. He developed a perturbative development of SU (N) gauge theories (N → ∞), which has proven to be important for the AdS/CFT correspondence in string theory. Together with Leonard Susskind he developed the holographic principle.

In 1999 he and Martinus Veltman (* 1931) received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his achievements.


Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738), medic.

In addition to his profession as a doctor, he held a professorship for medicine, chemistry and botany. As a doctor and pharmaceutical scientist, he was recognized beyond the borders of the Netherlands.

Architects and builders

Petrus Josephus Hubertus Cuypers (1827-1921)

Architect. He built in the style of historicism. Among other things, the Gothic church in Eindhoven comes from him and from 1875 he directed the restoration of the cathedral in Mainz.

Hendrik Petrus Berlage (1856 – 1934)

After studying in Zurich and Frankfurt/Main, he developed his own style, initially based on the Neo-Renaissance and later with brick as his main material. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange became its most important building. Later he oriented himself more towards the “New Objectivity”.

Robert van’t Hoff (1887-1979)

He received his training in England; In 1914 he studied Frank Lloyd Wright’s work in the USA, and then joined the group “De Stijl”. His most important works were the Verloop and Henry villas, built between 1915 and 1919.

Gerrit Rietveld (1888 – 1964)

The most important “de Stijl” representative of modern building and design became generally known for his “red-blue chair” which went down in furniture history. With the Rietveld Schröder House in 1924 he succeeded in creating a manifesto of modernism.

JJP Oud (1890-1963)

Dutch architect who was a member of the “de Stijl” group from 1917 to 1921. From 1918 to 1933 City Planning Director of Rotterdam, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Delft University in 1954. As one of the most important protagonists of classical modernism, his most important works were among others. the “Hoek van Holland” settlement in Rotterdam (1924-27), the national monument on Dam Square in Amsterdam (1949), the congress building in The Hague (1956-63). In 1927 he took part in the building exhibition in Stuttgart with his row houses in the Weissenhofsiedlung.

Aldo van Eyck (1918 – 1999)

After studying in The Hague, between 1938 and 1942 he got to know the international architectural avant-garde at the ETH Zurich. His frame of reference also includes the experiences he gained on his travels through North Africa. He played an important role in the CIAM. His first major building, the City Orphanage in Amsterdam, was completed in 1960. As editor of the magazine “Forum” (1959-63) he had a great influence on Dutch architecture. In the eighties, together with his wife Hannie, he designed the office buildings of the “European Space Agency” in Noordwijk (1984-89) and the “Tripoli” building in Amsterdam (1990-94).

Rem Koolhaas (born 1944)

grew up in Indonesia and studied at the AA in London from 1968-1972. With his office “Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA)” he became one of the pioneering theorists of contemporary building. The first projects were not implemented until the 1980s. He teaches at Harvard and received the Pritzker Prize (the highest award for architecture) in 2000. His most important buildings include the Nederlands Danstheather in The Hague, the Kunsthalle in Rotterdam, the Guggenheim Museum in Las Vegas and the Dutch Embassy in Berlin.

Ben van Berkel (born 1957)

After studying at the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and at the AA in London (1987), he first worked for Zaha Hadid and Santiago Calatrava. With his office UN Studio he has made architectural history since 1998. The most important projects are the Amersfoort company building (1990-1991), the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam (1990-1995), the Moebius house in Het Gooi (1993-1995) and the Mercedes-Benz World in Stuttgart recently opened (2002-2006). Since 1994 he has taught at Columbia University in NY, the AA in London, Princeton and the Städelschule in Frankfurt/Main.

Winy Maas (born 1959)

Architect and co-founder of the MVRDV architectural office in Rotterdam.

Nathalie de Vries (born 1965)

Architect and co-founder of the MVRDV architectural office in Rotterdam.

Jacob van Rijs (born 1964)

Architect and co-founder of the MVRDV architectural office in Rotterdam.

Netherlands: visual artists

Hieronymus Bosch (1450 – 1516), painter

With his art on the threshold from the Middle Ages to the modern age, he left behind impressive works that often defy interpretation. The most important preserved works are: “Ecce Homo”, “John the Baptist” and “John on Patmos”, “The Temptation of St. Anthony”, “The Adoration of the Three Magi”, “The Seven Deadly Sins”, “The Juggler”, “The Ship of Fools”, “The Hay Cart”, “The Garden of Earthly Delights” and “The Last Judgment”.

Adam van Vianen (1569 – 1627), silversmith.

His works, especially silver dishes, are made in the so-called kwabstijl. This style is characterized by flowing ornamentation and the use of fantastic elements.

Frans Hals (1580 – 1666), painter

He is considered one of the most important portrait and genre painters of his time; five of his sons also became painters, so that he founded a regular school. The most important works are for example: The feast of the officers of the Sankt Georgs-Schützengilde (1616), the “Rommelpotplayer” (1618-22). His sketchy style became groundbreaking for the later Impressionists.

Gerard van Honthorst (1590-1656), painter.

Honthorst was heavily influenced by Caravaggio. In addition to history pictures and portraits, he also painted genre pictures such as the famous picture “The happy minstrel”.

Willem Heda (1594-1680), painter.

He is considered one of the masters of the still life. Heda’s colors are muted, his compositions simple.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606 – 1669), painter

He is considered the most important painter of the 17th century. By marrying the niece of his art dealer, he was able to rise to the highest social classes, which increased his fame even more. He marketed his work independently from 1643 onwards and thus became a forerunner of modern art marketing. He created around 350 paintings, around 1,300 graphics, the listing of which would go beyond the scope. His paintings are well known: “The Night Watch” and “The Man with the Gold Helmet”. The great artist died impoverished and lonely in 1669.

Jacob van Ruisdael (1628-1682), painter.

Ruisdael is known as a landscape painter.

Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), painter.

It occupies an important place in art history. He is known for his ability to express light through color. His most famous works include “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” and “The Astronomer”.

Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890), painter

With his expressive style, he went far beyond Impressionism and became a founder of modern painting. Only in France, initially in Paris and later in Arles, did he find his typical style. Without the support of his brother he could not live his painting. His most important works were created in the last years of his life, which were heavily influenced by his depression. The most important works of his work include: “The Potato Eaters” (1885), “Sunflowers” (1888), “The Night Cafe” (1888), “Bridge of Langlois” (1888), “Starry Night” (1889), “The Bedroom” , “Field under the starry sky”, “Church of Auvers”.

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), painter,

founding member of the artist group “de Stijl”, he became one of the most important representatives of classical modernism. He surrendered entirely to abstraction. His pictures, characterized by lines and rectangles in red, yellow and blue, became icons of modernism. Well-known works are: “Grauer Baum” (1912), “Komposition in Oval” (1913), “Komposition Nr.6” (1914), “Komposition Nr.II in Blau und Rot” (1929).

MC Escher (1898 – 1972), graphic artist

Who does not know his so-called impossible pictures, in which he was concerned with optical illusions and impossible perspectives. His paradoxes found access to posters and prints in all children’s and student booths of the flower power era.

Willem de Kooning (1904 – 1997), painter

The American artist of Dutch descent is one of the most important exponents of Abstract Expressionism. He studied in Rotterdam and went to the USA in 1926. From 1951 he taught at Yale.

Karel Appel (1921-2006), painter

After studying in Amsterdam (1940-44), he founded the CoBra group in 1948. Large wall paintings such as “Inquiring Children” in the Amsterdam town hall, the fresco for the Stedelijk Museum (1951), and a wall painting for the Unesco building in Paris (1959) established his reputation. Later he combined theater, music, poetry and film with his painting. shortly before his death he designed the set for the “Magic Flute” at the Salzburg guest performances.

Netherlands: musicians

Alphonsus Johannes Maria Diepenbrock (1862-1921), composer.

Willem Pijper (1894-1947), composer.

Herman Krebbers (born 1923), violinist.

Misha Mengelberg (born 1935), pianist and composer.

Louis Joseph Andriessen (born 1939), composer.

Willem Breuker (* 1944), jazz musician

With his “Willem-Breuker-Kollektief” he became one of the most influential protagonists of free jazz in the 1970s. His music is still characterized today by his very typical clowneries.

Willem Breuker (born 1944), jazz musician and composer.

Jan Akkerman (* 1946), guitarist

Together with Thijs van Leer, he was internationally successful with the Focus group in the 1970s. He was voted the world’s best guitarist by Melody Maker in 1973. His solo projects failed to achieve great economic success, but in 2004 he was awarded the “Golden Harp” for his complete works.

Herman Brood (1946 – 2001), rock musician and artist

At the end of the 1970s, he achieved international success with his band “Hermann Brod and His Wild Romance”. He also became known through his relationship with Nina Hagen. Years of drug addiction then led him to suicide in 2001.

Golden Earring Rockband

The band, which was founded in 1961, had its greatest international success with the 1973 hit “Radar Love”. They still play in their original line-up today, but also appear as producers and composers.

Henk Hofstede (* 1951)

With his band “Nits” he became known beyond the borders of the country in the 70s and 80s. His first solo project, the songs for the installation “Het Draagbare Huis”, was published in 2002 as a commission for the Biennale in Lyon.

Marco Borsato (born 1966), singer.

Ilse Huizinga (born 1966), jazz singer.

Anouk Teeuwe (born 1975), pop singer.

Nobel Prize Winner

The Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize is considered to be the highest honor given to scientists, writers and peacemakers (individuals, politicians or organizations).

The award goes back to the Swedish chemist, inventor and industrialist Alfred Nobel (1833–1896).

Nobel had stipulated in his will that a foundation should be established with his fortune, the interest profits of which should be given in the form of a prize to the people who had rendered the greatest benefit to mankind in the past year.

The money should be divided equally for special achievements in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine as well as literature and for peace efforts.

The Nobel Foundation was established – following Nobel’s request – on June 29, 1900 and in 1901 the first Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901.

The winners will be announced in October, while the official award ceremony will take place on December 10 – the anniversary of Nobel’s death – with the exception of the Nobel Peace Prize in Stockholm.

The Nobel Peace Prize is presented in Oslo.

In 1866 Alfred Nobel developed the explosive “dynamite”. There is evidence that his conscience, because of the use of explosives as a weapon of war, led him to write his will to establish the Nobel Foundation.

However, there is no reliable evidence for this interpretation.


The Nobel Prize winners who were citizens of the Netherlands at the time they were awarded are listed here.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Award winner Award Reason for the award
Bernard Lucas Feringa 2016 Together with the British James Fraser Stoddart and the French Jean-Pierre Sauvagefor their design and synthesis of molecular machines
Paul J. Crutzen(born 1933) 1995 Together with the Americans Mario J. Molina and Frank Sherwood Rowlandfor their work on the chemistry of the earth’s atmosphere, in particular on the

formation and depletion of ozone

Peter Debye(1884–1966) 1936 For his contributions to our knowledge of molecular structures through his researchon dipole moments, on the diffraction of X-rays and on electrons in gases
Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff(1852–1911) 1901 In recognition of the extraordinary merithe has earned for discovering the laws of chemical dynamics

and osmotic pressure in solutions

Nobel Peace Prize

Award winner Award Reason for the award
Tobias Asser(1838-1913) 1911 Organizer of the International Conference on Private Law in The Hague

Nobel Prize in literature

At the moment there is no Dutch person who has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Award winner Award Reason for the award
Christiaan Eijkman(1858-1930) 1929 For his discovery of the anti-neuritic vitamin
Willem Einthoven(1860-1927) 1924 For his discovery of the electrocardiogram(EKG) mechanism

Nobel Price for physics

Award winner Award Reason for the award
Andre Geim(born 1958) 2010 For basic experimentswith the two-dimensional material graph
Gerardus’ t Hooft(born 1946) 1999 Together with his compatriot Martinus JG Veltmanfor their decisive, quantum structure-related contributions

to the theory of the electroweak interaction in physics

Martinus JG Veltman(born 1931) 1999 Together with his compatriot Gerardus’ t Hooft,for their decisive, quantum structure-related contributions

to the theory of the electroweak interaction in physics

Simon van der Meer(1925-2011) 1984 Together with the Italian Carlo Rubbiafor their decisive contributions to the large project that

led to the discovery of the field particles W and Z,

agents of weak interaction

Frits Zernike(1888–1966) 1963 For the phase contrast method specified by him,in particular for his invention of the phase contrast microscope
Heike Kamerlingh Onnes(1853–1926) 1913 On the occasion of his investigations into the properties of bodiesat low temperatures,

which among other things led to the representation of liquid helium

Johannes Diderik van der Waals(1837–1923) 1910 For his work on the equation of state of gases and liquids(Van der Waals equation)
Hendrik Antoon Lorentz(1853–1928) 1902 Together with his compatriot Pieter ZeemanIn recognition of the extraordinary merit

they have earned through their investigations

into the influence of magnetism

on radiation phenomena

(splitting of spectral lines in the magnetic field, Zeeman effect)

Pieter Zeeman(1865-1943) 1902 Together with his compatriot Hendrik Antoon Lorentz inrecognition of the extraordinary merit

they have earned through their investigations

into the influence of magnetism

on radiation phenomena

(splitting of spectral lines in the magnetic field, Zeeman effect)

Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics


The Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics does not go back directly to Alfred Nobel’s will, but was donated by the Swedish Reichsbank in 1968 on the basis of the Nobel Prizes on the occasion of its 300th anniversary. The prize was awarded for the first time in 1969 to the Norwegian Ragnar AK Frisch (1895–1973) and the Dutchman Jan Tinbergen (1903–1994).

Award winner Award Reason for the award
Jan Tinbergen(1903-1994) 1969 Together with the Norwegian Ragnar AK Frischfor the development and application of dynamic models

for the analysis of economic processes

Politicians and rulers

Wilhelm Friedrich Prince of Orange-Nassau (1772 – 1843)

first King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg from 1815 to 1840 and Duke of Limburg from 1839 to 1840.

Wilhelm Friedrich Georg Ludwig von Oranien-Nassau (1792-1849)

second king of the Netherlands. He ruled from 1840 to 1849.

Wilhelm Alexander Paul Friedrich Ludwig von Oranien-Nassau (1817 – 1890)

King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg from 1849 to 1890 and Duke of Limburg from 1849 to 1867.

Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria (1880 – 1962)

Queen of the Netherlands from 1890 to 1948. In 1898 she took over the reign of her mother.

Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina (1909-2004)

Queen of the Netherlands from 1948 to 1980.

Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard van Oranje-Nassau (born 1938),

Queen of the Netherlands from 1980 to 2013. For reasons of age, she thanked us. Her son Willem-Alexander became King of the Netherlands on April 30, 2013

Willem Drees (1886-1988)

Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1948 to 1958.

Victor Gerard Marie Marijnen (1917-1975)

Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1963 to 1965.

Johannes Marten den Uyl (1919-1987)

Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1973 to 1977.

Andreas Antonius Maria (Dries) van Agt (born 1931)

Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1977 to 1982.

Rudolphus Franciscus Marie Lubbers (born 1939)

Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1982 to 1994 and from 2001 to 2005 High Commissioner for Refugees of the United Nations and thus head of the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR.

Wim Kok (born 1938)

Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1994 to 2002.

Jan Peter Balkenende (born 1956)

Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 2002.

Willem-Alexander (born 1967 in Utrecht)

Eldest son of the former Queen Beatrix and the German-born father Claus von Amsberg. After his mother Beatrix resigned as Queen, he has been King of the Netherlands since April 30, 2013. He is married to Maxima of Argentinian origin and has three daughters with her.

Netherlands: actors and directors

Rudi Carrell (1934-2006), show master. Carrell became known for programs like “Herzblatt” and “7 Tage, 7 Köpfe”.

Paul Verhoeven (born 1938), director. He shot “Basic Instinct”, “Showgirls” and “Starship Troopers”, among others.

Jan de Bont (born 1943), cameraman, director and producer. He made the films “Speed”, “Twister”, “The Ghost Castle” and “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”, among others.

Rutger Hauer (born 1944), actor. He played in “Blade Runner”, “Batman Begins” and “Sin City”, among others.

Jeroen Krabbé (born 1944), actor and director. He played in “Merciless”, “The Touch of Death” and “Auf der Flucht”, among others.

Sylvia Kristel (born 1952), actress and model.

Theo van Gogh (1957-2004), director and publicist. He shot “Interview”, “Zien” and “Submission”, among others. In 2004 van Gogh was murdered by an Islamist.

Johanna ter Steege (born 1961), actress. You could see them in “Vanished without a trace” and “Rembrandt”.

Linda de Mol (born 1964), show host. Among other things, she moderated the program “Traumhochzeit” in Germany.

Writer and poet

Dietrich Coelde (around 1435-1515), writer.

Georgius Macropedius (1487 – 1558), humanist and playwright.

Jacob Cats (1577-1660), poet and politician.

Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581 – 1647), poet, historian and playwright of the Renaissance.

Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679), poet. Vondel is considered one of the greatest poets in the Netherlands.

Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687), poet.

Jacob van Lennep (1802-1868), writer. Among other things, he wrote “The Rose of Dekarra” and “The Lord in Crimson”.

Eduard Douwes Dekker (1820-1887), writer. The works “Max Havelaar” and “The coffee auctions of the Dutch trading company” come from him.

Conrad Busken Huet (1826-1886), writer and critic.

Frederik Willem van Eeden (1860-1932), psychologist, social reformer and writer.

Louis Marie Anne Couperus (1863-1923), writer. Among other things he wrote “Psyche” and “Die stille Kraft”.

Gerrit Achterberg (1905 – 1962), one of the most important Dutch poets of the last century. He wrote the book “Sleeping Beauty”.

Theun de Vries (1907-2005), writer. Among other things, he wrote “The Girl with the Red Hair”, “The Cardinal Motet” and “Vincent and His”.

Bertus Aafjes (1914-1993), writer. He wrote, among other things, “Tomorrow the apricots will bloom” and “Theft in the tea house”.

Louis de Jong (1914-2005), historian and journalist. He became known with his fourteen-part work “The Kingdom of the Netherlands in World War II”.

Willem Frederik Hermans (1921-1995), writer. His works include “The Tears of the Acacia” and “Au Pair”.

Gerard Kornelis van het Reve (1923-2006), writer. His works include “Closer to You” and “The Fourth Man”.

Jan Hendrik Wolkers (born 1925), writer. He wrote the book “Terug nach Oegstgeest”, which was filmed by Theo van Gogh.

Harry Mulisch (born 1927), writer. He wrote, among other things, “Love without scruples”, “The assassination” and “The discovery of heaven”. These three books were made into films.

Janwillem Lincoln van de Wetering (born 1931), crime and children’s author. He wrote the books “Street Warriors” and “Oil Pirates”.

Cees Nooteboom (born 1933), writer. He wrote “All Souls”, “Rituals”, “The Following Story” and “Paradise Lost”, among others.

Margriet de Moor (born 1941), writer. She wrote the books “The Date”, “Kreutzersonate” and “Sturmflut”.

Maarten ‘t Hart (born 1944), writer. He wrote the books “The Raging of the Whole World” and “Die Netzflickerin”.

René Appel (born 1945), writer. He wrote, among other things, “A victim of circumstances” and “Vengeance”.

Tessa de Loo (born 1946), writer. “The girls from the confectionery factory” and “The twins” are from her.

Geert Mak (born 1946), writer and essayist. He wrote, among other things, “In Europe. A journey through the 20th century” and “The murder of Theo van Gogh. History of a moral panic”.

Adrianus Franciscus Theodorus van der Heijden (born 1951), writer. He wrote the book “A Gondola in the Herrengracht”.

Leon de Winter (born 1954), writer. He wrote “Zionoco”, “The Hollywood Sky” and “Malibu”.

Arnon Grünberg (pseudonym Marek van der Jagt) (born 1971), writer. “Grace period” and “Monogamous” come from him.


Willem Barents (around 1550 – 1597), navigator and explorer. Part of the Northern Arctic Sea, the Barents Sea, and the Barents Island near Spitsbergen are named after him.

Cornelis de Houtman (1565-1599), researcher and discoverer of the sea route from Europe to Indonesia.

Abel Janszoon Tasman (1603-1659), navigator. He was the first European to reach New Zealand in 1642. The Australian island of Tasmania, the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand and the Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand are named after him.

Petrus Stuyvesant (1612 – 1672), Governor of Curaçao and General Director of the Dutch West India Company.

Antonius van der Linde (1833-1897), librarian, theologian and philologist. He wrote several works on the sport of chess and is therefore considered a chess historian.

Sebald Rudolph Steinmetz (1862-1940), ethnologist and sociologist.

Mata Hari (1876-1917), dancer and alleged spy for the German Reich. She was executed in 1917 after a trial for her alleged espionage activities.

Marinus van der Lubbe (1909-1934), alleged arsonist of the Reichstag in Berlin. Van der Lubbe is said to have set the Reichstag on fire in 1933. He was then sentenced to death and executed in 1934.

Willem Frederik Duisenberg (1935-2005), economist and President of the European Central Bank from 1998 to 2003.

Netherlands: athletes

Francina Elsje Blankers-Koen (1918 – 2004), former athlete and athlete of the century named by the International Athletics Association Blankers-Koen. At the 1948 Summer Olympics, she won four gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 80 meter hurdles and with the 4×100 meter relay.

Sjoukje Rosalinde Dijkstra (born 1942), figure skater. She is the first Dutch woman to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games.

Hendrik Johannes Cruijff (born 1947), former soccer player and European soccer player of the year in 1971, 1973 and 1974.

Dianne de Leeuw (born 1955), figure skater. She became European champion in 1976, world champion in 1975 and won the silver medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics and was voted Dutch sportswoman of the year in 1975.

Yvonne Maria van Gennip (born 1964), speed skater. In 1988 she won gold three times at the Olympic Games.

Ellen van Langen (born 1966), track and field athlete. She won the gold medal in the 800m run at the 1992 Summer Olympics and was named Sportswoman of the Year.

Jeroen Piket (born 1969), chess master.

Erik Dekker (born 1970), racing cyclist. He became Dutch champion in 2002 and winner of the Paris tour in 2004.

Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel (born 1970), cyclist and Olympic champion. She was voted Sportswoman of the Year in 1990, 1993, 1999, 2000 and 2003.

Falko Zandstra (born 1971), speed skater. He won a silver medal over 5000 meters at the 1992 Olympic Games and a bronze medal over 1500 meters in 1994. He was voted Sportsman of the Year in 1993.

Nordin ben Salah (1972-2004). Boxer. In 2002, he won the WBA super middleweight world title.

Ids Postma (born 1973), speed skater. He won the gold medal over 1,000 meters at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Gianni Romme (born 1973), speed skater. He won the gold medal over 5,000 m and over 10,000 m at the 1998 Winter Olympics and the silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics over 10,000 m.

Inge de Bruijn (born 1973), swimmer. She won gold four times at the Olympics and was named Sportswoman of the Year in 2001.

Maria Aaltje Timmer (born 1974), speed skater. She won gold at the 1998 Olympic Games over 1000 m and 1500 m. At the 2006 Games she was Olympic champion over 1000 m.

Bram de Groot (born 1974), racing cyclist.

Jan Bos (born 1975) speed skater. In 1998 and 2002 he won the silver medal over 1000 meters at the Olympic Games.

Egbert Rolf Wennemars (born 1975), speed skater. He won two bronze medals at the 2006 Winter Olympics. over 1000 meters. Wennemars is Dutch Sportsman of the Year 2003 and was voted Speed Skater of the Year in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Karsten Kroon (born 1976), racing cyclist. At the Tour de France, he won the mountain jersey in the 6th section in 2005.

Ruud van Nistelrooy (born 1976), football player for the Dutch national team.

Renate Groenewold (born 1976), speed skater. At the Olympic Winter Games in 2002 and 2006, she won the silver medal over 3000 m.

Bob Johannes Carolus de Jong (born 1976), speed skater. He won the gold medal over 10,000 meters at the 2006 Olympic Games.

Jochem Uytdehaage (born 1976), speed skater. At the 2002 Winter Olympics, he won gold over 10,000 m, over 5,000 m and the silver medal over 1,500 m.

Pieter Cornelis Martijn van den Hoogenband (born 1978), swimmer. At the 2000 Olympic Games, he was a two-time Olympic champion.

Rafael van der Vaart (born 1983), football player for the Dutch national team.

Thomas Dekker (born 1984), racing cyclist.

Sven Kramer (born 1986), speed skater. At the 2006 Winter Olympics, she won the silver medal over 5000 m.

Ireen Wüst (born 1986), speed skater. In 2006 she won the gold medal over 3000 meters.

Netherlands: animals


The animals living in the forests such as deer, wild boar, roe deer and fallow deer can feel particularly safe, because a nature conservation law has been in force in the Netherlands since April 2002, which prohibits the hunting of wild animals. Foxes, pine marten and badgers are also part of the forest fauna.

The seals on the North Sea coast are a special tourist attraction. However, if they are disturbed, the shy animals immediately stop their relaxation bath on the sandbanks and disappear into the North Sea. A distance of at least 300 m must also be maintained. Binoculars are therefore advisable when you set out to observe the animals.

In the south-east of the country you can run into hamsters and cattle are successfully used in the dunes to prevent the areas from encroaching.


Smaller lizards like the sand lizard can be found in the Tongerense Heide nature reserve, for example.

Insects, invertebrates


In the Netherlands there are almost all insects that exist in Germany, i.e. ants, mosquitoes, flies, wasps, bumblebees or bees and ticks – to name just a few.


The lugworms, which belong to the class of the poly-bristle, and thus to the invertebrates, are one of the most common residents of the tidal flats on the Dutch North Sea islands. The mudflat hiker recognizes their presence on elongated piles of sand, the ejections of the worm.


The meadows of the polder areas are often used by the goose populations as winter quarters, and the summer breeding birds such as the little tern, common tern and arctic tern have chosen the coastal landscapes as ideal breeding areas.

The most characteristic bird of this region, however, is the sandwich tern.

The approximately 40 cm tall bird can be recognized by its grayish-white plumage and above all by the bird’s black head, which is reminiscent of a hood. The long beak is also black with a yellow tip. The lapwing with the pronounced feather holly on its head can be found mainly in the lakes of the polder areas.

Cormorants, eider ducks, water striders and oystercatchers also cavort here.

And of course, a large number of various species of gulls live by the sea, such as storm, laughing or herring gulls as well as various other sea birds.

The forest is the habitat for numerous birds of prey such as hawks, buzzards and forest owls. Woodpeckers, ravens, jays and sparrowhawks are also part of the fauna of this ecosystem.

Underwater world

On the North Sea coast there are numerous species of fish that spawn or live here, including cod, whiting, mackerel and herring.

In waters close to the beach there are also numerous types of mussels, such as heart, flat mussels and blue mussels, the latter being bred in salty waters near the coast. Starfish can also be found here and there.

Seals and seals living on the Sankänken are a special attraction.

Poisonous animals

The “common weever” is a fish from the perch-like order and at the same time one of the most dangerous European poisonous animals, which occurs in the North Sea as well as in the North-East Atlantic, in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea.

Especially during spawning time it digs in the sand near the beach or mud and is usually recognized much too late or not at all. Its poisonous fin spines cause very painful swellings that can last for a long time.

However, the poison is not fatal. Since a heat-sensitive protein is the carrier of the poison, the only effective immediate aid is this Immerse the affected area in approx. 45 °C hot water.

Other animals in Dutch waters that can be dangerous are jellyfish. Some species can cause quite severe burns.

Plants in the Netherlands


Probably the most typical tree for the Netherlands is the fast-growing poplar, from whose particularly soft wood the characteristic wooden shoes, so-called clogs, are made. Beeches stand in the Speulder and Sprielder forest on the Veluwe. Pine trees were planted to get the drift sand of the shifting dunes under control. A special biotope has emerged on the dune lakes, where birch trees are part of it. But oaks and willows also thrive here.


The most important export products from the Netherlands include primarily horticultural products such as cut and potted flowers, potatoes, vegetables and especially cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs. Most of the export vegetables, however, grow in green barrels on a special soil and are artificially fertilized.

Medicinal plants

The active ingredients of the goose weed, which is found quite numerous on the Dutch islands, are obtained from the above-ground parts of the plant that were collected and dried during flowering.

The contained tannins are effective for mild diarrheal diseases as well as inflammation of the mouth and throat. The common evening primrose from North America was cultivated and feral in Europe. It belongs to the evening primrose family and bears its name because it only opens its large, yellow and fragrant flowers in the evening and is thus pollinated by moths. Their root used to be cooked as a popular vegetable.

An oil is extracted from its seeds, which is used internally for neurodermatitis. This oil contains unsaturated fatty acids, so it is also used as a dietary supplement.

The common evening primrose grows on dry, stony soils and is also found in parts of the Middle East and West Asia.

Introduced plants

The common evening primrose, which is particularly common on the islands in the Netherlands, originally comes from North America.

Besides Europe, it had also found its way to the Middle East and West Asia.

More plants

The Netherlands is without question famous for its tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, which can be admired in the most famous spring park, Keukenhof, when they are in bloom.

Orchids, azaleas, begonias and anthers as well as roses, chrysanthemums and gerberas also grow here.

The dunes, which take up a large part of the country’s area and shape the landscape, especially on the North Sea coast, offer an independent habitat for plants such as beach grass, grass, bush plants and heather species such as wild rose and various types of thorn.

In calcareous dunes, lilacs, privets and dune thorns have settled, whereas in areas with little limestone it is more heather and moss. Salt-resistant plants such as the salt marsh, beach aster and bluegrass grow preferentially in the delta area.

Especially in the flowering season, the carnation, the salt pancake, the thousand guild and the spoonweed contribute to the beauty of the region. The plants growing on the coast must be just as salt-loving, including the beach queue and the beach rye as well as the beach grass and the blue stalk.

The samphire is a common pioneer plant on the salt marshes. It grows to between 5 and 30 cm tall and, with its thick, fleshy leaves, is a salt plant. No other plant can withstand higher levels of salt. Just before it dies in September, the green samphire turns red.

Netherlands Politics