Interesting facts about the Netherlands
The Dutch national anthem is the oldest in the world. The music of Wilhelmus, the Dutch national anthem, dates back to between 1569 and 1572. This makes it the oldest melody used in a country’s national anthem, although it did not become the official Dutch anthem until 1932.
The lyrics were also written at least 400 years ago and they refer to “Dietse Bloed”, an old word for Nederlands (Dutch).
The Dutch invented gin in the 16th century. Mmmmmmmm gin…. They introduced it to the British; it became popular in Great Britain after William of Orange (King William III) held the English, Irish and Scottish thrones. Did you ever hear of the term ‘Dutch courage’? It’s said to originate from when the Brits and Dutch drank gin during the Thirty Years’ War from 1618 to 1648.
The Netherlands is the world’s second-biggest exporter of beer after Mexico.
It is home to more bicycles than people, over 22 million bicycles in the country (about 1.3 bicycles per person). The Dutch cycle an average distance of 2.9km per day.
Carrots are orange because of the Netherlands – carrots were originally white, purple, or pale yellow. The story goes that when William of Orange (King William III) helped the Dutch win independence from Spain in the 17th century, Dutch farmers honoured the King by turning their carrots orange through clever breeding. Orange is the colour of Netherlands.
One of my fav facts is that Dutch love wind power. They even use it to power their trains. The country’s electric train system serves around 600,000 passengers every day, and every train runs on 100% renewable wind energy.
There are more than 1000 windmills in the whole country and there are 1200 bridges in Amsterdam.
Do you like liquorice? We do and so do the Dutch, they adore it. They eat around two kilos per person per year. That’s around 32 million kilos of the sweet treat consumed each year!