The Netherlands & Leeuwarden-Friesland, EU’s City of Culture, 2018
The Netherlands, made up of 12 provinces, together with three islands in the Caribbean, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba, is an interesting dynamic. In size it measures barely 16,000 square miles and is part of Continental Europe, bordered by Germany to the east and Belgium to the south and the North Sea to the west. The government is defined as a constitutional monarchy anchored by a democratic parliament, with King Willenm-Alexander as its head.The population is less than 20 million but claims a number of world class museums in particular in the city of Amsterdam, the country’s capital, a product of their Golden Age. There’s the Rijksmuseum with over 8,000 works of art; the Van Gogh Museum, with 200 paintings of the artist, along with 400 of his drawings, and 700 letters; the Ann Frank House Museum: the Rembrant House, and the Resistance Museum. The city has a bounty of canals and offers barge tours,bike tours, market tours daily and beer! It’s the world capital of Heineken Beer and the Heineken Experience. At kiosks you can get the I Amsterdam City Card which allows you to visit a bevy of attractions, free-of- charge, shopping discounts and free public transport. Look around you. You’ll see Cycling everywhere. It’s a national sport here, for leisure, work and exercise. Enjoy a stroll through The Vondelpark, the city’s largest park and the most popular one in the country which registered more than 10 million visitors in 2017. The Albert Cuypmark, another interesting site, is the largest street-market in the country with over 300 stalls. It opened in 1903. Not to be missed is the De Pip, a district fueled with nationalities from all parts of Europe, It’s a veritable “melting pot.” The Leidseplein, is the city’s most frequented square, however. If you’re game, visit the Red Light District for which Amsterdam is well noted. You’re on your own on this one, of course. Amsterdam is also famous for its night life, mansions, and food. Then their’s the Royal Theatre Carre for the wunderlust in you and the Artis Royal Zoo, the city’s oldest, dating back to 1838 which features an insectarium, a butterfly pavilion and a planetarium. Now, if you can spare a 90-minute train ride to Leeuwarden-Friesland, you’ll breathe easier when you witness the Royal Deluxe giant marionettes, presented by a troop of inventors, stuntmen, poets and craftsmen from France. They’re known as the Lilliputians. Their program is highly creative, a real theatrical experience! And in Leeuwarden you’ll meet up with visual artists from many parts of Europe this year. Their creation of water fountains will enchant you. There are 11 of them, one for each city in the precinct of Friesland. And take in the Mata Hari exhibit while you’re there, and the Dada exhibit.This is a year-long celebration of an unique part of Holland that features the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea site and its environs boasting land art, architecture and nature.Note, Leeuwarden is the 2018 Capital City of Culture as designated by the European Union, a global initiative that supports the cultural and economic bases of leading countries in Europe each year.
From the U.S. our April showcase featured a handful of prominent guests who were born in The Netherlands and who know the country best. They included:
. Odette Fodor-Genaert, Exec.Dir., The Holland Society: email@example.com; Laura Zydel, Dir., Dutch Language Cultural Academy/ aka: ‘T” Klock Huis/ www.klokhuis.com; Elenore Van Rijssen, U.S. Representative, European Union/ www.eu-un.europa.eu; Elizabeth Lapadula, GM, Kopi Kopi Restaurant/ firstname.lastname@example.org; Siliwanga Nln, CEO, Awang Kitchen Restaurant/ www.awangkitchen.us
For more on The Netherlands, Holland,Amsterdam and Leeuwarden-Friesland go to Go Holland. In New York the travel department for The Netherlands is: www.nbtc.nl. KLM Airline, the country’s official airline flies 9x daily to Amsterdam from the U.S. in season. So enjoy!
Michael Zufolo, reporting