|The bitter experience of invasion and occupation during World War II led the Netherlands to abandon neutrality in 1945 and become a leading supporter of international cooperation. It has since developed into one of the keenest advocates of the European Union.
Almost 20% of the total area of the Netherlands is water. The country's name reflects the efforts to reclaim land, which date back to medieval times and have spawned an extensive system of dykes.
It is one of the world's most densely populated nations. As in many European countries, over-65s make up an increasing percentage of that population, leading to greater demands on the welfare system.
The Netherlands has produced many of the world's most famous artists from Rembrandt and Vermeer in the 17th century to Van Gogh in the 19th and Mondrian in the 20th.
|this is the major shopping area in Eindhoven called Heuvel Galerie. it contains a number of retail shops from clothing to homewares to bicycle shops. Super de Boer - the main supermarket stocks most of the necessities and doubles as a butcher/fruit store. the Heuvel Galerie comprises only a small amount of the shopping here though, as there are many other outlets such as bookstores, electrical goods, clothing stores, popular department stores, patisseries, chocolatiers and much more.|
|miniature city Madurodam boasts the canal houses of Amsterdam, the Alkmaar cheese market and parts of the Delta Works, all replicated in minute detail on a 1:25 scale|
|view of Dam Square from Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. the square is used for official events, festivals, concerts, and an occasional market. The Royal Palace, the Niewe Kerk, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, De Bijenkorf - a department store, all face the square. In the center of the Dam is a monument to Holland's WWII dead. this is a good place to hang out for a bit and watch the city go by.|