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See under Netherlands.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland and Frisian: Nederlân), with its capital Amsterdam and seat of government in The Hague, consists of four autonomous countries in Europe (heartland) and in the Caribbean (3 islands) north of the equator. The heartland, which is largely located in northern Western Europe, covers 41,543 km² and is bordered by the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south and Germany to the east. The Netherlands is divided into twelve provinces. Together with neighbouring Belgium and Luxembourg, they form the Benelux countries.

Niederlande - Landkarte, Flagge und Inseln

The three island groups of Bonaire (288 km²), Sint Eustatius (21 km²) and Saba (13 km²) form the Caribbean Netherlands and have the status of "Bijzondere Gemeenten" (special municipalities) of the country. Other Dutch Caribbean territories are not part of the Netherlands, but are autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands with their own constitution, currency and government. The head of state is the respective Belgian king or queen, who is represented by a governor. These are Aruba (179 km²), Curaçao (444 km²) and Sint Maarten (34 km²).


Holland (the heartland of today's Netherlands) had a major influence on the spirits and wine trade in the late Middle Ages. From the end of the 16th century, Holland rose to become the leading maritime power, far ahead of England, France, Portugal and Spain. By 1650, Holland had the largest merchant fleet in the world with around 10,000 ships. alkoholische...

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Markus J. Eser

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Weinakademiker und Herausgeber „Der Weinkalender“

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