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Rotterdam
The Netherlands


Rotterdam:

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Rotterdam is situated in the west of Netherlands and the city is divided by the river Maas. The port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe which has created a city that is truly multicultural. The population of the city itself is around 600,000 but the whole Rhine-delta area contains about 1,3 million people.

Most of the population living in the Rotterdam city center is quite young and of the 600,000 people only half is of dutch ethinicity. In Netherlands Rotterdam has the highest percentage of foreigners from non-industrialised nations.

In Rotterdam one can study anything from art to medicine and the strenght of the city is that business and education are so close to each other. This has created a vibrant city filled with opportunities for young people.

 When it comes to shopping or going out Rotterdam is really the place to be. The city center offers everything from very highend stores to things more suitable for a students budget. Rotterdam is very much a city for clubbing. But if you’re not in the mood for dancing, there are plenty of bars, wine bars and cafés.

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Rotterdam is the architectural capital of the Netherlands. You can see the imposing skyline from afar, with the Euromast and Erasmus Bridge as characteristic landmarks. The center of Rotterdam was mostly ruined during the bombings in WW2 and thus the center is now very modern. The world-famous cube homes, the Grote or St. Laurenskerk, the Groothandelsgebouw and the Witte Huis, the first ‘skyscraper’ in Europe, are just a few examples.

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The Netherlands :

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The Netherlands today is one of the world's most prosperous countries. A highly developed system of social welfare ensures that everyone in The Netherlands has an opportunity to share in this prosperity.

The Netherlands is quite small, the surface is 41,528 square kilometres. The greatest distance from north to south is 300 kilometres, and from west to east 200 kilometres. Furthermore, it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Some 17 million people live in an area of approximately 37,000 km². About 60% of the population live in the western part of the country, which is called Holland. This name is often used to refer to The Netherlands as a whole.

'The Netherlands' literally means 'the Low Countries'. The name refers to the fact that about half of the country lies below sea level. It would be under water if it were not for the system of dykes and dams that prevent the land from being flooded. This constant battle against water is reflected in the popular saying 'God made the world, but the Dutch made The Netherlands.'

The country occupies a large river delta: the place where the rivers Rijn (Rhine), Maas (Meuse) and Schelde (Scheldt) run out and flow into the North Sea. The landscape is flat; there are only a few small hills in the centre and in the south. Stretches of forest are only to be found in the centre and the east. More typical features of the Dutch landscape are the broad sandy beaches and dunes that draw many Dutch and foreign tourists to the North Sea coast.

The climate is typical of a maritime west coast: unstable but moderate, with mild winters and cool summers. Days with temperatures below minus 5 degrees or above 30 degrees Centigrade are unusual. Clouds and wind are common features. The annual rainfall is moderate but unpredictable; therefore, a raincoat and an umbrella are essential. Because of the fact that the weather is very unpredictable, it is a topic of never-ending discussion.

The Dutch royal house is the House of Orange Nassau. This dynasty has been connected with The Netherlands since the 16th century. Prince William of Orange (1533-1584) is the ancestor of the royal family. In 1890, the male line of succession ended with the death of King William III. Queen Beatrix has been Head of State of The Netherlands since 1980.

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