We are often asked what the difference is between Holland and the Netherlands. People ask us if the two were meant to be used interchangeably, so we thought this was definitely a subject worth clearing up. Besides, we love sharing our culture and history as much as we love sharing extraordinary Dutch design.
Holland vs. The Netherlands
You’ve likely heard Holland and the Netherlands used interchangeably. The Netherlands refers to our country as a whole. The official name “Koninkrijk der Netherlands" means Kingdom of the Netherlands. Although many people refer to the country as Holland, the Netherlands is made up of twelve provinces, while Holland accounts for two of them; Noord (North)-Holland and Zuid (South) -Holland.
A Bit of History of the Netherlands and Holland
The Netherlands was initially known as the Republic of Seven United Netherlands, after separating from Spanish rule. In 1795, after being conquered by France, it was renamed the Batavian Republic. In 1806, it was turned into a kingdom when Napoleon appointed his brother, Louis, as king. It remained a kingdom even after Napoleon was defeated in 1815.
Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland were the most significant contributors to the kingdom's wealth and economy in the 17th century. Known as the Dutch Golden Age, this period of time experienced massive growth. Immigrants came from all around to be a part of the growing economy. Amsterdam was thriving, and the borders were expanding to accommodate rapid growth. The cities of Rotterdam and The Hague, also part of Holland, were thriving economically as well. The majority of financial and political dealings were done within these three cities. It is believed that sailors began to loosely refer to “Holland” when asked where they were headed or where they had just come from. With most trade and shipping being handled in Holland, it is possible that all these factors contributed to why Holland became the most commonly used term when referring to the country.
The Netherlands Today
Today, Holland is still the most populated region in the Netherlands. In fact, it is the most populated country in Europe, with over 17 million citizens. Amsterdam continues to be the economic hot-spot, while the Netherlands as a whole is ranked sixth in European economics. Known for highest museum density in the world, the Netherlands also offers incredible theater, dance and Dutch design.
A Taste of Dutch Design
Although we have lived in the US for more than 30 years, Dutch design has remained a large part of our lives. On many occasions, we found ourselves being asked where our furnishings, art, and accessories could be purchased. This sparked the idea of bringing our favorite Dutch pieces to the rest of the world through Uniek Living. Our collection of home and lifestyle products are both stylish and functional. In order to offer a selection of the most current, modern Dutch designs, you’ll notice our items will continue to change. Make sure to stop by often to add to your collection. Add a little Dutch décor to your home today!