A report on Netherlands and Amsterdam

The name of the historic County of Holland is currently used as a pars pro toto for the Netherlands.
The Oude Kerk was consecrated in 1306 AD.
Amsterdam citizens celebrating the Peace of Münster, 30 January 1648. Painting by Bartholomeus van der Helst
Oak figurine found in Willemstad (4500 BC)
Courtyard of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by Emanuel de Witte, 1653. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange was the first stock exchange to introduce continuous trade in the early 17th century.
View of Vijzelstraat looking towards the Muntplein, 1891
Photochrom of Amsterdam's Dam Square at the beginning of the 20th century
The Rhine frontier around 70 AD
The rebuilt Magere Brug, around 1938.
Franks, Frisians and Saxons (710s AD) with Traiecturm and Dorestad in the middle
People celebrating the liberation of the Netherlands at the end of World War II on 8 May 1945
Frankish expansion (481 to 870 AD)
The 17th-century Canals of Amsterdam were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2010, contributing to Amsterdam's fame as the "Venice of the North". Along with De Wallen, the canals are the focal-point for tourists in the city.
Rorik of Dorestad, Viking ruler of Friesland (romantic 1912 depiction)
Satellite picture of Amsterdam and North Sea Canal
A Medieval Tombe of the Brabantian knight Arnold van der Sluijs
Topographic map of Amsterdam
Map of the Habsburg dominions. From 1556 the dynasty's lands in the Low Countries were retained by the Spanish Habsburgs.
Large-scale map of the city centre of Amsterdam, including sightseeing markers,.
The Spanish Fury at Maastricht, 1579
Nieuwendammerdijk en Buiksloterdijk, Amsterdam-Noord, winter 2010
Dutch East India Company factory in Hugli-Chuchura, Mughal Bengal by Hendrik van Schuylenburgh, 1665
The Westerkerk in the Centrum borough, one of Amsterdam's best-known churches
Winter landscape with skaters near the city of Kampen by Hendrick Avercamp (1620s)
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Amsterdam's Dam Square in 1656
A 1538 painting by Cornelis Anthonisz showing a bird's-eye view of Amsterdam. The famous Grachtengordel had not yet been established.
Map of the Dutch colonial empire. Light green: territories administered by or originating from territories administered by the Dutch East India Company; dark green: the Dutch West India Company. In yellow are the territories occupied later, during the 19th century.
Rokin – November 1977
The submission of Diponegoro to General De Kock at the end of the Java War in 1830. Painting by Nicolaas Pieneman
Herengracht
Rotterdam after German air raids in 1940
Prinsengracht
Former Prime Ministers Wim Kok, Dries van Agt, Piet de Jong, Ruud Lubbers and Jan Peter Balkenende with Prime Minister Mark Rutte, in 2011
The Egelantiersgracht lies west of the Grachtengordel, in the Jordaan neighbourhood.
Relief map of the European Netherlands
The Scheepvaarthuis, by architects Johan van der Mey, Michel de Klerk, Piet Kramer is characteristic of the architecture of the Amsterdam School.
The Christmas flood of 1717 was the result of a northwesterly storm that resulted in the death of thousands.
The Begijnhof is one of the oldest hofjes in Amsterdam.
Map illustrating areas of the Netherlands below sea level
The Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam and Conservatorium van Amsterdam, two examples of 21st-century architecture in the centre of the city
A polder at 5.53 metres below sea level
The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world
The Delta Works are located in the provinces of South Holland and Zeeland.
The Zuidas, the city's main business district
Common seals on Terschelling, a Wadden Sea island
Boats give tours of the city, such as this one in front of the EYE Film Institute Netherlands.
Underwater life of Klein Bonaire
Spiegelgracht
The Binnenhof, where the lower and upper houses of the States General meet
De Wallen, Amsterdam's Red-light district, offers activities such as legal prostitution and a number of coffee shops that sell cannabis. It is one of the main tourist attractions.
De Wallen, Amsterdam's red-light district, offers activities such as legal prostitution and a number of coffeeshops that sell marijuana, symbolising the Dutch political culture and tradition of tolerance.
An Amsterdammer waits for a traffic light to change at the Muntplein in the heart of Amsterdam.
The Netherlands has a culture of respectful and friendly debate. From left to right, members of the House of Representatives Sander de Rouwe (CDA), Ineke van Gent (GL), Han ten Broeke (VVD), Kees Verhoeven (D66) and Farshad Bashir (SP), 2010
The Rijksmuseum houses Rembrandt's The Night Watch.
Provinces and territories of the Netherlands
The Van Gogh Museum houses the world's largest collection of Van Gogh's paintings and letters.
The Peace Palace (Vredespaleis), in The Hague
The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is an international museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design.
General Onno Eichelsheim is the current Chief of Defence.
Rembrandt monument on Rembrandtplein
Zr. Ms. Holland, a Royal Netherlands Navy offshore patrol vessel
Coldplay performing at the Amsterdam Arena, 2016
Historical GDP per capita development (Our World in Data)
The Concertgebouw or Royal Concert Hall houses performances of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and other musical events.
A proportional representation of Netherlands exports, 2019
Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam's best-known theatre
The Netherlands is part of a monetary union, the Eurozone (dark blue), and the EU single market.
One of the decorated boats participating in the 2013 Canal Parade of the Amsterdam Gay Pride
Natural gas concessions in the Netherlands. Today the Netherlands accounts for more than 25% of all natural gas reserves in the EU.
AFC Ajax player Johan Cruyff, 1967
The Groningen gas field whose discovery in 1959 transformed the Dutch economy, generating €159 billion in revenue since the mid-1970s.
Femke Halsema has been the Mayor of Amsterdam since 2018.
Cows near the city of Arnhem
Boroughs of Amsterdam
Population of the Netherlands from 1900 to 2000
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Population pyramid of the Netherlands in 2017
Police headquarters of Amsterdam
In Rotterdam almost half the population has an immigrant background.
King Willem-Alexander, Princess Beatrix, and Queen Máxima greeting Amsterdammers from the Royal Palace of Amsterdam during Willem-Alexanders inauguration in 2013
Population density in the Netherlands by municipality. The largest urban area, the Randstad is clearly visible along the west coast.
A tram crossing the Keizersgracht
Knowledge of foreign languages in the Netherlands, in per cent of the population over the age of 15, in 2006
The Amsterdam Metro is a mixed subway and above ground rapid transit system consisting of five lines.
An international primary school in The Hague
Amsterdam Centraal station, the city's main train station
View on the Utrecht Science Park of Utrecht University. The building in the centre is the library.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol ranks as Europe's third-busiest airport for passenger traffic.
Portrait of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723), known as "the father of microbiology"
Police bicyclist crossing a bridge over the Prinsengracht
A public hospital in Amersfoort
Bicyclist at Amsterdam
A1 motorway, in Gelderland
The Agnietenkapel Gate at the University of Amsterdam, founded in 1632 as the Athenaeum Illustre
A regional train operated by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS)
Bike passage at Rotterdam Centraal station
Some symbols and icons of Dutch culture
Carnival in North Brabant and Limburg
Dutch people in orange celebrating King's Day in Amsterdam, 2017
Pop singer Anouk in 2013
Johan Cruyff Arena, the largest Dutch concert venue
Dutch star football players Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie during a game with the Netherlands against Denmark at Euro 2012
New Amsterdam as it appeared in 1664. Under British rule it became known as New York.
Eustachius De Lannoy of the Dutch East India Company surrenders to Maharaja Marthanda Varma of the Indian Kingdom of Travancore after the Battle of Colachel. (Depiction at Padmanabhapuram Palace)
A Dutch doctor vaccinating Indonesian patients

Amsterdam (, , , lit. The Dam on the River Amstel) is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands; with a population of 907,976 within the city proper, 1,558,755 in the urban area and 2,480,394 in the metropolitan area.

- Amsterdam

The four largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.

- Netherlands

44 related topics with Alpha

Overall

The Hague

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The Binnenhof at the Hofvijver, 1625
Street in The Hague by Sybrand van Beest, c. 1650, Royal Castle in Warsaw
The Old City Hall of The Hague around 1900
The Ministry of Justice and Security building, opened in 2012
Detailed topographic map of The Hague, 2014
The Hague, divided into neighbourhoods
The Hofvijver and the buildings housing the States General of the Netherlands
View of the Hoftoren (left) and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (the triangular gable right)
The Hague City Hall
The Peace Palace houses the International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of Arbitration amongst other institutions.
International Criminal Court
Meeting in the Hall of Knights during the Congress of Europe (9 May 1948)
The Hague's central financial district, Beatrixkwartier, with the modern tram viaduct called the Netkous ("Fishnet stocking")
Cars Jeans Stadion
Modern RegioCitadis tram on route 2, Loosduinen, April 2012
Internal view of The Hague Central station
The Ridderzaal inside the Binnenhof, the political centre of the Netherlands
Monument commemorating the founding of the Kingdom of the Netherlands at Plein 1813
Noordeinde Palace
Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk

The Hague (Den Haag or 's‑Gravenhage ) is a city and municipality of the Netherlands, situated on the west coast facing the North Sea.

With a population of over half a million, it is the third-largest city in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Utrecht

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Willem Blaeu's 1652 map of Utrecht
The Dom Tower seen from Downtown Utrecht. The remaining section of the Cathedral of Saint Martin is not connected to the tower since the collapse of the nave in 1674 due to a storm.
Lambert de Hondt (II): The Surrender of Utrecht on 30 June 1672 to the French king Louis XIV, 1672, Centraal Museum Utrecht
Prince Maurits in Utrecht, 31 July 1618
People celebrating the liberation of Utrecht at the end of World War II on 7 May 1945
Zadelstraat
Contemporary map of Utrecht
Panorama
Oudegracht (the 'old canal') in central Utrecht
The Oudegracht in the 1890s
View of the Oudegracht from the Dom Tower
Aerial view of Utrecht from the Dom Tower
Utrecht Centraal railway station
'' (The Inkpot) with fake UFO
View on the Science Park campus of Utrecht University. The building in the centre is the library.
Miffy statue at the Nijntjepleintje in Utrecht
The Rietveld Schröder House from 1924
Caryatids at the Winkel van Sinkel
Prins Clausbrug across the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal
team pauses with their coach by the Muntbrug, a rotating bridge built in 1887.
Duitse Huis in April 1982
Birthplace of Pope Adrian VI

Utrecht is the fourth-largest city and a municipality of the Netherlands, capital and most populous city of the province of Utrecht.

It was the most important city in the Netherlands until the Dutch Golden Age, when it was surpassed by Amsterdam as the country's cultural centre and most populous city.

Rotterdam

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Map of Rotterdam by Willem and Joan Blaeu (1652)
The Delftsevaart, c. 1890–1905
Nieuwe Markt, 1915
Rotterdam centre after the 1940 bombing of Rotterdam. The ruined St. Lawrence' Church has been restored
Tower blocks in the Kop van Zuid neighbourhood
Topographic map image of Rotterdam (city), as of September 2014
Satellite image of Rotterdam and its port
The 24 municipalities of the Rotterdam The Hague Metropolitan Area
Gebouw Delftse Poort, one of the tallest office buildings in the Netherlands
Unmanned vehicles handle containers at Europe Container Terminals (ECT), the largest container terminal operator in Europe.
The Waalhaven by night
Bronze statue of Erasmus created by Hendrick de Keyser in 1622
Rotterdam waterfront, with spotlights shining into the air to commemorate the Rotterdam Blitz
City decor for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021
Windmill Kralingse Bos
Dakpark Rotterdam
The Wilhelmina pier at the Kop van Zuid in the distance. A part of Rotterdam with many skyscrapers and high-rises. On the left the Erasmus Bridge can be seen.
The Cube Houses, popularly known as the Blaak-forest in 2014
The Markthal at night as seen from the Binnenrotte, Rotterdam center.
The Euromast in 2005.
The former headquarters of the Holland America Line next to modern residential architecture in 2010
Erasmus Bridge in 2011
Robin van Persie began his career with SBV Excelsior and broke through in Feyenoord.
De Kuip, Feyenoord home stadium.
Runners during the marathon in Rotterdam
Arthur Ashe at the 1975 ABN World Tennis Tournament
Bep van Klaveren
Francisco Elson
Rotterdam's new Central Station reopened in March 2014, designed to handle up to 320,000 passengers daily.
Map of the 2020 Rotterdam Metro
Rotterdam metro
A Citadis tram outside the former Rotterdam Centraal, 2008
Water Taxi in Rotterdam

Rotterdam (, , , lit. The Dam on the River Rotte) is the second largest city and municipality in the Netherlands.

There is a healthy competition with Amsterdam, which is often viewed as the cultural capital of the Netherlands.

Republic of the Seven United Netherlands in 1789

Dutch Republic

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Federal republic which existed from 1588, during the Dutch Revolt, to 1795 (the Batavian Revolution).

Federal republic which existed from 1588, during the Dutch Revolt, to 1795 (the Batavian Revolution).

Republic of the Seven United Netherlands in 1789
Silver coin: 1 ducaton Overijssel – 1734
Republic of the Seven United Netherlands in 1789
Amsterdam Stock Exchange courtyard, 1653
Silver coin: 1 ducaton Utrecht – 1772
Silver coin: 1 ducaton Holland – 1780
Silver coin: 1 ducaton Friesland – 1784
Silver coin: 1 ducaton Zeeland – 1790
Silver coin: 1 ducaton Gelderland – 1792
Silver coin: 3 gulder Utrecht –- 1795
The united provinces, with Drenthe and the Generality Lands
Sermon at the Oude Kerk at Delft, 1651
Dutch East India Company factory in Hugli-Chuchura, Mughal Bengal. Painting by Hendrik van Schuylenburgh, 1665

It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first fully independent Dutch nation state.

Later, a court ruled that the company had to reside legally in a single city, so Amsterdam is recognized as the oldest such institution based on modern trading principles.

Rembrandt The Night Watch (1642)

Dutch Golden Age

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Period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the era from 1588 (the birth of the Dutch Republic) to 1672 (the Rampjaar, "Disaster Year"), in which Dutch trade, science, and art and the Dutch military were among the most acclaimed in Europe.

Period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the era from 1588 (the birth of the Dutch Republic) to 1672 (the Rampjaar, "Disaster Year"), in which Dutch trade, science, and art and the Dutch military were among the most acclaimed in Europe.

Rembrandt The Night Watch (1642)
Fishing for Souls, allegory of the Protestant-Catholic struggle
A river landscape with fishermen in rowing boats, windmills beyond, 1679
Syndics of the Drapers' Guild by Rembrandt, depicting wealthy Amsterdam burghers.
The Dutch had the largest merchant fleet in Europe in the 17th century
The Trip brothers, arms traders, built the Trippenhuis in Amsterdam, currently the seat of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, which is a typical example of 17th-century architecture.
Canal in Leiden
A family portrait, second half of the 17th century
The Dancing Couple, by Jan Steen, 1663
Interior of the Laurenskerk in Rotterdam, c. 1664
Astronomer, by Gerrit Dou, c. 1650
Portrait of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek by Jan Verkolje.
Osias Beert the Elder, Dishes with Oysters, Fruit, Candy and Wine, c. 1620/1625
Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring
The Kaaswaag (Cheese Weigh House) in Gouda, finished in 1667, was designed by architect Pieter Post (1608–1669), as was the Waag in Leiden.

The transition by the Netherlands to becoming the foremost maritime and economic power in the world has been called the "Dutch Miracle" by historian K. W. Swart.

Many of those moving north settled in Amsterdam, transforming what was a small harbor into one of the most important ports and commercial centres in the world by 1630.

Haarlem

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A topographic map of Haarlem.
The City Hall on the Grote Markt, built in the 14th century, replacing the Count's castle, after this had burnt down partially. The remainders were given to the city.
A sketch of the siege of Haarlem seen from the North, with Het Dolhuys on the right, and the river Spaarne on the left
A map of Haarlem around 1550. The city is completely surrounded by a city wall and defensive moat. In the North (top), at a fork in the road, the complex known as Het Dolhuys can be seen. In the south-west corner on the lower left, the city bleaching grounds can be seen. Notice the near-square shape of the city: this was based on the ancient plan of Jerusalem.
A map of Haarlem after the fire in 1578 by Thomas Thomasz. The damage across the city can still be seen two years later.
The legend of the Haarlem shield, painting (c. 1630) by Pieter de Grebber in the City Hall
A map of Haarlem in 1646, before Salomon de Bray's ambitious northwards expansion plan was executed. North is to the left. The Houtmarkt has been built in the north east, and the Haarlemmerport is visible, as well as the Old Men's Almshouse, which nowadays houses the Frans Hals Museum.
The Amsterdamse Poort, former gateway to the city from Amsterdam, is one of the few visible traces left of the old city wall.
Grote Markt of Haarlem, c. 1670–90, by Cornelis Beelt
The Grote Markt in 1696, painting by Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde
Many government-owned buildings are national heritage sites, such as the local police headquarters located on the Koudenhorn 2. Originally built as the Dutch Reformed "Diaconie" (poor house and orphanage) in 1768, it was built to house up to 900 people, indicating the extent of the economic crisis in Haarlem that had resulted from losing shipping power to Amsterdam.
Windmill De Adriaan
A map of Haarlem in 1827. The city walls have been torn down to use as building materials for city expansion.
The Haarlemmerhout in Haarlem is the oldest park designed for public access in the Netherlands. It is said that Napoleon's army carved their initials in these trees.
The Villa Welgelegen, built in the 18th century, is the current government house of the province of North Holland.
A typesetter at the Joh. Enschedé printing shop (was located behind the St. Bavochurch) in 1884, by the American artist Charles Frederic Ulrich.
Cotton mills in Haarlem in the 19th century
A replica of the Arend, one of two locomotives built by R. B. Longridge and Company for the Haarlem-Amsterdam railway line in the 1830s.
This Gaper is located on the front of "Van der Pigge", a chemist's that declined to move for Vroom & Dreesmann's new department store in 1932.
"Man in front of a firing squad", memorial by Mari Andriessen to commemorate 15 innocent victims chosen at random who were shot there by German occupational forces on 7 March 1945, Dreef, Haarlem
Pipe organ at Haarlem's Sint-Bavokerk. Mozart once played this organ.
Saint Bavo saves Haarlem from the Kennemers. Dated 1673 but showing legend from 1274. In the background the Sint-Bavokerk (Grote Kerk) can be seen.
Cathedral of Saint Bavo
Teylers Museum in Haarlem
Stadsschouwburg, theater on the Wilsonplein
Patronaat pop music hall
Haarlem Baseball Week 2006 at the Pim Mulier Stadium
View of Haarlem with Bleaching Fields by Jacob van Ruisdael (c. undefined 1665)
River Spaarne through Haarlem
The Street of Donkere Spaarne near Spaarne River
Kleine Houtstraat street in summer
Lange Brug (Long Bridge), in popular speech also known as "de verfroller" ("the paint roller").
Haarlem railway station, built in 1906, one of the oldest train stations in the Netherlands. It replaced the original station at the Oude Weg dating from 1839, which was one of the first two stations in the Netherlands as part of the oldest Dutch railway line between Amsterdam and Haarlem.
Street in Haarlem
Satellite image of Haarlem

Haarlem (predecessor of Harlem in English) is a city and municipality in the Netherlands.

It is situated about 20 km west of Amsterdam and near the coastal dunes.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

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A Ford being used to power a winch for towing gliders at Schiphol in 1933
The air traffic control tower at Schiphol in 1960
Airplanes and service vehicles on the apron in 1965
Map showing the six runways of Schiphol
The main entry of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Check-in hall interior at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
KLM Cargo Boeing 747-400ERF on the Taxiway Bridge crossing the Highway A4 E19.
Schiphol Tower
All the airport's 6 runways viewed from an aeroplane taking off at dawn.
Schiphol Group offices
The Convair Building, which houses KLM Cityhopper and KLM offices, and the original Schiphol control tower
The construction of the tunnel and railway station in 1992
The crash site of El Al Flight 1862 in 1992
The crash site of Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 on 25 February 2009
Queues to the security control in June 2022

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, known informally as Schiphol Airport (Luchthaven Schiphol, ), is the main international airport of the Netherlands.

It is located 9 km southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer in the province of North Holland.

Grote Markt

Antwerp

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Largest city in Belgium by area at 204.51 km2 and the capital of Antwerp Province in the Flemish Region.

Largest city in Belgium by area at 204.51 km2 and the capital of Antwerp Province in the Flemish Region.

Grote Markt
Scaldis (the Scheldt) and Antverpia, Abraham Janssens, 1609, oil on panel, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp
Het Steen Castle
Osias Beert the Elder, from Antwerp. Dishes with Oysters, Fruit, and Wine, c. 1620/1625
Sack of Antwerp in 1576, in which about 7,000 people died.
Map of Antwerp (1624)
Antwerp and the river Scheldt, photochrom ca. 1890–1900
Antwerp, Belgium, from the left bank of the Scheldt (c. 1890 – 1900)
"View of Antwerp with the frozen Scheldt" (1590) by Lucas van Valckenborch
The German bombardment of Antwerp, October 1914, by Willy Stöwer
Districts of Antwerp
Het Steen (literally: 'The Stone')
Population timeline of Antwerp
Hollandse Synagogue
Jain temple, Antwerp
terminal at the Port of Antwerp
Antwerp Central Station
Antwerp International Airport
One of the many Marian statues which feature on Antwerp street corners
Official poster of the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp
Main building of the Middelheim campus at the University of Antwerp.
Abraham Ortelius
Rodrigo Calderón
Anthony van Dyck, self portrait
Nicolaes Maes, self-portrait
Hendrik Conscience
André Cluytens, 1965
Tia Hellebaut, 2012
Damião de Góis
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Wenceslas Hollar
Vincent van Gogh
Camille Huysmans, 1966

It is about 40 km north of Brussels, and about 15 km south of the Dutch border.

Amsterdam replaced Antwerp as the major trading center for the region.

North Sea

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Ocean currents mainly entering via the north entrance exiting along Norwegian coast
• Localization of the tide-gauges listed • Tide times after Bergen (negative = before) • The three amphidromic centers • Coasts: marshes = green mudflats = greenish blue  lagoons = bright blue  dunes = yellow  sea dikes= purple  moraines near the coast= light brown  rock-based coasts = greyish brown
The German North Sea coast
The Afsluitdijk (Closure-dike) is a major dam in the Netherlands
Zuid-Beveland, North Sea flood of 1953
Pacific oysters, blue mussels and cockles in the Wadden Sea in the Netherlands
European seagull on the coast of North Sea
A female bottlenose dolphin with her young in Moray Firth, Scotland
Phytoplankton bloom in the North Sea
Painting of the Four Days' Battle of 1666 by Willem van de Velde the Younger
German cruiser SMS Blücher sinks in the Battle of Dogger Bank on 25 January 1915.
The exclusive economic zones in the North Sea
Oil platform Statfjord A with the flotel Polymarine
A trawler in Nordstrand, Germany
Unpolished amber stones, in varying hues
The beach in Scheveningen, Netherlands in c. 1900
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Map showing hypothetical extent of Doggerland (c. 8,000 BC), which provided a land bridge between Great Britain and continental Europe
North Sea from De Koog, Texel island
The North Sea between {{ma|34}} and {{ma|28}}, as Central Europe became dry land
thumb|A 1482 recreation of a map from Ptolemy's Geography showing the "Oceanus Germanicus"
thumb|Edmond Halley's solar eclipse 1715 map showing The German Sea

The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean between Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

The North Sea Canal connects Amsterdam with the North Sea.

Randstad

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Bubble map showing the population sizes of larger towns and cities in the Randstad circa 2012
Amsterdam
Zuidas
The Hague
Rotterdam
Utrecht
A RandstadRail LRV between Zoetermeer and The Hague

The Randstad ("Rim" or "Edge" City) is a roughly crescent-shaped conurbation in the central-western Netherlands, consisting primarily of the four largest Dutch cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht); their suburbs, and many towns in between, that all grew and merged into each other, containing almost half the country's population.