Germany Belgium Map

Holland and Belgium Map

Beautiful Places In Belgium / October 6, 2018

Welcome to the Great nation of Holland: where the tulips grow, the windmills turn, the breakfast is chocolatey, the people industrious, and the sea tries to drown it all.

Except, this country isn't Holland. It's time for:

The Difference Between Holland, the Netherlands (and a whole lot more)

But confusion is understandable - the general region been renamed a lot over a thousand including as:

  • The Dutch Republic
  • The United States of Belgium and
  • The Kingdom of Holland

But it's not just history that makes this country's name confusing because the Netherlands is divided into twelve provinces:

  • Groningen
  • Drenthe
  • Overijssel
  • Gelderland
  • Limburg
  • Brabant
  • Zeeland (Which, by the way, is the Zeeland that makes this Zeeland, new)
  • Friesland (With adorable little hearts on its flag)
  • Flevoland
  • Utrecht, and here's the confusion:
  • Noord (North) Holland and
  • Zuid (South) Holland

These provinces make calling the Netherlands 'Holland' like calling the United States 'Dakota'. Though unlike the Dakotas, which are mostly empty, save for the occasional Jackalope, the two Hollands are the most populated provinces and have some of the biggest attractions like, Amsterdam and Keukenhof.

Chances are if it's Dutch, and you've heard of it, it's in one of the Hollands.

Even the government's travel website for the country is - officially because it sounds friendlier, but unofficially it's probably what people are actually searching for.

Confusion continues because: People who live in the Hollands are called Hollanders, but all citizens of the Netherlands are called Dutch as is their language. But in Dutch they say: Nederlands sprekende Nederlanders in Nederland which sounds like they'd rather we call them Netherlanders speaking Netherlandish. Meanwhile, next door in Germany, they're Deutsche sprechen Deutsch in Deutschland. Which sounds like they'd rather be called Dutch.

This linguistic confusion is why Americans call the Pennsylvania Dutch Dutch even though they're Germans.

To review: this country is the Netherlands, its people are Dutch, they speak Dutch. There is no country called Holland, but there are provinces of North and South Holland.

Got it? Great, because it's about to get more complicated.

The Netherlands is part of a Kingdom with the same name: The Kingdom of the Netherlands - which is headed by the Dutch Royal Family.