Netherlands

Koninginnedag: Queen’s Day in the Netherlands

Today the Dutch celebrate Queen Beatrix. Happy Queen’s Day to the Netherlands! Queen’s Day, or Koninginnedag in Dutch, is a national holiday in the Netherlands, Curacao, Sint Maarten and Aruba. Before Queen’s Day the Dutch celebrated ‘Princess Day’ on August 31st. The first celebration was in 1885, on the fifth anniversary of the then young Princess […]

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Icon of Expression: Vincent van Gogh

“Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it.” – Vincent van Gogh Dutch post-impressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh was born on 30th March 1853, in the town of Zundert in the south of the Netherlands. Vincent spent his early adulthood working for a firm of […]

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5 December: Sinterklaas

Here in the Hague, the tension rises (and not just because we have the CCPA Annual General Meeting in Rotterdam tomorrow). According to Dutch tradition, on the evening of December 5,  Sinterklaas is delivering his presents to every child’s home.  Sinterklaas (or more formally Sint Nicolaas ) is a traditional winter holiday figure still celebrated today in  the Netherlands, Belgium and some formerly […]

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Voyage to the Great Unknown Southern Continent

Today we are honouring one of the bravest explorers and sailors in history: Abel Tasman, the Dutch man who was the captain of the first reported European expedition to reach the  island of Tasmania, 40 kilometres south of the Australian continent, on 24 November 1642. During the same voyage he was also the first European to sight […]

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The Art and Life of Johannes Vermeer

It’s hard to believe that for two centuries Johannes Vermeer, whose painting Girl with a pearl earring is among the most famous art works in the world, was barely mentioned in any of the resources on 17th-century Dutch painting. He was rediscovered only in the 19th century, after Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Théophile Thoré-Bürger published […]

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The history of Amsterdam in paintings

Starting as a fishing village along the banks of the river Amstel in the 13th century, Amsterdam soon developed into an important commercial and cultural city in Europe. Its traditional founding dates back to 27 October 1275, when Count Floris of Holland granted inhabitants of Aemstelledamme (translated as “dam on the Amstel”) an exemption from […]

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