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Five questions about the Netherlands – Quick Quiz answers

We asked you five quick trivia questions about the Netherlands. Here are the answers:

  1. How many working windmills are there in the Netherlands?
    1,180 as of April 2013, according to the Dutch Windmill Database. That’s proper windmills with sails, not including wind engines (of which there are another 1,639). Nor does it include windmills that are no longer working or that have been demolished – there were another 14,835 of those!
  2. When he ascended the throne, King Willem-Alexander became the first King of the Netherlands in how many years?
    122 years and 159 days. His great-grandmother Wilhelmina (1880-1962) succeeded to the throne on 23 November 1890 on the death of her father Willem III; Wilhelmina abdicated in favour of her daughter Juliana (1909-2004) on 4 September 1948; and Juliana in turn abdicated in favour of her daughter Beatrix (1938-) on 30 April 1980.
  3. As its name implies, the Netherlands is geographically low-lying. How much of its territory lies below sea level?
    About 20 per cent of the Netherlands is polder – reclaimed land that’s sunk below sea level. The Netherlands accounts for half of Europe’s polders. Hence the (English-language) saying: “God created the world, but the Dutch created Holland”.
  4. What are the three main islands of the Caribbean Netherlands?
    Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, which have been special municipalities of the Netherlands since the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved in October 2010. (No prizes for anyone who said Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten – they’re separate autonomous countries within the overall Kingdom of the Netherlands.)
  5. Which Dutch artist is famous for his lithographs and woodcuts such as House of Stairs, Waterfall and Belvedere?
    Maurits Cornelis Escher, known more familiarly as M C Escher (1898-1972). He executed the first of the impossible realities for which he would become famous, Still Life and Street, in 1937. Despite mathematics being a rich source of inspiration for him, he had no formal mathematical training.

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