Sunday 18 August 2019

Nine Dutch places which are not in the Netherlands

Those Dutch got, and continue to get, everywhere. New York, New Zealand, Tasmania, a whole bunch of places in South Africa… Here are some of the lesser-known places around the world with a touch of the Dutch – and some help from our readers.

Windmill De Liefde, Japan
This Dutch windmill is close to the Japanese city of Sakura and is named after the sailing ship which brought the first Dutch to Japan over 400 years ago. Even the tulips and the river running by are reminiscent of the Netherlands. It was apparently built in the Netherlands as a sort of Ikea kit and assembled in Japan.

This is not the Netherlands

This is not the Netherlands

Holland, Michigan
The town of Holland, in the west of the state, has some 35,000 residents. It is not only called Holland but organises an annual Tulip Time Festival – and yes, they even get out the clogs and national dress to celebrate.

This is not the Netherlands either

This is not the Netherlands either

Orange County Hotel, Kremer in Turkey
A pastiche including every Dutch cliche imaginable – built like a 17th century canal house, with little wooden houses, a windmill and even a mini red light district. Truly weird.

Or this

Nor is this

Hollandische Viertel, Potsdam in Germany
Potsdam has a Hollandische Viertel, or Dutch Quarter  which was built in the 1730s when King Frederik Willem I tried to attract Dutch migrant workers to set up their own colony. The district is visited every year by Sinterklaas and has, of course, a tulip festival.

But this never was

But this never was

Nederland, Colorado
According to the town’s website, Nederland (population 1,337) took its name in 1874 when the population of the Middle Boulder homestead voted to adopt the nickname of a mine instead. The mine had been bought by the Mining Company Nederland from Holland and the miners took to calling it ‘the Nether lands’ or ‘low lands’ – probably ironically seeing as the mine is located at 10,000 feet above sea level.

No flood danger here

No flood danger here

Amsterdam, Indian Ocean
A rocky and uninhabited island in the Indian Ocean was discovered by the Spanish in 1522. Said by some to be the most remote place on earth, Amsterdam was named by Dutch sailor Anthonie van Diemen who was on his way to Java at the time. The only way to visit is via a cargo ship and the journey takes two months.

We can't thing of anywhere less like the Netherlands than this

We can’t thing of anywhere less like Amsterdam than this

New Holland, St Petersburg
The island of New Holland (Но́вая Голла́ндия) in St Petersburg  was created in the 1720s, when two canals connected two rivers together. The triangular island took its name from the waterways and shipbuilding facilities that reminded people of Amsterdam. Not forgetting Peter the Great had learned shipbuilding in the Netherlands and brought a number of Dutch experts to Russia, of course.

And this is way grander than anything we are used to

And this is way grander than anything we are used to

Holambra in Brazil
A relatively new piece of Dutch history, Holambra in was founded in 1948 by Catholic Dutch immigrants. According to Wikipedia, the cows that were shipped in from the Netherlands by the initial colonists did not survive the heat and tropical diseases so the colonists diversified to pig and chicken farming and the focus has now shifted to horticulture. More tulips perhaps? The name comes from Holland-America-Brazil – a good Dutch acronym as well.

Beats cycling through the Rijksmuseum

Beats cycling through the Rijksmuseum

Indiansdorp, Balfron, Scotland
This unprepossessing couple of rows of houses outside the village of Balfron, north of Glasgow is called Indiansdorp – Indian village – and we have never been able to work out why. The locals claim the Indians bit is a corruption of the Gaelic for ‘fairy hill’ but we don’t think so. We think it probably something to do with the nearby Polder Farm and the Lake of Mentieth – so named by the Dutch who lived in the area because they did not know all Scottish lakes are lochs.  But if anyone knows the answer, we’d love to hear from them.

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