Octave John "Johnny" Claes was an English-born racing driver who competed for Belgium. Before his fame as a racing driver, Claes was a jazz trumpeter and successful bandleader in Britain. Claes was born in London to Belgian father, he was educated in England at Lord Williams's School. In England, he began playing trumpet in a jazz band that included Max Jones on reeds, another with Billy Mason on piano. In the 1930s he moved to the Netherlands, where he worked with Coleman Hawkins, he worked with Jack Kluger's band in Belgium. Returning to England, he led his own group, the Claepigeons, making a recording in 1942. In the late 1940s he abandoned his jazz career and settled in Belgium as a professional racing driver. Claes was one of several gentlemen drivers who took part in Grand Prix racing of post-World War II, his first contact with racing was at the 1947 French Grand Prix, where he served as interpreter for British drivers. He made. Although Claes never scored any points in the World Drivers Championship, he was, like many of his contemporaries active in non-Championship Grand Prix races and sports car races.
His first win was at the 1950 Grand Prix des Frontières, held at the Chimay race track. In April 1951 Claes crashed into a crowd while practicing at Italy, he was uninjured but an observer was killed and three onlookers were injured. In 1952 he exchanged his outdated Talbot for a Gordini, for a Connaught, always with the Ecurie Belge colours, but he raced for works team, including Gordini and Maserati, he won the 1953 Liège-Rome-Liège Rally and took a class win at the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans. Claes teamed with Pierre Stasse to finish 12th in the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans, they drove a Porsche. Together with compatriot Jacques Swaters, Claes finished third in the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1955 Claes' health problems worsened, as he had contracted tuberculosis. Claes sold his outfit to Swaters, who merged it with his own Ecurie Francorchamps to form Ecurie Nationale Belge. Claes entered occasional events until the end of the year, but succumbed to the disease in Brussels in 1956, aged 39
Zandvoort is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Zandvoort is one of the major beach resorts of the Netherlands, it is the site of the country's most important automobile racing circuit, Circuit Park Zandvoort. There is a nudist beach located about 2 km with 6 cafés or restaurants; the municipality of Zandvoort consists of the communities of Zandvoort. Zandvoort is known to exist in 1100, called Sandevoerde; until 1722 the area was under the control of the Lords of Brederode. The village was dependent on fishing for many centuries until the 19th century when it started to transform itself into a seaside resort, following the pattern set by similar towns in the United Kingdom. In 1828 the first resort was inaugurated. Thereafter many notable persons would visit Zandvoort, including Elisabeth of Bavaria in 1884 and 1885. In the middle of the same century, potato cultivation started in the dunes. In 1881 the railway station near the coast opened, followed by tram connection to Haarlem in 1899, which increased the beach tourism.
In 1905 one of the earliest Dutch fictional films was shot in the town, De mésaventure van een Fransch heertje zonder pantalon aan het strand te Zandvoort. During World War II, Zandvoort was damaged. On May 23, 1942, beach access was no longer permitted and several months the town was completely vacated. Resorts and avenues were demolished to make way for the coastal fortifications of the Atlantic Wall. After the war, the town's growth accelerated. In 1948, Circuit Park Zandvoort was built. Zandvoort continues to be a major Dutch resort location, where nearly half of all employment is related to tourism; the Dutch singer Willem Duyn's De Eerste Trein Naar Zandvoort - modeled on the American song Chattanooga Choo Choo and chronicling chaos and mayhem on the first seaside train - was a hit in the summer of 1983. Zandvoort has a station, with half-hourly services to Haarlem and Amsterdam, with extra services from Haarlem during the summer; the station is Zandvoort aan Zee railway station. The municipal council of Zandvoort consists of 17 seats, which are divided as follows since 2010: VVD 5 seats Ouderen Partij Zandvoort 3 seats PvdA 2 seats CDA 2 seats Gemeente Belangen Zandvoort 2 seats GroenLinks 1 seat Sociaal Zandvoort 1 seat D66 1 seat William Merritt Chase American Impressionist Painter painted his masterpiece entitled "Sunlight and Shadow" in Zandvoort.
It hangs in the Joslyn Art Museum in Nebraska. Lovis Corinth German artist and writer and printmaker died of pneumonia in Zandvoort having made a final visit to see his favourite Dutch masters Bep Schrieke politician and academic Lou Bandy Dutch singer and conferencier Anne Frank Jewish diarist and victim of the Holocaust, her family used to visit Zandvoort in the summer. Shirley Zwerus, stage name Shirley singer and pianist Hans Willem Blom Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at Erasmus University Stella Maessen singer, participated in the Eurovision Song Contests of 1970, 1977 and 1982 On 7 August 2007, a 2.5 m tall Lego figure was found in the sea at Zandvoort. It was placed on the beach, it is wearing a blue shirt with red trousers. Its origins are unknown. Lies Koning sprinter, competed in the women's 100 metres at the 1936 Summer Olympics Bep Ipenburg former artistic gymnast, competed at the 1960 Summer Olympics Bert Jacobs football manager and played for HFC Haarlem Roy Schuiten track and road racing cyclist Loes Schutte retired rower, participated in 1976 Summer Olympics Jan Lammers, former racing driver Piet Keur, former football player Harriet van Ettekoven former international rower, won the bronze medal in the Women's Eights at the 1984 Summer Olympics Danny van Dongen racing driver and entrepreneur Leroy Kaestner welterweight kickboxer Media related to Zandvoort at Wikimedia Commons Official website
Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld was a German-born prince, the consort of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. He belonged to the princely House of Lippe and was a nephew of the Principality of Lippe's last sovereign Leopold IV. From birth he held the title Count of Biesterfeld, he worked as an executive secretary at the Paris office of IG Farben. In 1937 he married Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, was given the title Prince of the Netherlands with the style of Royal Highness. Upon his wife's accession to the throne, in 1948 he became the prince consort of the Netherlands. Although his private life was rather controversial, Prince Bernhard was still regarded as a popular figure by the majority of the Dutch for his performance as a combat pilot and his activities as a liaison officer and personal aide to the Queen during World War II, for his work during post-war reconstruction. During World War II, he was part of the London-based Allied war planning councils, he saw active service as a Wing Commander, flying both bomber planes into combat.
He was a Dutch general and Supreme Commander of the Dutch Armed forces, involved in negotiating the terms of surrender of the German Army in the Netherlands. For proven bravery and loyalty during his wartime efforts, he was appointed a Commander of the Military William Order, the Netherlands' oldest and highest honour. After the war he was made Honorary Air Marshal of the Royal Air Force by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. In 1969, Bernhard was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Bernhard helped found the World Wildlife Fund, becoming its first president in 1961. In 1970 he established the WWF's financial endowment "The 1001: A Nature Trust". In 1954, he was a co-founder of the international Bilderberg Group, which has met annually since to discuss corporate globalisation and other issues concerning Europe and North America, he was forced to step down from both groups after being involved in the Lockheed Bribery Scandal in 1976. Bernhard was born Bernhard Leopold Friedrich Eberhard Julius Kurt Karl Gottfried Peter, Count of Biesterfeld in Jena, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, German Empire on 29 June 1911, the elder son of Prince Bernhard of Lippe and his wife, Armgard von Cramm.
He was a grandson of Ernest, Count of Lippe-Biesterfeld, regent of the Principality of Lippe until 1904. He was a nephew of the principality's last sovereign, Leopold IV, Prince of Lippe; because his parents' marriage did not conform with the marriage laws of the House of Lippe, it was deemed morganatic, so Bernhard was granted only the title of "Count of Biesterfeld" at birth. He and his brother could succeed to the Lippian throne only if the entire reigning House became extinct. In 1916, his uncle Leopold IV as reigning Prince raised Bernhard and his mother to Prince and Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld, thereby retroactively according his parents' marriage dynastic status; the suffix Biesterfeld was revived to mark the beginning of a new cadet line of the House of Lippe. After World War I, Bernhard's family lost their German Principality and the revenue that had accompanied it, but the family was still reasonably well-off. Bernhard spent his early years at Reckenwalde ), the family's new estate in East Brandenburg, thirty kilometres east of the River Oder.
He was taught and received his early education at home. When he was twelve, he was sent to board at the Gymnasium in Züllichau. Several years he was sent to board at a Gymnasium in Berlin, from which he graduated in 1929. Bernhard suffered from poor health as a boy. Doctors predicted that he would not live long; this prediction might have inspired Bernhard's reckless driving and the risks that he took in the Second World War and thereafter. The prince wrecked several planes in his lifetime. Bernhard studied law in Berlin. In the latter city, he acquired a taste for fast cars, horse riding, big-game hunting safaris, he was nearly killed in an aeroplane crash. He suffered a broken neck and crushed ribs in a 160 km/h car crash in 1938. While at university, Bernhard joined the Nazi Party, he enrolled in the Sturmabteilung, which he left in December 1934 when he graduated and went to work for IG Farben. The Prince denied that he had belonged to SA, to the Reiter-SS, to the NSKK, but these are well-documented memberships.
While he was not a fierce champion of democracy, the Prince was never known to hold any radical political views or express any racist sentiments, although he admitted that he had sympathised with Adolf Hitler's regime. The Prince went to work for the German chemical giant IG Farben the world's fourth-largest company.. He lodged with Count Pavel Kotzbue, an exiled Russian nobleman, his wife Allene Tew, born in the United States. After training, Bernhard became secretary in 1935 to the board of directors at the Paris office. Bernhard met then-Princess Juliana at the 1936 Winter Olympics at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Juliana's mother, Queen Wilhelmina, had spent most of the 1930s looking for a suitable husband for Juliana; as a Protestant of royal rank (the Lipp
John Michael Hawthorn was a British racing driver. He became the United Kingdom's first Formula One World Champion driver in 1958, whereupon he announced his retirement, having been profoundly affected by the death of his teammate and friend Peter Collins two months earlier in the 1958 German Grand Prix. Hawthorn won the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans, but was haunted by his involvement in the disastrous crash that marred the race. Hawthorn died in a road accident three months after retiring. Mike Hawthorn was born in Mexborough, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, to Leslie and Winifred Hawthorn, educated at Ardingly College, West Sussex, followed by studies at Chelsea technical college and an apprenticeship with a commercial vehicle manufacturer, his father owned the Tourist Trophy Garage in Farnham, franchised to supply and service several high performance brands including Jaguar and Ferrari. His father supported his son's racing career. Mike Hawthorn made his competition debut on 2 September 1950 in his 1934 Riley Ulster Imp, KV 9475, winning the 1,100 c.c. sports car class at the Brighton Speed Trials.
In 1951, driving a 1½-litre T. T. Riley, he entered the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy, a season-long contest run at Goodwood, winning it by one point, he won the Ulster Trophy Handicap at Dundrod and the Leinster Trophy at Wicklow that year. By 1952, Hawthorn had switched to single-seaters and during that season won his first race in a Formula Two Cooper-Bristol T20 at Goodwood. Further successes followed which brought him to the attention of Enzo Ferrari who offered him a works drive, he made his Formula One debut at the 1952 Grote Prijs van Belgie on the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, finishing in fourth place. By the end of the season, he had secured his first podium, with a third place at the RAC British Grand Prix and a brace of fourths driving a Cooper. At Scuderia Ferrari for the 1953 season, Hawthorn showed his worth with victory, at his ninth attempt, in the French Grand Prix at Reims, outmanoeuvring Juan Manuel Fangio in what became dubbed'the race of the century' with the top four drivers finishing within five seconds of each other after 60 laps.
This and two other podium finishes helped him end the season fourth overall. He won the BRDC International Trophy and the Ulster Trophy as well as the 24 Heures de Spa Francorchamps with Ferrari teammate Giuseppe Farina. Hawthorn was less fortunate in 1954, suffering serious burns in a crash during the Gran Premio di Siracusa, but finished the year with three seconds and victory in the season finale in Spain, placing him third in the Drivers' Championship. Following the death of his father, Hawthorn left Ferrari to race for Tony Vandervell's Vanwall team, as he needed to spend more time at the family garage he had inherited, but after two races returned to Ferrari. In January 1955, Hawthorn joined the Jaguar racing team, replacing Stirling Moss, who had left for Mercedes. Hawthorn won the 1955 les 24 Heures du Mans following what has been described as an inspired drive in which he set a lap record of 122.388 mph during a three-hour duel with Fangio in the early stages. However, the race was marred by the worst disaster in motor racing history, a crash which killed 84 spectators and Mercedes driver Pierre Levegh.
After overtaking Lance Macklin's Healey, Hawthorn braked in front of him on noticing an order to enter the pits to refuel, causing Macklin to swerve into the path of Levegh's Mercedes. After colliding with the Healey, the Mercedes skipped the earthen embankment separating the spectator area from the track, bounced through spectator enclosures hit a concrete stairwell parapet head-on; the impact shattered the front end of the car, which somersaulted high, pitching debris into the spectator area, before landing atop the earthen embankment. The debris, including bonnet and front axle, which separated from the frame, flew through the crowd. Eight hours while leading the race 1.5 laps ahead of the Jaguar team, the Mercedes team withdrew from the race, ostensibly as a mark of respect for those who had perished in the accident. The French press carried photographs of Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb celebrating their win with the customary champagne but treated them with scorn; the official inquiry into the accident ruled that Hawthorn was not responsible for the crash, that it was a racing incident.
The death of so many spectators was blamed on inadequate safety standards for track design. The track had remained unaltered for 30 years, since the time when the lap record was just 55 m.p.h. The Grandstand and pit areas were rebuilt soon after; the death toll led to a ban on motorsports in France, Switzerland and other nations, until the tracks could be brought to a higher safety standard. Whilst sharing the Jaguar D-Type with Desmond Titterington during the 1955 RAC Tourist Trophy at Dundrod, Hawthorn passed Fangio twice, set the lap record for the RAC Tourist Trophy on the Dundrod Circuit, only to lose in the final stages when, running on full tanks, he was passed by Moss when the D Type's engine failed on the last lap. Another change of team for 1956 – this time to BRM - was a failure, Hawthorn's only podium came in Argentina where the non-appearance of his BRM allowed him to guest drive a Maserati 250F. However, when it appeared only in British races, the new 2.5 BRM was fast while it lasted, Hawthorn held off Fangio, leading the first 25 laps at Silverstone in the British GP.
He retired the car before half d
Maserati in motorsport
Throughout its history, the Italian auto manufacturer Maserati has participated in various forms of motorsports including Formula One, sportscar racing and touring car racing, both as a works team and through private entrants. One of the first Maseratis the Tipo 26 driven by Alfieri Maserati with Guerino Bertocchi acting as riding mechanic won the Targa Florio 1,500 cc class in 1926, finishing in ninth place in overall. Maserati was successful in pre-war Grand Prix racing using a variety of cars with 4, 6, 8 and 16 cylinders. Other notable pre-war successes include winning the Indianapolis 500 twice, both times with Wilbur Shaw at the wheel of a 8CTF. Maserati won the Targa Florio in 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1940; the first two wins were achieved by Giovanni Rocco with a Maserati 6CM and the last two by Luigi Villoresi with a 6CM in 1939 and a 4CL in 1940. Maserati's post-war factory effort in sports car racing began in 1954 for the second season of the World Sportscar Championship; the factory raced as Officine Alfieri Maserati.
Maserati scored points in all but one year of the first era of the World Sports Car Championship from 1953 to 1961. Both factory-entered and privately-entered cars were eligible to score points for the manufacturer. At the end of 1957 Maserati retired the factory team from racing though they continued to build cars for privateers. In the 1953 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed thirteenth. In the 1954 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed fifth. In the 1955 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed fourth. In the 1956 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed second including a win at the 1000 km Buenos Aires and the 1000 km at the Nürburgring; the win at 1956 1000 km Buenos Aires was a Maserati 300S sports car driven by Stirling Moss and Carlos Menditéguy. In the 1957 World Sportscar Championship Maserati again placed second; this time with wins at Sebring and Rabelöfsbanan In the 1959 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed fourth. In the 1960 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed third.
With a win at the ADAC 1000 km Nürburgring for a Maserati Tipo 61 driven by Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney. In the 1961 World Sportscar Championship Maserati placed second. With a repeat win at the ADAC 1000 km Nürburgring for a Maserati Tipo 61 this time driven by Lloyd Casner and Masten Gregory. Maserati returned to sportscar racing in 2004, entering the Maserati MC12 in the FIA GT Championship. Since 2005 the MC12 fieleded by Vitaphone Racing Team won five teams' championships and four drivers' championships in a row. Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini won the inaugural GT1 World Championship for Drivers in the 2010 FIA GT1 World Championship driving a Maserati MC12 for the Vitaphone Racing Team; the Vitaphone Racing Team won the GT1 World Championship for Teams. Maserati A6GCS Sports Car Maserati 350S Sports Car. Maserati 300S Sports Car. Maserati 250S Sports Car. Maserati 200S Sports Car. Maserati 150S Sports Car. Maserati 450S Sports Car. Maserati Tipo 60 Sports Car Maserati Tipo 61 the "Birdcage" Sports Car Maserati Tipo 63 Maserati Tipo 64 Maserati Tipo 65 Maserati Tipo 151 Maserati Tipo 152 Maserati Tipo 154 the "Racing Van" Maserati Barchetta Sports Car Maserati Ghibli II Open Cup gt Car Maserati Trofeo series gt Car.
Maserati Trofeo Light GT3 Racing Car Maserati MC12 GT1 Racing Car Gran Turismo GT4 Gran Turismo GT3 The Maserati Biturbo Group A racing car competed unsuccessfully in the British Touring Car Championship in the late 1980s, the European Touring Car Championship and the World Touring Car Championship. The cars for the 1987 World Touring Car Championship season were entered by Pro Team Italia/Imberti; the car was in Group A Division 3 competing against the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and in the season Ford Sierra RS 500. The car was driven by Bruno Giacomelli, Armin Hahne, Marcello Gunella, Mario Hytten, Nicola Tesini and Kevin Bartlett. For the British Touring Car Championship the cars were entered by Trident Motorsport; this was for the 1989 seasons. The car was driven by John Lepp and Vic Lee. A former 1987 WTCC car was bought by Adriano Dece who converted it for used on road rallies and the company manufactured the Maserati Biturbo Group A Rally car. Maserati participated in Formula One motor racing during the 1950s and 1960s.
Its works Formula One programme was broadly successful, providing a total of 9 Grand Prix wins for the factory team. In addition, Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1957 World Championship of Drivers with a Maserati 250F. Maserati designed two Formula One cars: the Maserati 4CLT and the Maserati 250F, the pre-World War II Maserati 4CL was used with some success. In addition, the Maserati A6GCM, designed as a Formula Two car, was used in F1. Due to financial difficulties in the late 1950s the team had to withdraw from Formula One in 1958 despite the 250F still being successful. Privateers continued to use the 250F until 1960. In the 1960s, Maserati supplied engines to British Formula One team Cooper; the most successful car of that collaboration was the Cooper-Maserati T81, which had a Maserati V12 engine. It won the 1966 Mexican Grand Prix and the 1967 South African Grand Prix, driven by John Surtees and Pedro Rodríguez respectively; the 1948 Maserati 4CLT was one of the first cars built to the new Formula One regulations, introduced in 1946, was developed from the 1938 Maserati 4CL voiturette car.
The older design was still competitive despite the hiatus of World War II and was entered into Formula One races when racing resumed after the war. Its success encouraged Maserati to develop the car's design and these refinements were brought together as the 4CLT. Maseraticorse.com
Bristol Cars is a dormant manufacturer of hand-built luxury cars headquartered at Mychett Place, England. Bristol Cars Limited is a newly formed company, incorporated in 2011 after the original company fell into administration that same year and was dissolved by a court appointed administrator, after changing its name to BCL 2011 Ltd. After the Second World War, the car division of the Bristol Aeroplane Company was formed becoming Bristol Cars Limited. Bristol has only one sales showroom, on Kensington High Street in London; the company maintains an enthusiastic and loyal clientele. Bristol has always been a low-volume manufacturer; the company suspended manufacturing in March 2011, when administrators were appointed, 22 staff were made redundant at the factory in Filton and subsequently the company was dissolved. In April 2011, a new company was formed by the administrator to sell the original assets to Kamkorp. Since 2011, the company has been restoring and selling all models of the marque while a new model was being developed.
The company had revealed a desire to return to automotive production in 2018 with an all-new model, called the "Bullet" dubbed "Project Pinnacle". The car was first revealed to the public on 26 July 2016, homologation was set to have begun some time in 2018; the British aircraft industry suffered a dramatic loss of orders and great financial difficulties following the Armistice of 1918. To provide immediate employment for its considerable workforce, the Bristol Aeroplane Company undertook the manufacture of a light car, the construction of car bodies for Armstrong Siddeley and bus bodies for their sister company, Bristol Tramways. On the outbreak of World War II, Sir George Stanley White, managing director of the Bristol Aeroplane Company from 1911–1954, was determined not to suffer the same difficulties a second time; the company now employed 70,000 and he knew he must plan for the time when the voracious wartime demand for Bristol aircraft and aircraft engines would end. The company began working with AFN Ltd, makers of Frazer Nash cars and British importer of BMWs before the war, on plans for a joint venture in automotive manufacture.
As early as 1941, a number of papers were written or commissioned by George S. M. White, Sir Stanley's son, proposing a post-war car manufacturing division, it was decided to purchase an existing manufacturer for this purpose. Alvis, Aston Martin, Lagonda, ERA and Lea-Francis were considered. A chance discussion took place in May 1945, between D. A. Aldington, a director of Frazer Nash serving as an inspector for the wartime Ministry of Aircraft Production, Eric Storey, an assistant of George White at the Bristol Aeroplane Company, it led to the immediate take-over of Frazer Nash by the Aeroplane Company. Aldington and his two brothers had marketed the Frazer Nash BMW before the war, proposed to build an updated version after demobilisation; this seemed the perfect match for the aeroplane company's own ambitions to manufacture a high quality sports car. With the support of the War Reparations Board, H. J. Aldington travelled to Munich and purchased the rights to manufacture three BMW models and the 328 engine.
By July 1945, BAC had created a car division and bought a controlling stake in AFN. A factory was established near Bristol. George White and Reginald Verdon-Smith of the Aeroplane Company joined the new Frazer Nash Board, but in January 1947, soon after the first cars had been produced, differences between the Aldingtons and Bristol led to the resale of Frazer Nash; the Bristol Car Division became an independent entity. Bristol Cars was sold after its parent joined with other British aircraft companies in 1960 to create the British Aircraft Corporation, which became part of British Aerospace; the car division merged with Bristol Siddeley Engines, was marked for closure, but was bought in September 1960 by George S. M. White the chairman and effective founder. White retained the direction of the company, but sold a forty per cent shareholding to Tony Crook, a leading Bristol agent. Crook became sole distributor. In September 1969, only a month before the unveiling of the new Bristol 411 at the Earl's Court Motor Show, Sir George White suffered a serious accident in his Bristol 410.
The car was only superficially damaged. As time passed it became clear that he would never regain his health sufficiently to return to full-time work. To safeguard the future of his workforce, he decided in 1973 to sell his majority shareholding to Crook; as the ties with the White family were severed, British Aerospace requested the company to move its factory from Filton Aerodrome and it found new premises in nearby Patchway. The showroom on Kensington High Street became the head office, with Crook shuttling between the two in Bristol's light aircraft. Under Crook's direction the company produced at least six types, the names of which were borrowed from Bristol's distinguished aeronautical past: the Beaufighter, Blenheim and Brigand. In February 1997, Crook aged 77, sold a fifty per cent holding in Bristol Cars to Toby Silverton, with an option to take full control within four years. Silverton son-in-law of Joe Lewis of the Tavistock Group and son of Arthur Silverton of Overfinch, joined the board with his father.
Crook and Toby Silverton produced the Speedster, Bullet and 411 Series 6, though 2002 saw the transfer of Bristol Cars into the ownership of Silverton and the Tavistock Group, with Silverton in the chair and Crook remaining as m
The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court; the Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union.
It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, dubbed'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands means'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level, nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.30 million people, all living within a total area of 41,500 square kilometres —of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres —the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture; the Netherlands was the third country in the world to have representative government, it has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848.
The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness; the Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and varying names in different languages. There is diversity within languages; this holds for English, where Dutch is the adjective form and the misnomer Holland a synonym for the country "Netherlands". Dutch comes from Theodiscus and in the past centuries, the hub of Dutch culture is found in its most populous region, home to the capital city of Amsterdam.
Referring to the Netherlands as Holland in the English language is similar to calling the United Kingdom "Britain" by people outside the UK. The term is so pervasive among potential investors and tourists, that the Dutch government's international websites for tourism and trade are "holland.com" and "hollandtradeandinvest.com". The region of Holland consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces a single province, earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom. Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region; the emphasis on Holland during the formation of the Dutch Republic, the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 16th, 17th and 18th century, made Holland serve as a pars pro toto for the entire country, now considered either incorrect, informal, or, depending on context, opprobrious. Nonetheless, Holland is used in reference to the Netherlands national football team.
The region called the Low Countries and the Country of the Netherlands. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in places all over Europe, they are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben, Superior or Haut. In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea; the geographical location of the upper region, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior and upstream Germania Superior; the designation'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries. But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France; the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for their original