The Netherlands: the provinces, the neighbouring lands, the name, the rivers The Netherlands Netherland is called officialy: The kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces. These provinces were in the past: counties/shires, duchies and dioceses. The provinces of The Netherlands. Groningen (famous for its natural gas field). Friesland (official language Frisian, ‘Fries’). Drenthe (famous for the megalithic dolmen, ‘hunebedden’). Overijssel (‘over’ is over; the ‘IJssel’ is a river). Gelderland (the biggest province; with the Veluwe, the Betuwe, and the Achterhoek). Utrecht (‘trecht’ is ‘traiectum’: Roman fort along the Rhine). Noord-Holland (‘noord’ is north; with the capital Amsterdam). Zuid-Holland (‘zuid’ is south; with government city The Hague). Zeeland (‘zeeland’ is sea land; famous for the Delta Works). Noord-Brabant (‘noord’ is north; southern Brabant is in Belgium). Limburg (‘lim’ is possibly dragon or marshland; ‘burg’ is castle). And Flevoland (in the former Flevo-lake; ‘flevo’ is flood, stream). So the Dutch provinces are: In the north: Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe. In the east: Overijssel and Gelderland. In the center of the country: Utrecht. In the west: Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland and Zeeland. In het zuiden: Noord-Brabant en Limburg. And finally a new province: Flevoland. This polder (reclaimed land) is made in the 1950s and 1960s. The Netherlands borders on the North Sea, Germany and Belgium. The word ‘nederland’ means: low land / low country. The Netherlands lie in a river delta, partly below sea level. The Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders) together are also called: the Low Countries. The most important rivers are: the Rhine, the Waal, the Meuse/Maas and the IJssel. Dutch lesson by Rozemarijn (‘rosemary’) van Leeuwen, 2012. YouTube: “Learn Dutch online with Rozemarijn”.