Six reasons to celebrate the Dutch landscape -
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Six reasons to celebrate the Dutch landscape

In 2021, we will be celebrating the Dutch landscape, which is unique and full of history and stories about the beauty, diversity, and value of our rural areas. About how we live in and with the landscape, through the centuries, now, and with a view to the future. In 2021, we will be celebrating the connection together. Between nature and culture, and between landscape and mankind. These are six reasons why the Dutch landscape needs to be celebrated.  

Highly diverse 

The Dutch landscape is characterized by huge diversity. There is no other place in the world where you will find so many different types of nature on such a small surface area, from the constantly changing landscape of the Wadden area, where the tides reign supreme, to the ancient landscape of the Drentsche Aa with its prehistoric cart tracks and hunebedden. Endless forests, unpredictable river deltas, wild dunes, and other natural beauty – you will find it all in the Netherlands.  

Centuries of artistic inspiration 

The Dutch landscape has been inspiring artists for centuries now. What do Van Ruysdael, Van Goyen, Van Gogh, Monet, and Mondrian have in common? They were all inspired by the diversity of the Dutch landscape. Even today, artists create landscape art that merges with nature, and poets and writers pay homage to the Dutch landscape in their own unique way. In the Netherlands, nature and culture go hand in hand.  

Shaped by human hands

Our landscape is largely shaped by human hands. The Dutch have been battling the water for centuries, but it is also our ally, as is clearly demonstrated by the Dutch water defense linesFlevoland is our man-made province, reclaimed from the sea. Apart from new cities, you will also find Nieuw Land National Park here, the world’s biggest man-made nature park. And we look ahead to the future, where new nature islands are created in the Markermeer and migratory fish are able to travel past the Afsluitdijk-dam thanks to a migration river. The Dutch landscape is never static.  

A landscape full of stories

Through the centuries, the Dutch landscape has witnessed countless extraordinary events and stories, such as the Sint Elisabethsvloed, which flooded the Dutch territory exactly 600 years ago in 2021. Dikes failed, villages were swallowed up by the water, and new landscapes emerged. De Biesbosch is one of the silent witnesses to this fateful event that cost thousands of lives. This unique tidal landscape is the result of the flood. Every bit of nature in the Netherlands harbors a special story.   

Meaningful landscape

In the theme year, we will focus on the landscape itself. How do we interact with the landscape? What does it mean to us? For centuries, we have tamed the landscape to keep our feet dry and fill our bellies, but the landscape also has intrinsic value of its own – it stimulates the senses and brings us peace. Our identity is closely intertwined with it.

More urgent than ever

Never before has there been such enormous pressure on the landscape. What will the Netherlands look like in 50 years? The climate is changing. The western Netherlands fights to deal with an excess of water while the east struggles with shortages. The Netherlands is a small country, but its population is large. Agriculture, windmills, solar parks, residences… All of these put a heavy strain on the landscape. The choices we make today are important to the landscape, biodiversity, and the Netherlands. It is time to stop and reflect on these choices during Ode aan het Landschap (Ode to the Landscape)!

Our partners:

  1. Flevoland

    Flevoland, made by and for people.

    Nature in Flevoland
  2. North Holland

    Peninsula living with water.

    Waddensea in North-Holland
  3. Limburg

    Feel the Meuse.

    Boat sails in river of Limburg
  4. Visit Friesland

    Northern landcape of culture.

    Artwork on the Zeedijk near Holwerd
  5. Dutch Water Defence Lines

    200 kilometer military heritage. The power of water.

    Hollandse Waterlinie - Fort Uitermeer
  6. Holland National Parks

    Holland National Parks tells the unique story of nature in the Netherlands.

    National Parks Delta - Kwade Hoek

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