The country includes politically, as autonomous territories, the Dutch Antilles (Curaçao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and the southern part of Sint Maarten) and the island of Aruba in the Caribbean Sea.
The symbol of the Low Countries is the tulip, but all flowers are cultivated in abundance, and in the cities or the small villages it is not uncommon to see multicolored flower markets. The Netherlands enjoys a good energy self-sufficiency thanks to methane resources, which allowed the growth of a great many industries, as the famous Philips.
The cities and places of interest
For lovers of nature and animals there is the Botanical Garden, an oasis in the city that goes back to the 17th century and counting today over 6,000 species from all over the world, the Amsterdam Zoo of, called Artis, or also go for walks into the Dutch countryside to the discovery of splendid ancient mills which were once used to power hydraulic pumps; and there is also national festival devoted to windmills, on May 11th.
Alkmaar is a city in North Holland where every week a cheese marketis kept (Edam and Gouda are the traditional Dutch cheeses).
Other important centers are Rotterdam, whose port is among the first in the world for the volume of goods in transit, that also has renowned museums as the Boijmans-van Beuningen Museum, the Historisch Museum, and the Volkenkundig Museum. The Hague rises 4 meters under sea level and is protect by dikes; here is the seat of the government and the residents of the monarchy.