Holland’s culture is varied and lively. Dutch people themselves take immense delight in their cultural heritage. Arts of every form flourish in Holland. When it comes to culture, the country is possibly most renowned for its painters who were amongst the greatest in the world. Holland’s cultural life attained an international reputation during the 17th century, which is often referred to as the country’s Golden Age. Well-known figures of the Golden Age include the great 17th-century Dutch artists Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, and Jan Steen. The 19th and 20th centuries witnessed the emergence of artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Pieter Cornelis Mondrian.
Holland has exceptional museums and a remarkable variety of classical and innovative music and theatre. With almost 1,000 museums, the Netherlands has the highest museum density in the world. Some of the most famous are the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the Mauritshuis in The Hague. The Het Loo palace in Apeldoorn is of significance to those interested in architecture, gardening and history.
In Holland, major international arts festivals are held every year. The Holland Festival, held in Amsterdam in June every year, is an internationally distinguished music festival. Special events such as the Rembrandt Exhibition and an exhibition on the Golden Age draw many tourists and enhance the country’s status as a centre of culture. Holland culture is also famed for other reasons. It has produced many great philosophers, astronomers, writers and mathematicians.
Dutch architecture is also a distinguished feature and has always been popular in other parts of the world. Holland has six monuments on the World Heritage List. Cheese is another important product that has become a hallmark of Dutch culture. Many high-quality varieties of cheese are both made and enjoyed in Holland. Several orchestras are based in towns and cities throughout the country. The natives are keen on sport and fitness, music, social clubs and organized events. Above all, Holland is considered to be one of the most liberal countries in the world.