The Netherlands Dutch: Nederland; is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Dutch: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden), which is formed by the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, located in northwestern Europe. It borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east. The current borders were formed in 1839.
The Netherlands is often referred to by the name Holland. This is, however, misguided, since the provinces of North and South Holland in the western Netherlands are only two of the country's twelve provinces. (For more on this and other naming issues see below under 'naming conventions'.)
The Netherlands is a densely populated and geographically low-lying country (its name literally means "low countries" or "low lands") and is popularly known for its windmills, clogs (wooden shoes), dikes, tulips, bicycles, and social tolerance. Its liberal policies receive international attention, such as those concerning drugs, prostitution, same-sex marriage, abortion and euthanasia. The country is host to the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court at The Hague.