The clouds are our mountains: The uniqueness of the Dutch landscape

Panoramic View of Haarlem, c.1670 (Guildhall Gallery, London)
Panoramic view of Haarlem, c. 1670 (Guildhall Gallery, London) (© Wikipedia)

When the ancient Roman historian Tacitus witnessed how the inhabitants of what is now the Netherlands lived on mounds of muddy earth surrounded by water, he was flabbergasted that anyone would choose to live this way. Flying into the Netherlands, most people today are struck by the clean and organised look of the landscape. With one-third of the country under sea-level, there is some truth to the saying that “God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland.” In this programme, producer and presenter Louise Williams looks at the image of nature that we Dutch have created in our largely man-made landscape and what this says about how we see ourselves.

Producer: Louise Williams

Broadcast: October 3, 1999

The programme ends abruptly after 26’50”.