The best of 2021: some good reads you may have missed


What could be better on a wintry day than curling up with a good read? Here are some of this year’s most popular features that you might have missed.

Selfies in cemeteries: black tourism in the Netherlands
Black tourists in search of the Netherlands’ meanest tales raise ethical questions about the commodification of some of the country’s most solemn sites. But condemning the practice without considering its context, some say, misses the point. Read on

Seven famous Dutch riots
Many people seem to think that the recent coronavirus riots are something very un-Dutch. But nothing could be further from the truth. Amid fireworks, water cannons and looting, don your helmets for a selection of street battles through the ages. Read on

Unravel the history of Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog
It’s such a pretty town that they’ve named it twice. In fact, the story of this unusual community that engulfs the Dutch / Belgian border in and near North Brabant is actually a little more complicated. The borders that divide Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog are so convoluted that they have been making real estate agents, lawyers and bureaucrats cry for centuries. Read on

Stylish storage: the world’s first publicly accessible art repository opens in Rotterdam
Passengers in the glass elevators make vertical journeys on either side of a six-story atrium and watch the glass objects scroll. Around them zigzag walkways with open sides where people in white coats look into transparent rooms or enter and leave storage spaces. Downstairs, a mooring system awaits new arrivals. This is not science fiction, but the Depot, the new futuristic warehouse of the invaluable collection of the Boijmans van Beuningen museum. Read on

Meet the Brexiles who swapped the UK for the Netherlands
The UK may be out of the EU, but many Remainers have stepped up and are now starting a new life in a Member State. In January, we caught up with some of the Brexpats in the Netherlands to find out what drove them to leave Britain on Brexit. Read on

Dutch destinations: The Great Pyramid of the Netherlands
The Netherlands is home to a 36-meter-high pyramid. You can find it in Woudenberg. We have written about the fascinating history of one of the country’s most unique landmarks. Read on

Dutch exceptionalism and top failure in the year of the coronavirus
The Dutch are very fond of international comparisons if they are doing well, but when it comes to coronavirus, they see the Netherlands’ position as a ‘top failure’, says columnist Ben Coates. Read on

High earning potential? Mass investment hits the magic truffle trade
Campaigners and investors believe the Netherlands is the perfect place to start a legal magic truffle microdosing industry. Read on

Transgender equality, better data ethics are human rights issues: Lisa van Ginneken
Van Ginneken became the Netherlands’ first transgender MP when she was elected in March for the liberal progressive D66 party. But oddly enough, his political career might never have taken place without far-right nationalist leader Thierry Baudet. Read on

New Elizabeth Stuart Biography Brings Winter Queen Out Of The Cold
Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, arrived in The Hague in April 1621 after a perilous five-month journey through Germany. “Whenever there is a conflict going on, she gets involved,” explains Nadine Akkerman, author of a new biography about her. Read on

10 of the best features of that don’t mention Covid-19
From coffins made from mushrooms to why the Dutch have birthday calendars in their toilets, here’s a rundown of the best from our 2020 archives. Continue reading

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