Keukenhof: Legendary Garden of Tulip Country

Flower river. The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, Holland, the Netherlands.

Flower river. The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, Holland, the Netherlands.

If I ask you to name a country which you think is the motherland of tulips, most likely, you will say: the Netherlands. This European country has actively maintained this association for many hundreds of years already. However, the first tulips were bred not in the Netherlands, but in Central Asia (today, it is Turkey and neighboring countries). The first large consignment of tulips was delivered to Amsterdam, the capital of the Dutch Republic, in 1562, and this modest flower’s conquest of the world began.

At first, the price of tulip bulbs was so high that merchants weighed them on precise apothecary scales and sold them by the piece. Collectors were ready to pay a huge sum for rare sorts. It’s known that one gentleman gave 4,600 guilders and a carriage with two horses for one bulb of Semper Augustus. In those times, you could buy a house for such money. Thank God, today, we buy tulip bulbs for our country house’s garden much more cheaply, although the label on their pack still reads: Made in the Netherlands.

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Amsterdam: Free Love, Narcotics, and No One Tulip

 
I have mixed feelings about this city. Amsterdam is complicated and pushes one to choose, love or hate. It is surprising, but none of my friends stayed indifferent to this city. Moreover, nobody could clearly explain the reasons for loving it or hating it.

The Amstel river, Amsterdam.

One of the most famous cities in the world, it has a great history, ambitious cultural life, and its own “peculiar” attractions. On the surface, Amsterdam seems tidy, clean, and cozy, but it is only an illusion. It has incurred all kinds of sins, which, nevertheless, get along harmoniously with the decency of its citizens.

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