Holland Travel Stories

Featured Holland Story | Tulipmania

How the flower market went from bloom to bust.
Nothing symbolizes the Netherlands like the tulip, a magically bright flower that can be seen in almost every window box in the country. They're wildly popular though they are today – Dutch farmers produce nine billion bulbs a year – their status was even higher in the past. The first tulips were cultivated in the Ottoman Empire for the sultan's court in Constantinople. Merchants brought them to Holland, they did not thrive in the damp, chilly climate until 1587. That was when a Flemish botanist called Carolus Clusius founded Europe's first institute for horticulture in Leiden and began to study their growth.
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