If there is one thing that Holland is famous for, it is their iconic tulips.
If you are a flower enthusiast, then spending an afternoon strolling through a bed of blooms surely sounds like the best idea! And if you’re near Holland in the months of March and April, then you could do just that.
The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in Amsterdam is the place to be during these months, as the most spectacular of all the world’s tulip shows is held here.
This year, they had an incredible 7 million tulips in bloom to boast! From the typical ones to those that possess unique colors, leaf patterns, and shapes – every type of tulip can be found here. If you have the right documents, you can even purchase some from the Amsterdam airport to plant in your own garden at home!
Unfortunately, they just closed their show for this year, but you can start planning for the ones that are coming ahead.
The history of the Keukenhof gardens goes all the way back to the 15th century when a Bavarian Countess used the area to grow fruits and vegetables for her castle. When another castle was erected nearby, the garden was extended and eventually transformed into a park.
In 1857, landscape artists redesigned the area and now, they hold a collection of flowers that make for such a beautiful sight – but of course, they’re most known for their gorgeous tulips!
After World War II, several of Holland’s leading tulip bulb producers decided to use the space to display these flowers that bloom in spring. It also served as a signal to everyone about the start of the new season.
In the first year of the exhibit, Keukenhof had 236,000 visitors! And during the most recent one held in 2019, the 70th edition of the tulip festival had attracted hundreds and thousands of people all over the globe.
But why tulips?
Though they don’t bloom for very long, the country has an interesting history with the iconic flower. During the 16th century, Netherlands was introduced to tulips from the Ottoman Empire (which is now Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, etc.).
Exploration and trade flourished during the Dutch Golden Age, and that is when tulips became a central part of their culture. The nation was so obsessed with them, that wealthy families would sometimes use them as currency!
The reason why there is a wide variety of tulips in existence today is because of the work done on breeding them during that time.
Although the “Tulip Mania” and its trade eventually stopped, tulips remained a big deal in Holland, where you can find some of the most exotic kinds in the world!
Don’t fret if you can’t fly to Holland – there are also tulip festivals held in America and Canada in early spring. So be sure to plot this in your family’s next destination!
See the video feature on the world’s biggest flower garden in Amsterdam – Keukenhof Gardens: