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South Holland (Dutch: ) is a province situated on the North Seamarker in the western part of the Netherlandsmarker. The provincial capital is The Haguemarker and its largest city is Rotterdammarker.


For more on the history of South Holland in the context of Dutch history, see the article on the "History of the Netherlands". The history of this province can also be found in the articles on its constituent elements (e.g. Rotterdammarker, The Haguemarker, etc.) The information here pertains just to South Holland itself.

Before 1795

For most of its history, the modern-day province of South Holland was an integral part of Hollandmarker.

From the 9th century to the 16th century, Hollandmarker was a county of the Holy Roman Empire, and was ruled by the counts of Holland. Some of the counts were powerful magnates who also ruled many other territories, culminating in a period of rule by the House of Habsburg which was terminated by the Dutch Revolt.

From the 16th century to 1795, Holland was the wealthiest and most important province in the United Provinces in the Dutch Republic. As the richest and most powerful province, Holland dominated the union. During this period a distinction was sometimes made between the "North Quarter" (Noorderkwartier) and the "South Quarter" (Zuiderkwartier), areas that roughly correspond to the two modern provinces.

The emergence of a new province (1795 to 1840)

The province of South Holland as it is today has its origins in the period of French rule from 1795 to 1813. This was a time of bewildering changes to the Dutch system of provinces. In 1795 the old order was swept away and the Batavian Republic was established. In the Constitution enacted on 23 April 1798, the old borders were radically changed. The republic was reorganised into eight departments (departement) with roughly equal populations. Holland was split up into five departments named "Texel","Amstel", "Delf", "Schelde en Maas", and "Rijn". The first three of these lay within the borders of the old Holland; the latter two were made up of parts of different provinces. In 1801 the old borders were restored when the department of Holland was created. This reorganisation had been short-lived, but it gave birth to the concept of breaking up Holland and making it a less powerful province.

In 1807, Holland was reorganised once again. This time the two departments were called "Maaslandmarker" (corresponding to the modern province of South Holland) and "Amstelland" (corresponding to the modern province of North Holland). This also did not last long. In 1810, all the Dutch provinces were integrated into the French Empire. Maasland was renamed "Monden van de Maas" (Bouches-de-la-Meuse in French). Amstelland and Utrecht were amalgamated as the department of "Zuiderzee" (Zuyderzée in French).

After the defeat of the French in 1813, this organisation remained unchanged for a year or so. When the 1814 Constitution was introduced, the country was reorganised as provinces and regions (landschappen). Monden van de Maas and Zuiderzee were reunited as the province of "Holland".

However, the division was not totally reversed. When the province of Holland was re-established in 1814, it was given two governors, one for the former department of Maasland (i.e. the area that is now South Holland) and one for the former department of Amstelland (i.e. the area that is now North Holland). Even though the province had been reunited, the two areas were still being treated differently in some ways and the idea of dividing Holland remained alive.

When the constitutional amendments were introduced in 1840, it was decided to split Holland once again, this time into two provinces called "South Holland" and "North Holland". The impetus came largely from Amsterdam, which still resented the 1838 relocation of the court of appeal to The Haguemarker in South Holland.

1840 to today

Since 1840, South Holland has ceded three municipalities to the province of Utrechtmarker: Oudewatermarker in 1970, Woerdenmarker in 1989, and Vianenmarker in 2002.

In the period 2004 to 2006, there was a municipal reorganisation.

  • On 1 January 2004 the municipalities De Lier, 's-Gravenzande, Monster, Naaldwijk and Wateringen were merged into a new municipality Westlandmarker, and Maasland and Schipluiden to another one, Midden-Delflandmarker.


South Holland is divided into 77 municipalities. In the Netherlands a municipality (gemeente) may consist of a single city or town or it may consist of a number of smaller towns and villages.

Municipalities (with links to maps)

A to H J to P R to Z

Municipalities (sortable listing, with populations)

Municipality Population

Islands of South Holland

southern part of the province of South Holland consists of a number of islands lying in the Rhinemarker-Meusemarker river delta. Although technically islands in the sense that they are surrounded by rivers, canals or other bodies of water, most of these islands are well connected to the rest of the province.

The islands are listed here alphabetically. A few of these islands bear the same name as a municipality (and are therefore linked to the information about the municipality).

Regions in South Holland

Some of the regions in South Holland are official regional groupings artificially created for various administrative purposes. Other regions have developed their own identities for historical, geographic or other reasons. These regions are sometimes undefined and overlapping.

South Holland

The province is officially divided into four regions:

Another official region is the Zuidvleugel ("The South Wing"), which refers to the conurbation consisting of the southern wing of the Randstadmarker.

Some of the other regions in South Holland:


  1. The information in this section has been drawn from the Dutch articles on "Zuid-Holland" and "Noord-Holland" on the Dutch Wikipedia.

Internal Wikipedia links

External links

Links to Maps

Entries for South Holland in worldwide gazetteers

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