2_4_DiscoverBenelux_Issue16_April2015_ALL_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 20/03/2015 20:34 Page 4
Discover Benelux | Editor’s Note
Issue 16, April 2015
Published 04.2015 ISSN 2054-7218
Simon Woolcot Steve Flinders Stine Wannebo
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Executive Editor Thomas Winther
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Jack W. Gooch Contributors Anouk Kalmes
Ariane Glover Berthe van den Hurk Bettina Guirkinger Cathy van Klaveren Emmie Collinge Harun Osmanovic Janine Sterenborg Josiah Fisk
Spring in the Netherlands instantly conjures up images of tulip fields in every colour of the rainbow. At this time of year, visitors flock to the vibrant fields of the Keukenhof (see page 89) and buy tulips by the bouquets load at the floating flower market in Amsterdam (see page 84). For centuries, this unassuming cousin of the lily has been synonymous with Dutch heritage. But how did this happen? Originally from Turkey, the word for tulip is thought to derive from the Ottoman turban or ‘tülbend’, as it was fashionable for sultans to wear the flowers on their headwear. In Western Europe the tulip was first introduced in the 16th century and quickly spread to the lowlands when several bulbs arrived at Leiden’s botanical gardens. Within years the tulip became a coveted commodity for its spectacular beauty. Tulips with rare patterns such as coloured, flame-like stripes were much sought after. With trade exploding in the Netherlands, people looking to make a quick fortune drove prices up even more through speculation. By the 1630s the cost of a single bulb became so astronomical that you could buy a spacious house for the same amount of money. This ‘Tulip Mania’, as it was later called, came to a catastrophic climax in early 1637 when a trader couldn’t find a buyer for his bulbs. In the following weeks it transpired that many florists had sold tulips they didn’t own to buyers who couldn’t afford them and the entire market crashed. This event is generally considered to be the first economic bubble in history. Reminding Dutch people of this still gives them a mixed feeling of shame and pride. Despite this episode, the Netherlands is famous for the cultivation of this wilful plant and is one of the main exporters of tulips and tulip bulbs. Having become a Dutch icon, the tulip to this day has remained a popular flower, although not quite to the levels in the 1630s.
Myriam Gwynned Dijck, Editor © All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Group – a trading name of Scan Magazine Ltd. This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles.
4 | Issue 16 | April 2015
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.