A national symbol

The tulip came to the Netherlands from Turkey around 1600. The flower soon became the object of a craze: some tulips cost as much as a riverside property in Amsterdam. In 1637, tulipmania was suddenly over – the market collapsed.

Even so, the tulip remained popular with painters and as a motif on furniture. And gardeners still liked it, of course. The flower does well in Dutch soil, and it gradually developed into a national symbol. Thus Queen Beatrix gave her annual speech from the throne in 1987 wearing a tulip dress, and Ruud Gullit was nicknamed ‘The Black Tulip’ during his years as a footballer in Italy.