Low Countries

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Low Countries

Low Countries, region of NW Europe comprising the Netherlands, Belgium, and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The northern parts of the Netherlands and Belgium form a low plain bordering on the North Sea, but S Belgium and Luxembourg are part of the Ardennes plateau. The name Low Countries is a political and historic term rather than a strictly geographic concept. One of the wealthiest areas of medieval and modern Europe, it has also been a chronic battle site. For a history of the Low Countries, see articles on the individual nations and provinces (e.g., Flanders; Brabant, duchy of; Holland). See also Netherlands, Austrian and Spanish.

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