|— Province of the Netherlands —|
|Anthem: Lied van Zuid-Holland (Song of South Holland)|
|• King's Commissioner||Jan Franssen (VVD)|
|• Land||2,818 km2 (1,088 sq mi)|
|• Water||585 km2 (226 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,300/km2 ( 3,200/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||1st|
|ISO 3166 code||NL-ZH|
|Religion (2005)||Protestant 20%
Roman Catholic 15%
South Holland (Dutch: Zuid-Holland [ˈzœy̆t ˈɦɔlɑnt] ( listen)) is a province situated on the North Sea in the western part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is The Hague and its largest city is Rotterdam.
South Holland is one of the most densely populated and industrialised areas in the world. With a population of 3,502,595 (30 November 2009) and an area of 3,403 km², the province has the highest population density in the Netherlands.
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. Rotterdam, the Hague, 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 Holland.
From the 9th century to the 16th century, Holland 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 (département) with roughly equal populations. Holland was split up into five departments named "Texel", "Amstel", "Delf", "Schelde en Maas (fr)", 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 "Maasland" (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 in North Holland, which still resented the 1838 relocation of the court of appeal to the Hague in South Holland.
1840 to today (municipal reorganisations) 
Municipal reorganisations since 2000:
- On 1 January 2002 the municipalities of Pijnacker and Nootdorp were merged into the new municipality of Pijnacker-Nootdorp.
- On 1 January 2002 the municipalities of Leidschendam and Voorburg were merged into the new municipality of Leidschendam-Voorburg.
- On 1 January 2003 the municipality of Heerjansdam was merged into the existing municipality of Zwijndrecht.
- On 1 January 2004 the municipalities of De Lier, 's-Gravenzande, Monster, Naaldwijk and Wateringen were merged into the new municipality of Westland
- On 1 January 2004 the municipalities of Maasland and Schipluiden were merged into the new municipality of Midden-Delfland.
- On 1 January 2006 the municipalities of Sassenheim, Voorhout and Warmond were merged into the new municipality of Teylingen.
- On 1 January 2006 the municipalities of Rijnsburg and Valkenburg were merged into the existing municipality of Katwijk.
- On 1 January 2007 the municipalities of Liemeer and Ter Aar were merged into the existing municipality of Nieuwkoop.
- On 1 January 2007 the municipalities of Bergschenhoek, Berkel en Rodenrijs and Bleiswijk were merged into the new municipality of Lansingerland.
- On 1 January 2007 the municipality of 's-Gravendeel was merged into the existing municipality of Binnenmaas.
- On 1 January 2009 the municipalities of Alkemade and Jacobswoude were merged into the new municipality of Kaag en Braassem.
- On 1 January 2010 the municipalities of Moordrecht, Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel and Zevenhuizen-Moerkapelle were merged into the new municipality of Zuidplas.
- On 18 March 2010 the municipality of Rozenburg was merged into the existing municipality of Rotterdam.
- On 1 January 2011 the municipalities of Bodegraven and Reeuwijk were merged into the new municipality of Bodegraven-Reeuwijk.
- On 1 January 2013 the municipalities of Graafstroom, Liesveld and Nieuw-Lekkerland were merged into the new municipality of Molenwaard.
- On 1 January 2013 the municipalities of Dirksland, Goedereede, Middelharnis and Oostflakkee were merged into the new municipality of Goeree-Overflakkee.
South Holland is divided into 67 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 (table) 
|CBS-code||Municipality||Population||Land area (km2)||Population density (/km2)|
|484||Alphen aan den Rijn||72,874||55.07||1,323|
|502||Capelle aan den IJssel||66,079||14.30||4,621|
|1884||Kaag en Braassem||25,765||63.47||406|
|542||Krimpen aan den IJssel||28,799||7.81||3,687|
Islands of South Holland 
The southern part of the province of South Holland consists of a number of islands lying in the Rhine-Meuse 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).
- Dordrecht (7 on the map)
- Goeree-Overflakkee (1 on the map)
- Hoeksche Waard (6 on the map)
- IJsselmonde (9 on the map)
- Rozenburg (10 on the map)
- Tiengemeten (2 on the map)
- Voorne-Putten (4 & 5 on the map)
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.
The province is officially divided into four regions:
- Rijnmond ("The Rhine Mouth"), also referred to as the "Stadsregio Rotterdam" ("Greater Rotterdam Area")
- Zuid-Holland Zuid ("South South Holland")
- Zuid-Holland West ("West South Holland")
- Zuid-Holland Oost ("East South Holland")
Some of the other regions in South Holland:
- Bollenstreek (the flower areas found in both North Holland and South Holland)
- Delfland (the area around Delft)
- Drechtsteden ("The Drecht towns")
- Duin- en Bollenstreek (“Dune and Bulb Region”)
- Gouwestreek ("The Gouwe Area")
- Groene Hart ("The Green Heart")
- Haaglanden (the area around The Hague)
- Hoeksche Waard
- Hof van Delfland (the area including the municipalities of The Hague, Zoetermeer, Delft, Westland, Midden-Delfland and north Rotterdam, especially the green areas between them)
- Holland Rijnland
- IJsselmonde (literally, "The Mouth of the IJssel", but an island in the Maas)
- Kagerplassen (The Kaag Lakes)
- Rijnland ("Rhineland")
- Rijnstreek ("The Rhine Area")
- De Waarden (Alblasserwaard and Krimpenerwaard)
- Westhoek or Westland (roughly including Hoek van Holland and the municipalities of Westland and Midden-Delfland)
See also 
- North Holland
- List of cities, towns and villages in South Holland
- Politics of South Holland
- Category:Railway stations in South Holland
- Province of South Holland website (in Dutch)
- English home page on Province of South Holland website (limited info in English)
- Tourist information about South Holland
- Basic information about South Holland (in Dutch only)
- Basic information about municipalities (in Dutch)
- Flags of the municipalities of South Holland
- Deltaworks Online Website on flood protection in South Holland river delta
Links to maps 
- Tourist map of South Holland
- Detailed zoomable map of South Holland (2.3 MB pdf)
- 1853 Map of South Holland
- Map of South Holland in Google Maps
Entries for South Holland in worldwide gazetteers