Utrecht is a central province of the Netherlands. With its 1359 square kilometers it's the smallest province in the country - it is, however, densely populated. The province consists mostly of municipalities forming the historically and presently important cities of Utrecht and Amersfoort and their urban areas, although it contains its share of green open landscapes in its part of the Groene Hart. Considered a part of the Randstad, it has convenient and fast links with major cities of South and North Holland, as well as other Dutch provinces, thanks to its central location.
Utrecht was originally a bishopric that was often at war with its neighbors Gelderland, Holland (now the provinces of North-Holland and South-Holland) and Brabant (now North-Brabant and Flemish Brabant). It was one of the provinces in the Union of Utrecht that declared themselves independent of Spain in 1579, thus starting what would eventually become the Kingdom of the Netherlands.