Utrecht (ˈyːtrɛxt) is the smallest province of the Netherlands, and is located in the center of the country. It is bordered by the Eemmeer in the north, Gelderland in the east, the river Rhine in the south, South Holland in the west, and North Holland in the northwest. Utrecht makes up one region of the International Organization for Standardization world region code system, having the code NL-UT. Important cities in the province are its capital (also called Utrecht), Amersfoort and Zeist.
In the east of Utrecht lies the Utrechtse Heuvelrug, a chain of hills left as lateral moraine by tongues of glacial ice after the Saline glaciation that preceded the last ice age. Because of the scarcity of nutrients in the fast-draining sandy soil, the greatest part of a landscape that was formerly heath has been planted with pine plantations. The south of the province is a river landscape. The west consists mostly of meadows. In the north are big lakes formed by the digging of peat from bogs formed after the last ice age.