Netherlands

On more than one occasion men were seen hanging their own brothers, who had been taken prisoners in the enemy's ranks... A Spaniard had ceased to be human in their eyes. On one occasion, a surgeon at Veer cut the heart from a Spanish prisoner, nailed it on a vessel's prow, and invited the townsmen to come and fasten their teeth in it, which many did with savage satisfaction.

Over the centuries, the Dutch coastline has changed considerably as a result of natural disasters and human intervention.

The military is composed of four branches, all of which carry the prefix Koninklijke (Royal):

Natural gas concessions in the Netherlands. Today the Netherlands accounts for more than 25% of all natural gas reserves in the EU.

All children in the Netherlands usually attend elementary school from (on average) ages 4 to 12. It comprises eight grades, the first of which is facultative. Based on an aptitude test, the eighth grade teacher's recommendation and the opinion of the pupil's parents or caretakers, a choice is made for one of the three main streams of secondary education. After completing a particular stream, a pupil may still continue in the penultimate year of the next stream.

Doctoral candidates in the Netherlands are generally non-tenured employees of a university. All Dutch schools and universities are publicly funded and managed with the exception of religious schools that are publicly funded but not managed by the state even though requirements are necessary for the funding to be authorised. Dutch universities have a tuition fee of about 2,000 euros a year for students from the Netherlands and the European Union. The amount is about 10,000 euros for non-EU students.

Health insurance in the Netherlands is mandatory. Healthcare in the Netherlands is covered by two statutory forms of insurance:

While Dutch residents are automatically insured by the government for AWBZ, everyone has to take out their own basic healthcare insurance (basisverzekering), except those under 18 who are automatically covered under their parents' premium. If a person decides not to carry out an insurance coverage, the person may be fined. Insurers have to offer a universal package for everyone over the age of 18 years, regardless of age or state of health – it's illegal to refuse an application or impose special conditions. In contrast to many other European systems, the Dutch government is responsible for the accessibility and quality of the healthcare system in the Netherlands, but not in charge of its management.

Bossche Bol is a pastry from the south of the Netherlands. It is filled with fresh cream and dipped in dark chocolate