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Team Van Stoffelen
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Time to say goodbye to a few coins. The only thing you have to day is to post a good, strange, rare, ugly or whatever unusual fact you can find about my country: The Netherlands. You can drop as many contributions as you want. Suprise me!


There will be a winner in two catagories:


One for the strangest fact mentioned, and what I had no idea of.

One for that contribution to this cointest I had the most fun of.


There is just one member in the jury: me.


This cointest will end at Sunday, October, oops November 1st, 20.00 CET.


Greetings, have fun!


Van Stoffelen Sr.

Edited by Team Van Stoffelen
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Nice idea for a cointest! (I assume you mean NOVEMBER 1st, not October 1st, right? At any rate, I found a neat fact about Amsterdam.


Aside from it being the official capital, even though all of the government functions take place at the Hague, almost no one drives there. Lots of bikes and trams and canal boats. But here is the neat fact I learned: One of the canal boats in Amsterdam, known as the Poezenboot, acts as a home for stray cats. A woman who had been re-housing stray cats had the idea of getting them a houseboat – after all, if people can live in them, why not cats? Forty years later, the volunteers at the shelter look after seventy cats at a time.


Thanx for the cointest!

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As a wine lover I found this to be very good news indeed! :rolleyes:


At the moment there are more than 150 professional (commercial) wine-growers and the halve of them are growing a vine-yard of at least 1 hectare. With the current growth it is estimated that in 2010 there will be approximately 200 hectares planted according to 160 professional Dutch wine-growers. 190 hectare is now (2008) in hands of 186 wine-growers, having an output of 1.070.000 bottles of wine. Quality of both red and white is increasing constantly.

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pushing aside the obvious thing (unfortunantly) when i think of the netherlands, the first thing that comes to mind, is the beautiful red tulips.

tulips are the symbol of holland. there are field upon field of this lovely flower and is one of the many attractions that bring tourists to this country.

tulips are the main flower, but dont forget that the netherlands also grow in abundance, daffodils, dahlias, and hyacynths to name a few and all these are used to decorate the many parade floats for the annual flower festivals throughout the country.

i have never been to the netherlands (except when my brother inlaw got lost when we were driving through belgium, and took us on a road trip the wrong direction and we ended up just driving through the dutch customs border at 4am in the morning to be able to turn the car around to head back the way we came. strangely enough there wasnt a soul around, the customs area was deserted. it was very strange.) but i would love to be able to visit the country to see the beauty of the place for real.

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Some strange facts:


When Dutch schoolchildren pass their exams, they hang a Dutch flag and a school bag outside their homes.


Amsterdam has 1,281 bridges.


There are twice as many bikes as cars. :rolleyes:


After Scandinavians, the Dutch are the world's biggest coffee drinkers.


The Netherlands still has about 1,000 traditional working windmills.


The Netherlands has the highest cable density in Europe.


Some of these facts even stand in my geographic school book :D


I like the netherlands ans they are only 80km from my hometown. :blink:

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> There are two provinces in Nederland called Holland


•Nederland: the Netherlands was the first European Republic since the Roman republic, and didn't get royalty till the 19th century.


•75% of Dutch women work part time. This is the highest figure in Europe: the average is 32%. (2008)


•The population of the Netherlands is nearly 16.5 million people (2008). Twice as much as the city of New York (2007).


•Our most popular entertainer has a registered relationship with another man. Together they have adopted two kids from the USA. (Paul de Leeuw)


> about 50% of the country of The Netherlands is below sea level; the country is so flat, that even land above sea level will go under if the sea level rises even a meter; flooding can be a problem because the most highly populated area's in the Netherlands are under sea level or near sea level.


thanks for the cointest!

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The story of the boy with his finger plugging the hole in the dike did not originate in the Netherlands.


It was first published in England in an 1850 edition of Sharpe's London Journal of Entertainment and Instruction: "The Little Hero of Haarlem". The story was picked up by US author Mary Mapes, who incorporated it into "Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates", but there is no record of this well-known story (to the US!) ever starting in the Netherlands.

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While searching the web for something to post, I came across this. I think it's both educational and hopeful.


The last European Beaver in the Netherlands was killed in 1826. In 1988 European Beavers were reintroduced in the Biesbosch, and in 1994 beavers were released in the Gelderse Poort (a wilderness area between Arnhem and Nijmegen). The new beavers are doing very well; their numbers are increasing and they are spreading to other parts of the Netherlands.


Thanks for doing the contest!

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In 1573-1574, the city of Leyden (to use the old spelling - now it is Leiden) sided against the Spanish occupiers of their country and subsequently came under siege. (The Eighty Years War.)


Cut off from the rest of the country from May to October, the city suffered greatly from hunger in the final weeks of the siege.


The city was finally able to be assisted when the Dutch bravely destroyed their own dikes, flooding the fields near the city and sent ships in with supplies. It is said that the city, in recognition of their bravery, was offered a reward by William I of Orange: a waiver from certain taxes, or assistance with establishing a University. The city chose the University, which is the oldest University in the Netherlands.


Leiden is also the city where the Pilgrims lived for a time before they sailed to North America.

Edited by ATMouse
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Most notorious!


Netherlands' most notorious criminal stands trial again

Published: 21 April 2009 13:48 | Changed: 21 April 2009 13:53

In the appeals case against Dutch celebrity criminal Willem 'The Nose' Holleeder, who is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence, public prosecutors on Monday asked for his sentence to be extended to ten years.

By our news desk


Willem Holleeder in a 2002 file picture.

Photo WFA

News - In gangland trial, the crown witness is a murderer

Background - Amsterdam crime world murder trial depends on state witness


The sentencing request on appeal is actually lower than the 12-year request during the initial trial. That is, prosecutors say, because they have taken the defendant's poor health into account. Willem Holleeder (50) was treated for heart disease and he says he has little time left to live.


But the claim is higher than the nine years Holleeder was given at the end of his 2007 trial for the extortion of three real-estate agents. Holleeder pleaded not guilty at the initial trial. His lawyer will respond to Monday's sentencing request in May with a ruling expected in June.


Holleeder already served seven years for the kidnapping of beer tycoon Freddy Heineken in 1983. He was arrested again in 2006 and has been in prison ever since. Besides extortion and heading a criminal organisation, he has also been accused of being the mastermind behind a series of assassinations in Amsterdam.


Glamorous circles


Until his arrest in 2006, Willem 'The Nose' Holleeder seemed almost untouchable. A glamorous figure, he was often seen in the company of Dutch celebrities. He was known to buy his suits on the posh PC Hooftstraat in Amsterdam, and often cruised the city on scooters with his friends, which earned them the nickname the "moped gang".


At the same time, he was acquainted with all the kingpins of Amsterdam's crime world: Sam Klepper, John Mieremet, Jan Femer, Cor van Hout, Mink Kok - all of whom, except Kok, have since met with a violent end. Justice officials have always suspected Holleeder of being behind the series of gangland killings that shocked the Netherlands around the turn of the century. But proving it has been a different matter.


In 2007, Holleeder was sentenced to nine years at the end of a bizarre trial - dubbed "trial of the century" by Dutch media - that saw Holleeder's attorney, the famous defence lawyer Bram Moszkowicz, withdraw after allegations that he was "tight with the mafia", the defended being admitted to hospital with serious heart problems, and key evidence being given orally by an already assassinated crown witness.


Holleeder was born in Amsterdam on 29 May 1958. His father worked at Heineken for years, but became an alcoholic and lost his job. As a teenager, Holleeder and his future brother-in-law Cor van Hout formed a gang that got rid of squatters for landlords. They were also said to be involved in several robberies.


Career criminal


With the kidnapping of Freddy Heineken in 1983, Holleeder and Van Hout hoped to advance to the upper echelons of organised crime. They collected a ransom of 16 million euros but were eventually caught. In 1987, the pair was sentenced to eleven years in prison.


Both men were released in 1992 and promptly resumed their criminal careers. The justice department failed to find enough evidence of their involvement in extortion and large-scale drug trade. But a long series of assassinations in the Amsterdam underworld, starting in 1999, would eventually bring everything out in the open.


The cold-blooded murder of property magnate Willem Endstra in May 2004 especially caused a shock in a country unused to violent crime. During the unseasonably warm autumn of 2005 no fewer than three high-profile Amsterdam crime bosses were killed in a span of three days.


In the end, it was Willem Endstra - the so-called "banker of the underworld" - who would get the better of Holleeder. In backseat conversations with police detectives while driving around Amsterdam, Endstra said he was being blackmailed by Holleeder. He also told police Holleeder was responsible for 25 gangland killings, including that of his own brother-in-law Cor van Hout in 2003.


By the time Holleeder stood trial, Endstra himself had been assassinated, but the judge allowed his blackmail statements into evidence as posthumously written testimony. It was on the basis of Endstra's testimony that Holleeder was found guilty and sentenced to nine years.


Holleeder’s conviction was a victory for the Dutch justice department, though it ultimately failed to link him to the series of killings in the underworld.

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WOW!! a cointest for the Netherlands!!!


My friend your coin is fantastic!!! It reminds me of the old silver coins of The Netherlands, from Germany..... WOW! :D


...and since your geocoin reminds me the old daalers for the Netherlands..... I will post something for the currency of yoyur country!!!!


China was the first country in the world that made and used banknotes in 960 AD!!!


In europe, banknotes came a lot later! Even if the first european banknote is considered to be made in Sweden in the 1660..... we had paper coins from the Netherlands at the year of 1574!!!!


These paper 'coins' were issued in Protestant Leyden (today, Leiden) in the Netherlands during the Spanish siege of 1574.


Over 5000 of the estimated 14,000 residents of Leyden died, mostly due to starvation.


Even leather (often used to create emergency currency) was boiled and used to feed the people.


So to create currency, the residents took covers and paper from hymnals and church missals and created paper planchets, which were struck using the same dies that were previously used to mint coins


These emergency paper coins are very rare now and very collectable of course!!!


*** in hard times, and later, some european coutries, made banknotes from playing cards... but that's an other story..... :rolleyes:


Anyway... in case you want to see a phot of this strange first paper coin...

here it is! It is from a book, so I maximized the photo to see the coin better!




More strange info will come soon!!! :blink:

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hmm... let's see this one....


In the Netherlands, except euros, there is an other local currency in circulation!!! Its name is RAAM!!!


RAAM, or Raam is a currency issued by Stichting Maharishi Global Financing Research (SMDFR), a charitable, Netherlands foundation. It is also the "global development currency" of the Global Country of World Peace (GCWP). It was designed to be a flexible currency for national governments to use in the development of agricultural projects with the goal of eliminating poverty in third world countries. The Raam, was launched on October 26, 2001 and is the concept of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation technique and the Global Country of World Peace.


The Raam is unique because it is focused on the export of organic agriculture, to consumers in developed countries, rather than remaining in local circulation!


Three hundred million Euros worth of the Raam notes have been printed, using the same company that prints the Euro for Holland. More than 100 Dutch shops, some of them part of big department store chains, in 30 villages and cities have begun accepting the currency as payment for goods and services. It is currently used side by side with local currency and in accordance with Dutch lawin more than 100 shops in the Netherlands. The Raam is a bond, issued in denominations of 1, 5 and 10 Raams, with one Raam equal to 10 Euros in Europe.[5] It is convertible in Holland at the Fortis Bank in Roermond, Holland.


The Raam is also in use in Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa, at the rate of US$10 for 1 Raam. The Maharishi Vedic City Raam is identical to the Dutch one except for a small yellow stamp "Maharishi Vedic City".


It is unclear as to how the Raam will circulate in the other countries, since 1 Raam is worth 10 Euro, and there are no smaller denominations.


Recently they mint a gold coin of 10 raam too!!!


*** since it is an expensice banknote, it is not in my collection! It is really amazing that the 1 raam is equal to 10 euros!!!! OH!!! :rolleyes:


In case you want to see how a raam looks like:





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The Netherlands have an excellent public transportation system. But the Dutch themselves complain about frequent delays - by which they mean delays of occasional delays of 5 minutes to half an hour (though sometimes longer). Not much by American standards to be sure!!!


I am sure it's German fault... right? :D I heard that for everything you blame the Germans, so... :rolleyes:

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Although tulips are associated with Holland, both the flower and its name originated in the Persian empire. The tulip, or lale (from Persian لاله, lâleh) as it is also called in Turkey, is a flower indigenous to Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and other parts of Central Asia. Although, it is unclear who first brought the flower to northwest Europe, it is the Turks who made tulip known in Europe. The most widely accepted story is that of Oghier Ghislain de Busbecq, ambassador from Ferdinand I to Suleyman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire in 1554. He remarks in a letter upon seeing "an abundance of flowers everywhere; Narcissus, hyacinths, and those which in Turkish Lale, much to our astonishment, because it was almost midwinter, a season unfriendly to flowers" (see Busbecq, qtd. in Blunt, 7). In Persian Literature (classic and modern) special attention has been given to these two flowers, in specific likening the beloved eyes to Narges and a glass of wine to Laleh. The word tulip, which earlier in English appeared in such forms as tulipa or tulipant, entered the language by way of French tulipe and its obsolete form tulipan or by way of Modern Latin tulīpa, from Ottoman Turkish tülbend, "muslin, gauze". (The English word turban, first recorded in English in the 16th century, can also be traced to Ottoman Turkish tülbend.)

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ok, something strange! I do not know if it will surprise you but it surpriced me for sure!!!


Some years ago, my uncle while he was on a mountain in Leros island to hunt, he found a strange metal badge! It was a military one, a foreign one from the WWII!


He tried and managed to clean it! It was made of bronze! Since I collect war relics (except coins, banknotes, medals, phonecards etc...), he gave it to me!


I didn't know either what this badge was! It was a medical badge for sure! The pin on the back was broken but the rest was in perfect condition!!!


I Leros during WWII, there were some great battles between Germans, Italians and british troops! This badge was not German, not British and it didn't look like an Italian one! It stayed a mystery for sure, for al ong time!


One day, and while I was searching in ebay I saw a similar badge in an auction!!!! I was socked!!! The badge was from the Netherlands!!!!


It belonged to the DUTCH MEDICAL REGIMENT GENEESKUNDIGE TROEPEN (MEDICAL TROOPS) and it was a colar badge!!!


How this badge came to Leros??? I do not think Dutch army even came to Greece and Dodecanese in WWII!!!!!


I think that there is a story behind this badge! Most probably a german soldier (one of the parachutists) was in the Netherlands before or... I do not know what, and took this badge as a rellic... a souvenir from a dutch soldier.... then the German soldier came in Leros, and during the battle he lost it! He may lost his life too! the medal stayed all these years on the mountain until my uncle found it!!! I have it now!!!


No matter what is the real story behind this Dutch badge, it is a traveller for sure!!! From the Netherlands it may went to Germany and then to Greece, in Leros and finally in Rhodes!!!! :)


Here is a photos of my badge!! :)



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Princess Margriet was born on January 19, 1943 in Ottawa. The maternity ward of the Ottawa Civic Hospital was temporarily declared to be extraterritorial by the Canadian government. Since the hospital technically did not belong to any nation, the Princess could derive her citizenship solely from her mother, making her a Dutch citizen.


Princess Margriet was christned at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Ottawa. Her godparents included President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the US, Queen Mary of Great Britain, Crown Princess Martha of Norway, and the Dutch Merchant Fleet.


She was named after the marguerite, the flower worn during the war as a symbol of resistance to Nazi Germany.


Princess Marguerite is theoretically in line for the British throne, as she is a descendant of King George II. Although she does not hold dual citizenship, she became a British subject in 1957 when the British court decided that all persons in line for the throne are by default British subjects.

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Canadians forces play a roll in the liberation of the Netherlands during WW II. In a show of appreciation the Dutch send 10’s of thousands of tulips which grace our parks and the parliamentary buildings in Ottawa each year.

Thank you for the cointest and the tulips, it is wonderful to see all the colour after months of snow :)

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After conquering The Netherlands, Napoleon Bonaparte set it up as a puppet kingdom called the Kingdom of Holland with one of his brothers as king. His brother tried to serve Dutch interests instead of Napoleon's and he was forced to abdicate after about 4 years of rule. His five-year-old son succeeded him and ruled as Louis II for ten days. Bonaparte sent in an army to re-invade the country and dissolved the Kingdom of Holland. The Netherlands then became part of the French Empire


(Yay Wikipedia! :) )

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i found out today while searching for interesting facts that the Netherlands born painter Rembrandt, was not only one of the most famous painters of the 17th century, he was also regarded by many to be the best metal etcher of all time! as an etcher, Rembrandt must have loved working with copper metal as a way of expressing his creative genuis. i have no doubt that had Rembrandt been alive today, he would also have an appreciation for these great little metal collectibles we call "geocoins", and he might have even etched his own geocoin design for all to see and enjoy! :)




one of Rembrandts self portrait etchings

Edited by Odyssey Voyager
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The country is named 'Nederland', translated in English as "The Netherlands". Holland is comprised of two regions, North Holland and South Holland. So referring to The Netherlands as "Holland" is like referring to Britain as England or Belgium as Flanders. Except the Dutch are likely to forgive you the error.

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