In order to commemorate its 350th anniversary, the Netherlands Marine Corps visited Erasmus University on Thursday. The opening of their commemorative symposium took place at the pond in front of the Erasmus Pavilion and attracted quite a crowd.

The marines had come from Doorn to Rotterdam and had been on the EUR campus since the early morning. Carrying unloaded weapons, they patrolled the place, waiting for the moment their actions were required.

Demo Mariniers op Woudestein 1115-013
Image credit: Levien Willemse

St Nicholas

When the symposium was finally opened, two marines abseiled the Tinbergen Building. Their descent didn’t go entirely as planned; the smoke left a red stain on the outer wall of the building. In the end, the marines made it to the ground in one piece. Next up, two armoured vehicles carrying marines entered the campus to rescue St Nicholas, and then it was the Marine Intervention Unit’s turn to join in the fracas. Following a gunfight, they managed to bring St Nicolas to safety; they even managed to rescue his crosier and mitre. Once all these feats had been achieved, the band played a little ditty, and then it was time for the symposium to begin.

The swans in the pond didn’t seem too impressed with the show, and some of the spectators left, as well. It wasn’t the most spectacular display, but it was fun!