Haarlem, the capital of North Holland, and one of the finest towns in the Netherlands, is 12 miles west of Amsterdam, and stands on the river Spaarne about 4 miles from the sea. St. Bavo's Kerk, built in the 15th century, contains a renowned organ with 8,000 pipes. The Teyler Institution has, besides a fine library and observatory, an excellent collection of physical instruments. In Haarlem Hart (wood) stands the royal palace of Welgeleque. There are also an academy of sciences, and royal schools for teachers and clinical surgery. The town, through which run several canals besides the river, is a centre of the trade in bulbs and seeds. Silk, velvet, carpets, and Haarlem boutjes (a mixture of linen and cotton) are manufactured. The history of Haarlem goes back to the 12th century. It forfeited its privileges by siding with the peasants in 1492, and in the religious struggle of the 10th century stood a siege of seven months by the Spaniards, who subsequently perpetrated horrible outrages on the survivors.