Amsterdam sightseeing tips

Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum contains the second largest maritime collection in the world

The Scheepvaartmuseum is a Dutch museum in Amsterdam. The museum was formerly called the Dutch Maritime Museum.

History Scheepsvaartmuseum

The museum, then still under the name Vereniging Nederlandsch Historisch Scheepvaartmuseum, was founded in 1916. In the museum you can find approximately 300.000 items that come from shipping companies, collectors and enthusiasts from the maritime and navy world. The museum was moved to another part of Amsterdam in 1973, where it was opened by Princess Beatrix.

Of 2007 2011 was closed to the museum, this is because there occurred a major renovation. Because of this large and extensive renovation the museum in October of the year 2011 is reopened. The special replica of the East Indiaman Amsterdam has since been admired at the dock of the Maritime Museum.

the Zeemagazijn

Het Scheepvaartmuseum is housed in a special building, namely in the Zeemagazijn. What is the Zeemagazijn and how did it originate? Amsterdam is growing fast from the year 1590. In 1650 3 islands are being constructed for shipyards, warehouses and homes. On one of these islands, the island of Kattenburg, the shipyard of the Amsterdam Admiralty enters the Zeemagazijn. The Zeemagazijn itself was opened in 1656, in this warehouse you can find guns, sails, flags and ship's equipment for the war fleet.

The building has attracted many tourists from the beginning, it was because the roof had a great view of the city. It went pretty well with the building and the museum until 1791 the building burned to the stone walls after. In 1795 attacked the French troops founded the country and the Batavian Republic was. The 5 Admiralties were abolished and replaced by a national navy. The Zeemagazijn was used as a warehouse for the Navy. This continued until 1970. In 1972 the Zeemagazijn began again as a warehouse for the highlights of the Maritime Museum. The museum was a Rijksmuseum, therefore there were more funds available. Princess Beatrix opened the Scheepsvaartmuseum officially on April 13 1973.

The current collection at the Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum has more than 300.000 objects, including paintings, arms, world maps and ship models. This collection of ship models is to mention the models from the 16e to 18e century of particular interest.

The library of the museum is one of the most detailed libraries in the Netherlands and is also known internationally. The library is opened every Thursday from 9: 30 through 17: 00.

The paintings collection is the largest in the Netherlands, and includes images of Dutch naval officers such as Michiel de Ruyter.

The National Maritime Museum has several sub-collections:

  • Ships and technology: the museum has approximately 1.800 models of ships, 350 half-models of ships, 60 models of machines, engines and installations. The museum also has a large collection of building drawings of ships, 2 has towage boats from the 18 century and about 50 small yachts and racing boats.
  • Maritime art and crafts: the museum has approximately 800 maritime paintings from the 17e to the 21 century made by famous maritime painters. The Scheepvaartmuseum also has many objects such as: historical prints, ship portraits, flag maps and topography. There are also many photographs and more than 3.000 drawings of places and ships of which the oldest from around 1550 can be found in the Scheepvaartmuseum.
  • Nautical science: nautical science contains atlases, globes, maps and instruments.
  • Library: in the library about 65.000 titles can be found on many themes. Including: geography, nautical engineering, shipbuilding, ship logs and 3.600 titles travel descriptions.
    2 ships are moored at the museum, namely: the steamship Christiaan Brunings, this ship is built in 1900 as icebreaker and management ship of the Rijkswaterstaat, and a replica of the VOC ship Amsterdam from 1990. It is very nice to see the VOC-Ship, read here more information about the VOC Ship Amsterdam.

Until the renovation 2007 was to see the king sloop in the Maritime Museum. This is a galley from 1816 that the royal family had transported themselves on special occasions. The then Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard have used the ship at their silver wedding in 1962.

The Maritime Museum now

The Maritime Museum shows how the sea has determined the Dutch culture. There are exciting and interactive exhibits. There are also special exhibitions for children, such as you see in the Golden Age and the story of the whale. The Maritime Museum is fun for young and old!

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Opening Hours

Monday 9: 00 am - 5: 00 pm
Tuesday 9: 00 am - 5: 00 pm
Wednesday 9: 00 am - 5: 00 pm
Thursday 9: 00 am - 5: 00 pm
Friday 9: 00 am - 5: 00 pm
Saturday 9: 00 am - 5: 00 pm
Sunday 9: 00 am - 5: 00 pm

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