Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Maritime Museum

Marianne had expressed a desire to go to the Maritime Museum and since her wish is my command, off we went. The 22 bus stops close by.

The museum is housed in a former naval warehouse constructed in 1656.  

The first thing you notice as you enter the building is the ceiling of the courtyard.

The ceiling was so unexpected it took my breath away.

There are four wings to the museum but only two really suitable for adults. The entrances to these wings have ceilings with huge wooden beams.

As an Aussie I am interested in the history of discovery and exploration of Australia. We tend to forget how powerful and far reaching the Dutch were centuries ago. Consider that this globe is almost 400 years old.

Some globes appeared to be less accurate than others.

A later globe (post 1770) showing the east coast of Australia.

I loved the plastic knives and forks next to the incredibly valuable plates.

Made of silver.

It gives you an idea of how wealthy Holland was in those days.

Models of ships. 

If anybody knows what the big flap on the side of the boat is for, please comment or send me a message. These flaps are common on sailing vessels in the Netherlands.

The building is old but the modernization has worked very well.

Figureheads for the prows of ships.

The boob collection of figureheads. 

Compasses with iron attachments to counter the effect of steel in the boat.

A sextant.

The room with the sextants and compasses was dark with lights to represent the stars. It was quite magical.

Marianne described this as a Harry Potter book. It was clear but as you touched the corner, it came to life.

As you might expect from a land of famous painters, there were a few rooms of paintings of ships, usually in battle with the English or Spanish.

I liked the outrageous waves in this painting.

Both Marianne and I have really enjoyed the pen and ink paintings. By the way, I took these photos with higher definition so clicking on them will show more detail.

I was fascinated by this staircase. It seems to have no supports.

We went outside to tour the replica of an old sailing vessel.

It's a large ship. Note the two levels of windows at the stern.

Sleeping quarters for the sailors.

Notice the violin tucked away. Apparently most sailors had very few possessions other than the clothes they wore. They also did not bathe.

The massive beam attached to the rudder.

There was plenty of room but I imagine it would be pretty crowded with over 200 people on board along with the cargo and provisions. Fortunately the ceilings were not too low in this section.

Dinner table for the captain, officers and passengers.

The captain's quarters. They were quite spacious.

His toilet.

The kitchen.

The ship's steering wheel.

Beds for passengers.

The level below the captain's quarters. The ceiling was very low here.

The prow with its figurehead.

Views of the harbour and Amsterdam skyline from the ship.

Old steam powered ship tied up to the same wharf. Unfortunately you could not board it to look around. 

There was one more section to look at that focused on modern trade moving through the Amsterdam port. This display showed the harbour and vessels moving though it. There is something similar on the web that we use to find out what vessels are going past our house at home in North East.

A sign announced that there would be some sort of special show in a couple of minutes so Marianne and I sat and looked at this steel wall along with a few other people. Eventually a door opened and we all filed into a room with screens on each of the four walls.

The door closed and a video was displayed on the four screens that made you feel like you were in a helicopter flying over the harbour. It was really quite effective and I noticed that I swayed back and forth as the helicopter banked and turned.

I noticed this boardroom on the way out.

We both enjoyed the museum. It costs 15 euros to enter, the same as the major art museums. I would not say it is their equal in quantity but a lot of thought has gone into making this museum interesting. As the old guidebooks used to put it, worth a detour for a couple of hours.

Finally a bit of colour from a hedge by the bus stop.


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