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Now few people know that Amsterdam was once the largest port in the world, and the Netherlands had the largest merchant fleet. Princess Beatrix and housed in a building, which itself is one of the exhibits of the museum.
This monumental building was built in 1656 as the Admiralty warehouses and arsenal designed by Daniel Stalpert, a famous architect of that time, whose name is immortalized in many architectural monuments of Amsterdam. In 2007, the museum was closed for major reconstruction, during which the courtyard of the former arsenal was closed with an openwork construction made of glass and metal, the adjacent piers were removed, and all exhibits were systematized and arranged according to thematic expositions in 11 large halls. The renovated museum was opened in 2011.
Now there are exhibits telling about the 500-year history of the Netherlands, from the Golden Age and whaling, to the modern life of the Amsterdam sea harbor. The most interesting exposition dedicated to the Golden Age. A witness of the great discoveries of that time was a nearby moored luxury sailing ship, the Amsterdam, which once belonged to the East India Company. The ship did not return from its first voyage in 1749, and in 1985-1990. an exact copy was created for the museum. Now everyone can board and take a closer look at all of his equipment and the interior.
The museum exhibits include an extensive collection of paintings dedicated to the great naval battles, portraits of Dutch navigators, as well as a unique collection of 17th-century cartographic science genius maps of Willem and Jan Blau. A copy of the book “On the Moluccas” about the first round-the-world trip of Magellan, the work of Maximilian Transilvan, published in 1523, is very interesting. A rich collection of globes, navigation tools and treatises on navigation is very interesting.
The pride of the museum is the largest collection of rowing and sailing boats, however, the area of the museum is such that small life-size ships are also exhibited here. In addition, a very rich collection of various ship models is presented here, telling about the history of shipbuilding from ancient Rome to the present. For those who are not much interested in ancient shipbuilding, there is an exposition dedicated to modern cruise yachts and transoceanic liners.
In the museum you can even play an interactive game, making a virtual journey into the world of pirates and sea battles, and military trophies ... “Military trophies” can be purchased, as usual, in a gift shop or in a restaurant located on the territory National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.