Bataviawerf and the Batavia

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Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

April, 2017

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On your own

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The Batavia is a reconstruction of the flagship of the C17th the Dutch East India Company. All the work was done in on-site workshops at bataviawerf in Lelystad.

All the ships were richly decorated by carvings on both the outside and inside. The Batavia has over one hundred pieces of carving. The massive carving at the stern of the ship was the most important as it identified the ship.

Wood or pine was used for the carving. The wood workshop is beautifully laid out with all the tools of the trade as well as examples of carved work.

Sails were made from flax which was woven into narrow strips of linen cloth. An original loom from 1625 is on display but is not allowed to be used. There is a working reconstruction next to it. The narrow strips were originally sewn by hand, although now a machine is used. 38 strips were needed to make the mainsail. Apprentices had to demonstrate they had learn all the different skills and there are two examples of samples made by them. As well as showing the different types of stitching need to join seems, they also show different methods of repair.

All the ships carried cannons as not only was the Netherlands at war with Spain and England at different times, there was also the risk of piracy. These as well as ironwork were made in the blacksmith’s workshop on the site.

Rigging was made in the tackle workshop near the blacksmith’s shop. It was coated with grease and tar to protect it from the elements.

There is a reconstruction of the hoist used to lift barrels.

The Batavia is moored on the Markermeer, outside Bataviawerf. Steep steps lead up to the main deck with the steering house at the stern. There is no wheel as all steering was done using a lever attached to the rudder.

The captain’s quarters where he ate and slept are off the upper deck and include his own private privy which emptied down the side of the ship. Outside his door is the timer measuring the quarter hours with the bell used to ring them.

Below is the gun deck where the crew slept, where ever they could find space. The capstan painted red white and blue was used to raise the anchor and also for loading or unloading heavy cargo. 16 to 20 men were needed for this. Off the gun deck is a tiny galley which was the only place on board where a fire was allowed.

Below the gun deck is the cargo hold.

This is a fascinating visit and well worth doing. Do allow plenty of time.

There are more pictures “here.”:


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