The Maritime Museum



The Maritime Museum

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Amsterdam was the headquarters for the Dutch East India Company whose company initials,'VOC' (for Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) you can see on the flag above.  Athough the company is long gone, the Dutch have a fondness for the sailors who made Holland the superpower of its age and have kept its memory alive at the Maritime Museum.  The ship you see here is a non-seaworthy replica of the Amsterdam which wrecked off the coast of England centuries ago, and it is rigged to serve as a classroom.


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On board are several replica cannon.  Atop each cannon are a series of buttons with text next to each — 'put the powder in', 'clean the barrel', 'add the cannonball' — and a final button marked 'FIRE!".  You must push the buttons in the proper order before you can fire the cannon.  When you push a button in the proper order, the voice of a Dutch sailor tells you "Okay!" and gives a hint of what to do next.  When you press the wrong button, you get a stream of vituperation (probably) appropriate for schoolchildren.


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In the hold are more exhibits showing the sorts of things such a ship might have carried, with tackle for lifting and shifting cargo.  Some of it has been arranged as a 'jungle gym' for youngsters.

Norene remarks that, in the United States, all of this would be marked "Do Not Touch".


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