Royal Barge now on display again at The National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum)

After an eight-year absence, the Royal Barge will once again be on display at Het Scheepvaartmuseum. At a spectacular opening event on Wednesday evening, framed by the pipers and drummers of the Marine Corps, the Royal Barge was presented to more than 300 guests. Just one week before this event, the 200-year old barge and its new boathouse were transported across land and water. In the home port of Amsterdam, the doors will be opened to visitors every morning. 

The director-general of Het Scheepvaartmuseum, Pauline Krikke, is overjoyed at the return of the crown jewel of the museum's collection. 'It is a momentous occasion to celebrate the return of the barge after such a long absence,' she says. 'The Royal Barge is restored and seaworthy. The museum is incredibly grateful to all the people who helped to make this possible.'

Thorough overhaul

The Royal Barge, also referred to as the 'Golden Coach of the water,' was given a thorough overhaul. With a donation of one million euros from the BankGiro Lottery, the Cultuur Lottery, and specialist input from AkzoNobel, this unique barge was completely renovated and restored to once again be admired in all its magnificence. Now, this public favourite has finally returned to Het Scheepvaartmuseum. With the new set-up in the boathouse, the beautiful golden ornaments are closer than ever before and can be admired in detail by the visitors.

Use of the Royal Barge

The Royal Barge is a rowing barge that was built at the Navy shipyard in Rotterdam in 1816 for King William I. Since then, the Royal Barge has been used by the head of state for official events such as state visits, jubilees, naval reviews, and the launching of new ships. The barge marked its final voyage in 1962 with the silver wedding anniversary of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, and was then retired from service.

About The National Maritime Museum 

The National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum) tells the story of how the sea has defined Dutch culture. Visitors follow their own paths through twelve exciting and interactive exhibitions to discover 500 years of maritime history. Highlights of world-class collections are displayed in unforgettable exhibitions. A few of the exhibitions (like 'The tale of the whale' and 'Life on board') are specially designed for families. The museum draws approximately 330,000 visitors per year, putting it among the top ten Amsterdam museums and making it a major attraction for both domestic and foreign tourism. Het Scheepvaartmuseum is located in 's Lands Zeemagazijn, an historic Golden Age building dating from 1656. 

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