In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) was the world’s largest trade and shipping company. With a fleet of over a hundred ships, thousands of employees and almost thirty offices in Asia and six branches in the Republic, each with their own offices, warehouses and shipyards.

Foundation of the VOC

The VOC was founded in 1602 and quickly developed into a powerful company with a monopoly on all Dutch trade in Asian waters from the Cape of Good Hope. In addition to its trade monopoly in Asia the VOC could also concluder treaties, wage wars and control conquered areas. Consequently, the Dutch East India Company had a lot of power, which went beyond mere trade.

VOC ship

Step back in time and onto the a replica of the East Indiaman Amsterdam of 1748. It’s moored right beside the National Maritime Museum. Onboard you can experience what is was like on a ship from the eightteenth century, with life-like displays about sea travel, squeezing into the cramped captain’s quarters, firing a cannon, or hanging in a sailor’s hammock.

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