The Batavia, a Dutch East India Company
ship of 1628
In 1628 the Batavia was built in Amsterdam by order of the Dutch East
India Company. On her maiden voyage she was wrecked off the coast of
Australia. Of the 341 crew, most reached a small island. As the island
held no water or food, commander Pelsaert decided to try to get to
Batavia (today called Jakarta) by a small boat. After he left together
with some of the ship's officers, a murderous mutiny was started on the
island by one of the company's officials. More than hundred people were
killed by him and his followers. When Pelsaert finally returned he
defeated and captured the mutineers and took the survivors to Batavia.
In 1970, the Batavia wreck and many artifacts were salvaged. Some of the
items, including the stern of the ship, are now on display in the
Maritime Museum in Fremantle, Australia.
Broad historical research was carried out to ensure authenticity in the
reconstruction of the ship. The replica was built at the Batavia Wharf
in Lelystad, Netherlands. The work started in 1985. The ship was finally
launched on 7 April 1995.
The shipyard is currently reconstructing another 17th century ship, the
'Seven Provinces', Michiel de Ruyter's flagship from 1666 to 1674.
It is very much worthwhile to visit the
Wharf in Lelystad where the ship is harboured today. To see the
current reconstruction of the the Seven Provinces (see photo below) is
very interesting, too.
There is a fine book by Philippe Godard, "The first and last voyage of
the Batavia", Abrolhos Publishing Pty. Ltd., Perth, Australia 1993, ISBN
0646105191. It covers on the historic events, the discovery of the
wreckage, reconstructing the Batavia and a translation of the original
publication in Dutch 1647 by Jan Jansz, "The Disastrous Voyage of the
Ship Batavia, headed for the East Islands - Journal and Historical
Account ... by the worthy Francoys Pelsaert of Antwerp, Captain on the
Ship Batavia ..."
A short summary on the historic events and the replica construction is
given by Wikipedia in the article on the
Photo gallery of the Batavia
94 pictures 600 * 450 pixels, in total 6 MB. If you click on a picture
you will get the high resolution image 2560 * 1920 pixels.
We visited the Batavia in Lelystad on a vacation in Holland in June
2003. As the weather was quite fine I took many photos. If you click on
a photo you will get that photo in high resolution. If you use Microsoft
Internet Explorer or Firefox, press F11 to minimize navigation bars and
have a larger screen with the photos.
View towards the Batavia over the Seven Provinces reconstruction site: