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 Batavia 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 Batavia.
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.
Photo gallery of the Batavia
If you click on a picture you will get the high resolution image.
View towards the Batavia over the De Zeven Provinciën reconstruction site: