The current Maritiem Museum(maritime museum) had already a history in 1852. Prince Hendrik, who was chairman of the Vereeniging der Koninklijke Yachtclub, lived in an apartment on the Willemskade. The Yachtclub was in the same building. He also showed here the objects donated by his friends and members of the club. This ship models and shipping related objects were the beginning of the museum. In 1879 Prince Hendrik died and not much later the Yachtclub went bankrupt. The municipality of Rotterdam than bought the building together with the collection. The museum was then called Maritime Museum Prins Hendrik. In 1948 the museum moved to a building on the Burgemeester Jacobplein until 1979. The museum settled on the Leuvenhaven in 1986. Not before the collection was on display in an office building on the Scheepmakershaven for some years. In 1999 the name was changed to Maritiem Museum Rotterdam. In 2014 it merged with the adjacent Haven Museum.
Maritiem Museum Rotterdam
The port that now belongs to the Maritime Museum provides real experience when it comes to the history of shipping. In the harbour, there are ships, harbour cranes, a locomotive engine, a lighthouse and shipbuilding tools from the period 1850 – 1970. During the outside tour, you can take a closer look at everything, so you get an idea of the way they worked back then. Some old ships you can even rent to make a tour through the port of Rotterdam.
Inside the museum you can also see ships, only these are old ship models. The earliest model is about 600 years old and shows what the vessel looked like that transported cargo from Europe by water in the fourteenth century. There are old, large parts of ships on display, as well as ‘ordinary’ consumer items from sailors of the time and VOC maps. An online database allows you to find out even more about the details of the almost nine hundred thousand objects in the museum’s collection.
Text will continue below the picture
The altering exhibitions show what the port was dealing with then or is dealing with now. For the young kids, to the age of four, then can feel like future sailors, when joining the voyages of discovery through the museum in a playful manner. Other exhibitions have subjects such as Spido or the fight against the illegal import of drugs in the port of Rotterdam. It is a real family museum with activities in which the whole family can participate.
The Maritime Museum also involves education in its activities. There are instructive programs from primary school to university. The museum library has, thanks to Prince Hendrik, the oldest and most complete collection of books on this subject in the Netherlands.
What else can you do in the Maritiem Museum Rotterdam?
The children’s parties with Professor Plons are popular. With a maximum of ten children and two supervisors, ships are loaded and unloaded, catching fish, hoisting sails, and of course, there are fries to complete the party. On the Facebook page, you can read almost only positive reactions.
In the Museum Café, mainly local snacks and drinks are available. Groups of up to about thirty people are also welcomed here for a pleasant drink or tasty lunch. In the Museum Shop you can buy pleasant memories, mostly made by local artists.