Dutch Navy Museum in Den Helder
The Netherlands' main naval base, Den Helder, has a marine museum and a 19th-century fort with a military museum and an aquarium worth checking out before you hop on the ferry to Texel.
Aptly situated in Den Helder, the navy base of the Dutch navy, the Marinemuseum (Navy Museum) merges the history and the present of the navy. The museum is housed in what was the armory of the navy. The museum navy has a fleet of three ships and retired navy crew to complete the enactment. This is where you get to be part of the Dutch navy by hearing their stories on the high seas and their encounters with pirates and stormy weather.
The Dutch navy was established more than 500 years ago. In the main building you get to see this History through paintings, models of ships, guns, uniforms and paintings. Meet navy heroes and the decorations and the awards they received for their heroic exploits in the Navy. The history is mainly from 1815 when the Netherlands became a kingdom and the navy got the royal status and became the Dutch royal navy.
The Submarine Tonijn, The three cylinder submarine has alength of 78 metres and a weight of a million kilograms. It was used in the Dutch Navy between 1960 and 1991. The strongly built submarine carried out several missions and voyages during the thirty one years of service. Visitors enter the submarine through a hatch and into the thin corridors crammed with equipment just as it was when the submarine was active.
It is fascinating to imagine how the 72 member crew lived in the cramped spaces of the submarine from the galley to the tiny kitchen. Any questions you have can be answered by the attendants who themselves are retired members of the navy.
The Ram Ship Schorpioen, It was built in France and started active service in the Dutch navy in 1868.It’s main job was to defend the country’s coastal waters and as such had a pointed rambow as a defense weapon. In 1906 the ship retired from war service and was converted into an accommodation ship, becoming a floating barracks.
The Mine Sweeper Abraham Crijnssen, It was constructed in 1936 and It was used during World War 2. The mine sweeper is popular for having made a successful journey to Australia at a time when the Japanese air detection was at its peak and the chances of making it undetected were minimal. The ship was camouflaged with jungle foliage and it managed to escape detection.
Activities, At the Navy museum you can get your hands dirty by working as a yard worker hoisting cargo, welding and manning a mounted gun.