When you have walked the old centre of Amsterdam and wonder where the money came from to build the beautiful houses this is the place to go.
In the Golden Age, the 17th century, the Dutch were a world power like the US or China now. The basis for the wealth of that century was the extensive trade. First with the countries around the East and Baltic seas and later, when the VOC (Verenigde Oost-Indie Compagnie = United East-Indies Company) was formed around the then known world. With the money earned the Dutch became the, very trusted, bankers of the century too and could build a large fleet of war ships to defend their interests. The modern day Navy was invented by the Dutch too making their war ships most effective in battle.
This history and much more can be seen in this nice museum. The history of the money maker VOC has a separate section with a wealth of artefacts on display, spiced with large video walls with actors telling short stories on everyday life in the 17th century.
The museum is housed in the former warehouses of the Admiralty, built in 1656, which stored the canons, sails, flags and other ships equipment for the war ships. Under the now central area about 40.000 liters (9000 gallons) of rain water was stored to supply the ships.
The central area is now covered with a glass roof with a large compass rose in the centre. The wind directions are used to identify the sections of the museum. If you don’t have much time I would skip the north section of the museum but concentrate on the East section and West section with the history of the VOC.
The East section has fine displays of paintings, ships ornaments, navigation instruments, old photo albums, ships models, globes and a display of fine glass, silver and porcelain.
There are many activities for children of all ages like making a guess how long it took to travel from Rotterdam to Amsterdam in the 17th century. You will be surprised.
Outside the building is a replica of a 17th century ship which you can visit.
The museum has a nice restaurant on the ground floor.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC