Current shipbuilding project
The battleship De 7 Provinciën (The Seven Provinces) was built in 1664-1665 for the Admiralty of Rotterdam. It was part of a larger fleet intended to strengthen the maritime power of the Dutch in relation to the English. Under the guidance of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, the Netherlands won a great many sea battles, including the Four Days' Battle during the Second Dutch-Anglo War. In 1694, the ship was sold and scrapped because of its old age.
The aim of building De 7 Provinciën is to make as authentic a reconstruction as possible of this 17th-century battleship, using existing source materials. Castles, country estates and canal-side houses still provide us with a glimpse of how some people lived in those days, but these key ships have all been lost. Reconstruction is an appealing way of reviving the past. Construction drawings were not part of the building process in the 17th century, but using specifications (= construction descriptions) and the paintings of Willem van de Velde, it is possible to get very close to historical reality.
The reconstruction of this 17th-century ship is one of the largest historical shipbuilding projects in the world. The character of this legendary battleship will be in complete contrast to that of the Batavia, a trading ship. This will be primarily expressed in the amount of woodcarving work being done on the hundreds of images and ornaments as well as the 80 bronze cannons on board.