Experiencing Batavia: the Power of Replicas

There is nothing compared to the physical experience of being aboard a historic sailing vessel. Neither of us has ever been aboard the full sized replica of Batavia, but after reading “The Power of Replicas” posted by Kelby Rose, we are determined to go. He posted stunning pictures of both the vessel and shipyard on his blog Nautical Archaeology in the 21st Century.

As a scholar of Dutch shipbuilding, his post provides a unique view of what it is like to come face to face with the ships that you study. He argues that while replicas “may differ in some ways from their historical predecessors, they are still magnificent structures that evoke a visceral response in their viewers and visitors.” If you have never seen the replica of Batavia, you must read this post.

Reblogged from: Nautical Archaeology in the 21st Century

The Power of Replicas, Part 1

Seeing Batavia was a pilgrimage of sorts.  In my first semester at Texas A&M, I was assigned to give a seminar presentation on the (original) ship, where I learned the story of the wrecking, the excavation, and became enthralled by the history of the VOC (Dutch East India Company).  Not long after, I fell under the spell of Dutch shipbuilding and have focused my studies on the subject ever since.    While doing research for my seminar presentation, I learned about the replica and saw some truly stunning images…


Batavia Replica - © 2012 Kelby Rose, from the Nautical Archaeology in the 21st Century blog

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Archaeology, Outreach, Shipwrecks, Travel

Author:Doug Inglis: divingarchaeology.com

I study the archaeology of seaborne exploration and contact. I am passionate about public history and outreach, and write about nautical archaeology at http://divingarchaeology.com

5 Comments on “Experiencing Batavia: the Power of Replicas”

  1. March 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    I love the photos. I hope to one day visit the Batavia!

  2. March 3, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Thanks fort he reblog! You guys are such an inspiration.

  3. March 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    I was lucky enough to get on board the Batavia replica at (from memory) the Sydney Maritime Museum in 2000. Pretty fantastic and I remember that remarkably tall and narrow back bit (sterncastle ? ).

    • March 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      You are lucky indeed, and I am quite jealous. I love listening to Kelby’s descriptions of the ship. The stern-castle is quite striking; there is such a powerful elegance to the whole design, one can also marvel at the practicality of the ships plan. I had a chance to go aboard Victory in Portsmouth – it was incredible to move about the tight spaces. Every inch was optimized. I cannot wait to go aboard again.

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