Historical persons - Golden Circle History

Westfries Museum in Hoorn

Jan Pieterszoon Coen

This heartless Calvinist was born in 1587. He is considered to be the founding father of the Dutch rule in the Dutch East Indies. At the age of twenty, he went to the Far East in the pay of the United East India Company (VOC). Six years later, he became director-general of all offices of the Indies' archipelago; four years later he was appointed Governor. Coen died at the age of forty-two, during a siege of Batavia, the city he himself had established on the ruins of Jakarta.

If you want to learn more about J.P. Coen and the VOC, make sure you visit the Westfries Museum in Hoorn.

Michiel de Ruyter

Without a doubt, Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter (1607-1676) is Holland's greatest naval hero. He was born in Vlissingen; at the tender age of eleven he took to the seas, penniless. By the age of 24 he reached the rank of first officer and he was only 29 when he became commander of a privateer and the money started rolling in.
Batavia Yard in Lelystad Michiel de Ruyter's shi
At the Batavia Yard in Lelystad Michiel de Ruyter's ship "The Seven Provinces" is being reconstructed at the moment. Definitely worth a visit.

Grote Pier

Grote Pier called himself the King of the Friesians. His real name has long since been forgotten. These days, the Friesian people consider him a great freedom fighter. Pier was born and bred in Kimswerd. One ill-starred day George van Saksen destroyed Kimswerd so thoroughly that Grote Pier went mad. Together with Karel van Gelre, he set off on a number of raids to regain the independence of Friesland.

Jan Adriaensz Leeghwater

Born in De Rijp in 1575, Leeghwater went down in history as the man who reclaimed the land of the Noorderkwartier, and as our first great hydraulic engineer. Even though Leeghwater was very actively involved in the reclaiming of various big lakes in the province of Noord-Holland, there is some doubt as to whether his input was as great as is often supposed.

Ir. Cornelis Lely

Lely (1854-1929) is the founding father of the plans to reclaim the Zuyder Zee. As a young engineer with the Zuyder Zee Union, established on 4 Januari 1886, Lely worked out plans for the enclosure and the impoldering of the Zuyder Zee. Almost all of these plans have been executed.

The statue of Cornelis Lely can be admired at Den Oever, at the bottom of the IJssel Lake Dam.



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