The National Service for Cultural Heritage Lelystad (RCE Lelystad, formerly RACM Lelystad)
Do you want to know more about nautical and sub-aquatic archaeology? Then the National Service for Cultural Heritage Lelystad (RCE Lelystad, formerly RACM Lelystad) is the place to be! The RCE (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, formerly RACM Lelystad) is home to the largest nautical archaeological depot of the Netherlands. More than 30,000 artifacts are shown, all taken from ships.
There are even complete ship wrecks: from a Roman vessel to a regular barge service vessel that was dug up in the centre of Lelystad. It is engaged in maritime heritage. This includes marine archaeological finds from the Dutch coastal waters and rivers, but also on land, as the more than 400 shipwrecks in the IJsselmeer polders. In the RACM building for nautical archaeology, you can witness the entire ship conservation process. Specialists will be at work while you visit. You will learn how the care for monuments of nautical archaeology works.
Just opposite Batavia Wharf (The Batavia Shipyard) and Batavia Stad are more attractions that, together with Nieuw Land Poldermuseum (Museum of the Polders) in Lelystad, give colour to this special spot on the boundary of land and water. The Batavia yard is widely known because of the authentic reconstruction of the seventeenth-century East Indiaman, the Batavia. The flagship of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, De 7 Provinciën, is currently being reconstructed at the yard. Next to the yard, on the same site, The National Service for Cultural Heritage Lelystad (RCE Lelystad, formerly RACM Lelystad) has found its home. This institute is the national knowledge centre for maritime archaeology.
Caring for the historic environment
The National Service for Archaeology, Cultural Landscape and Built Heritage or RACM (formerly NISA) is responsible, with others, for managing the Netherlands’ heritage both above and below the ground and under water. From the Middle Palaeolithic, some 350,000 years ago, to the post-war period of reconstruction. Whenever historic, archaeological or cultural landscape values are at stake, the RACM takes the lead in ensuring the conservation, statutory protection, conservation and investigation of the country’s heritage. The keywords are quality and sustainability. In cases where no national or international values are involved, the RACM lobbies other authorities and public and private sector parties to manage our heritage in accordance with universally accepted standards.
The National Service for Archaeology, Cultural Landscape and Built Heritage operates at the interface between policy, science and practice. This enables to renew, enhance and share knowledge. In making knowledge and information accessible, they are led by society’s demands regarding heritage management. They administer a national repository for ship archaeology, a register and database of listed historic buildings and monuments and protected townscapes, and a central archaeological information system. They are also charged with implementing and enforcing the Monuments and Historic Buildings Act, taking action where necessary when the heritage is threatened.
Together with the public in general, the Netherlands Department for Archaeology, Cultural Landscapes and Historic Buildings highlights the value of our built, archaeological and man-made landscape heritage and makes the heritage accessible to others. RACM goal is to conserve and develop this heritage in a sustainable manner, imparting meaning to the living environment. The fact that their work involves a combination of science, policy and practice enables us to adapt, enrich and share our knowledge and play a unique role in accomplishing task.
The significance and value they attach to the heritage change as different trends take hold in society. They are therefore engaged in a continuous debate with society, working with different partners and listening to different views. This allows us to produce inspiring plans and carefully weigh up interests whenever changes are made to the historic environment. They work with:
- public authorities: local authorities, provincial authorities, other government ministries, water boards,
- organisations involved in heritage management, education and research,
- owners and managers of buildings, sites and landscapes (both private and institutional),
- the private sector: contractors, architects, construction companies, property developers, archaeological consultancies.
As part of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science they operate under the direct responsibility of the Minister. In role as a government agency, they maintain an overview of the cultural heritage throughout the country, including the legislation governing it. They tell the stories behind cultural heritage and advise national, regional and local authorities in decision-making. They also make a valuable contribution to international cooperation in this field through the exchange of knowledge and information.
To manage the heritage properly, you need to know what you are dealing with. RACM (formerly NISA) ensure that others have access to the heritage and are aware of its significance in the broadest sense of the word, both virtual and physical. Access to information on sites and structures, to know about current condition and history. It is their job to make the value of our heritage visible, understandable and, where possible, enjoyable.
The RACM takes care of the systematic sharing of information and knowledge on Dutch cultural historical objects. For this purpose, the organisation manages a Nationaal Scheepsarcheologisch Depot (National Maritime Archaeological Depot), a register and database of listed buildings, protected townscapes (Monuments and Historical Buildings Acts) and a centralised archaeological information system (Archis2) in which archaeological experts can record and view information.
When publishing, archiving and sharing knowledge or defining policy, organisations always revert to basic concepts and the collective memory. However, in doing so, they presuppose that the meaning of these designations and terms is clear to everyone. Typologies offer ideal handles for this, because they describe, by means of reference collections, the variability of a material group in a standardised and compact way. Consequently, the RACM collaborates with the Nationale Referentiecollectie.
In response to the pressure on the entire cultural landscape, in 2006 the Netherlands Department for Conservation (RDMZ) and the National Service for Archaeological Heritage / Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (ROB), including the Netherlands Institute for Ship and Underwater Archaeology (NISA now part of ROB), were merged to form a new organisation.
The Batavia Stad outlet shopping centre attracts over a million visitors to the coast of Lelystad every year. This first shopping centre of its kind in the Netherlands offers top brands of clothing, accessories, etc. at large discounts in some 70 shops. A hundred metres south of Nieuw Land is Port Batavia, the home base of a few dozen historic ships of the Hanzestad Company: original Zuyder Zee smacks, tjalks and barges, but also splendid three-masted ships.
Whenever historic, archaeological or cultural landscape values are at stake, the National Service for Cultural Heritage Lelystad (RCE Lelystad, formerly RACM Lelystad) takes the lead in ensuring the conservation, statutory protection, conservation and investigation of the country’s heritage. RACM has a modern facility for maritime archaeological research in Lelystad, Flevoland. Also dont miss the Aviodrome, with its very large collection of historic planes, is a unique aviation theme park & museum at Lelystad Airport, Netherlands first factory outlet shopping center, worlds largest Polder museum (Nieuw Land Poldermuseum) in Lelystad. All are not far from the Batavia Shipyard: 17th century Dutch shipbuilding.
How to get there:
The building of the RCE Lelystad is accessible by the Batavia Yard. For public assistance in Lelystad, the National Service for Cultural Heritage Lelystad ((RCE Lelystad) has partnered with the adjacent Batavia Wharf (The Batavia Shipyard). Visitors who have purchased a ticket for the yard, RCE Lelystad visits are also accompanied by a guide.
Open daily from 10.00 - 17.00 hours, except Christmas Day and New Year.
- Adult € 10.00
- 65-plus € 8.00
- Youth 0 to 5 years free
- Youth 6 to 12 years € 5.00
- School grades 6 to 17 years € 4.50
- Free for donors
- In addition, location in Lelystad free admission on weekdays from 09.00 - 17.00 hours.
Location and Contact:
The National Service for Cultural Heritage Lelystad (RCE Lelystad)/ Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, Lelystad
3811 MG Amersfoort
3800 BP Amersfoort
For all questions in the field of archeology, and cultural monuments.
Tel: 033 - 42 17 456, 033 – 421 7 421,
Fax: 033 - 42 17 799
Archive, Library and Collections, Amersfoort
Tel: 033 - 421 7 444
Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 17.00 hours.
Tel: 0320 – 269 703
Monday to Friday from 09.30 to 16.30 hours.
The National Service for Cultural Heritage Lelystad (RCE Lelystad) website: http://www.cultureelerfgoed.nl/
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