Netherlands Maritime Museum
1 Kattenburgerplein, Rotterdam, Netherlands
020 523 2222
Netherlands Maritime Museum Rotterdam Reviews
Oct 13, 2007
The maritime museum in Rotterdam is about 10 Euros to get in, although I used my museumkaart so it didn't cost me anything. On balance, I think I'm glad about this. The maritime museum is a museum that is obviously struggling to get the balance right between entertainment and information, particularly across languages. Unfortunately, this has the practical result that it appears to me to be eqaully incomprehensible in whatever language you are trying to understand it in.
The clearest example of this was the Harbour Live! exhibition in the first floor. This was a large map, where you could see the size of Rotterdam's port now and if you walked round the other side, a few key landmarks in its development frmo a small city in the 17th century until its massive post war expansion. WHich is fine.
The 20 minute video, with no narration at all, in any language, however, was about 15 minutes too long. Repeated clips of some guys walloping a rivet - fine - I get the idea that you built ships. About three minutes too long of cranes lifting the same bale of goods; the tape isn't all that well edited, and the message could have got across in half the time. Then an extended feature where the SOS call bleeped for several minutes - long enough to start upsetting me, to be honest, and then some pictures of a turtle (so did the sailors drown? Is the message that the sea is dangeruos, or that you're proud of your defenses and...er... turtles? Does anyone know if there are turtles in the Maas?). There are a lot of these unanswered questions, buried amongst some pretty pictures and model ships. I would have liked to learn more about the conditions in Steerage and first class on the cruise ships, for example, or why the Berlin sank rather than just that she did. I had a lot of fun - see the picture of me looking drippy that I made at the computer terminal - but it's definately not one of the best museums I've been to.
Part of the Utrecht 2007 travel blog
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