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9 Exmouth: Batavia

Barque Stefano

The Batavia

Featured Books


Batavia Timbers

The Batavia Gallery is the centrepiece of the WA Shipwrecks Museum (Maritime Museum in Fremantle). The gallery houses the reconstructed remains of the VOC ship Batavia, excavated by archaeologists in the 1970s.

While sailing south, a Dutch ship, the Batavia “struck a reef 40km off the coast of Western Australia near the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, a chain of 122 islands in the Indian Ocean.

During the excavation, part of the hull of the vessel was uncovered. The hull was carefully recorded and raised. After a number of years of conservation treatment, the remains were rebuilt in the Shipwreck Galleries in Fremantle.

The hull represents the centre-piece for the Batavia Gallery display. The section is the stern quarter of the port side of the ship up to the top of the first gun-deck, and includes the transom and stern-post.

Part of a portico façade was found on the site, comprising 97 (of a total of 149) blocks weighing over 36 tonnes. The portico was reconstructed and is on display in the WA Museum in Geraldton. From archival research, it was found that the portico was destined for either the Land Port or the Waterport for the Castle at Batavia.

Based over a number of floors and rooms, in total the gallery features artefacts from four local shipwrecks (Batavia, Zuytdorp, Zeewijk and Vergulde Draeck), including items such as clay pipes, silver coins, cannons and numerous other relics. WA Maritime Museum.

A depiction of the murder of the survivors. Wikimedia Commons

Massacre after the shipwreck of the Batavia in 1629 / From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

This is a novel from the era (1629) detailing the fate of the Batavia and her crew. It was so popular at the time, that it became an instant bestseller, because it contained the real-life story of murder, deceit and the perilous high seas. Credit: News L

Long Island, in the Abrolhos group off the coast of Geraldton, Western Australia. Long Island was the place where the ringleaders of the slaughter of survivors of the Dutch East India shipwreck 'Batavia', were hung in 1629. Credit: News Corp Australia, Supplied.

Human remains found on Beacon Island. WA Museum

Abrolhos Islands