Heritage in each member city
All our member institutions are involved in the management of VOC heritage in their respective cities. You can read more about the rich history and heritage of each city below. You can read more detailed information about each trading post by clicking on the picture.
Fort Nieuw Victoria was initially built by the Portuguese in 1575. It was taken by the Dutch in 1602 (or 1605) and renamed Kasteel Victoria. Severely damaged by volcanic activity in 1754, the Dutch rebuilt it and gave it the name Nieuw Victoria. The pentagonal fort, with a bastion in each of its corners, was strengthened by an encircling moat.
Fort Zeelandia was built by the VOC from 1624 to 1634 in Tayouan (now called Anping) after they failed to get permission to trade in China. The fort was taken by Zheng Chengong in 1664 and and after several disasters was left in ruin. It was renamed Anping Fort after reconstruction works and can now be visited.
Baan Hollanda is an information centre on the history of Dutch-Thai relations. Opened in 2013, the centre is situated on the site of the Dutch East India Company (VOC)’s trading office, which operated between the 17th and18th centuries. The trade relations between the VOC and Ayutthaya marked the beginning of the over 400 years relations between Thailand and the Netherlands.
In 1640 AD, the fort of Galle was captured by the Dutch forces led by Willem Jacob Coster (who came from Akersloot village in the Kingdom of the Netherlands), after a fierce battle with the Portuguese. The Dutch army was supported by soldiers of the Sinhala king (called Laskiringngna). It is stated that the short rampart built by the Portuguese had been almost totally destroyed in this battle.
Sunda Kelapa, a town which originally was just a small port in the Bay of Jakarta, quickly developed into a large and important harbor during the 16th & 17th centuries. The VOC eventually succeeded in conquering it on May 30, 1619 and not long afterwards renamed it Batavia. Batavia soon developed into a metropolitan city which hosted people from all parts of the archipelago and abroad.
Muziris was an ancient trading port in the region north of Cochin. The Dutch VOC took Fort Cochin in 1663 from the Portuguese in order to control the pepper trade on the Malabar coast. They captured and expanded several forts on the coast. Many buildings from the Dutch period remain in the Muziris area which are managed by the Muziris Heritage Project and open to the public.
Fort Belgica was built in 1611 and completely finished in 1673, to defend against the attack of Banda people who opposed the nutmeg trade monopoly of the VOC. Fort Belgica was a strong pentagonal defense building to be proud of at that time. It was equipped with five round towers at the inner part and five bastions on the encircling wall. Fort Nassau is another fort in Banda.
In 1609 the first Dutch Trading Post in Japan was built in Hirado. The city flourished as a centre of trade with the west and was known as the Japanese “Capital of the West”. Goods from all over the world were brought to Hirado and in 1639 the first full-fledged western building in Japan was constructed here. The stone warehouse has been carefully reconstructed and tells the history of Hirado and the international trade.
The city of Melaka (or Malacca) was once an important centre of trade for the whole eastern part of Asia and the gateway to the spice islands of the Southeast Asian islands, especially the Moluccas, Banda, Ambon and Seram, and Ternate. By controlling Melaka, the VOC controlled the merchant trades along the Strait of Malacca, and controlled the spice islands of “East Indies” (Indonesia).
Dejima, a manmade island in the harbour of Nagasaki city was originally built for the Portuguese. After the Portuguese were banned from Japan, the VOC trading post in Hirado was moved to Dejima in 1641. For roughly 250 years it served as an important trading post which was the only point of contact of Japan with the West. Many products and inventions made their way in and out of Japan through Dejima.
The Dutch East India company came to the Penghu Islands, also known as the Pescadores after they failed to defeat the Portuguese at Macau. In 1622 they built a fort at the entrance of the harbour of Magong. Only 2 years later they were driven out by Chinese forces, after which they moved to Taiwan.
The Dutch East India company arrived in 1624 in Taiwan. The first Dutch Trading Post was established in the Tainan area with several forts constructed in the area. Fort Provintia was finished in 1653 and was later modified after it was captured in 1664. It has been rebuilt several times and is now known as Chihkan Tower.
Fort Oranje is located in the crowded center of Ternate city. As a reward for successfully driving away the Spanish from Ternate, the Sultan gave Cornelis Matelief de Jonge permission to build a fort at the location of the already destroyed Malay Fort owned by the Sultan. The first Dutch ruler in the Moluccas, Paulus Carden named it Fort Oranje.