Home Flevoland Sunken treasures at the Batavialand Museum

Sunken treasures at the Batavialand Museum

Did you know that many surprising archaeological finds have been excavated from the soils of Flevoland? Over the decades activities like constructing buildings, drainage works and cultivation have led to a legion of archaeological treasures.

The archaeological excavations include 33,000 objects found in 435 shipwrecks, buried in the Flevoland polders. Other items that were found were blow off the deck during storms, or simply thrown overboard.

Sunken ships are a valuable source of information. A well-preserved shipwreck is like a time capsule; the remains tell the story of the vessel, its cargo and the crew at the moment of sinking.

Large ship graveyard

With 435 known shipwrecks, the province of Flevoland is one of the world’s largest dry ship cementaries in the world. Sometimes they have been there for centuries. Many of the Flevoland sites where shipwrecks were found are marked by a blue-white pole with a red ship on top.

Not all of the 435 shipwrecks found in the former Zuiderzee soil have been excavated. Some 68 shipwrecks are being preserved in the ground. To slow damage to the wood and prevent mold and bacteria these ships are covered with sand and covered with plastic foil. The purpose of this protection is preserving the shipwrecks for future research.

Batavialand Museum: From prehistoric times to water control in the future

At the Batavialand Museum in Lelystad you can see the Lost Ships exhibition. This exhibition displays the story of ships that used to sail the infamous Zuiderzee. Besides (parts of) restored shipwrecks many other historical objects are on display like kitchen utensils and cutlery, decorative wall tiles, shoes and a tobacco box.

The interactive Batavialand Museum is not only informative for adults but also educational for young visitors. Go on a treasure hunt, dig for an archaeological catch and build dikes.

At the shipyard you can visit a replica of the Batavia ship. The original ship was built in 1628 but was shipwrecked on her maiden voyage to East India (today’s Indonesia). The same shipyard is currently reconstructing the 14th century Water ship. Batavialand Museum expects to have the Water ship completed by 2021 and plans to sail the Markermeer with it.

Location Batavialand Museum

Oostvaardersdijk 113
8242 PA Lelystad

Opening hours

Open 7 days a week. Click here for the opening hours.

How to get to Batavialand Museum by public transport

From Lelystad CS station take bus line 3 to Batavia Stad. The bus departs twice an hour and the ride takes around 11 minutes. Batavia Stad is the 5th and last stop. Batavialand Museum is right across the bus stop.