Hendrick Hamel Museum

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Address:
Vesting
Kortendijk 67
4201 KS Gorinchem
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Never heard of Hendrick Hamel!? This Gorinchem native son is a national hero in Korea, where he was shipwrecked and held prisoner for years. He may not be well known elsewhere, and has even been nearly forgotten in the Netherlands, but he is certainly still famous in Gorinchem, the place he was born and where he died. Here, he even has a museum dedicated to him, telling the story of his exciting journey through life.

Hendrick Hamel was a 17th century bookkeeper/seafarer who was the f…

Never heard of Hendrick Hamel!? This Gorinchem native son is a national hero in Korea, where he was shipwrecked and held prisoner for years. He may not be well known elsewhere, and has even been nearly forgotten in the Netherlands, but he is certainly still famous in Gorinchem, the place he was born and where he died. Here, he even has a museum dedicated to him, telling the story of his exciting journey through life.

Hendrick Hamel was a 17th century bookkeeper/seafarer who was the first to report on Korea, which was a closed country at the time. In 1653, in Batavia he embarked on the Sperwer, a yacht sailing for the inter-island trade of the Dutch East India Company. The ship was wrecked on the coast of Korea in a terrible storm, with only 36 crew members surviving the disaster. These men were taken prisoner and, after 13 years and 4 months, Hendrick and seven shipmates managed to escape to Japan. While there, he wrote his famous account of his adventures, writings that eventually became the key that opened the door to Korea. The book became a huge success in Europe and has been reprinted many times.

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