Lecture Culemborg 2

LECTURE IN CULEMBORG, BIRTHPLACE OF JAN VAN RIEBEECK

CULEMBORG (NL) – 24 October 2019 – In the Dutch city of Culemborg, the birth town of Jan van Riebeeck, Bruno Werz delivered a lecture on the ‘Haarlem Project’ in the ‘Fransche School’ by invitation of Museum ‘Jan van Riebeeckhuis’ and the historical society ‘Genootschap Voet van Oudheusden’.

Jan van Riebeeck is well known as the founder of the refreshment station at the Cape in 1652. In his lecture Bruno explained for what reasons the board of directors of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) decided to establish this station and that this was the direct result of the foundering of ‘Haarlem’ five years earlier (25 March 1647). 

In the search for the wreck of ‘Haarlem’, thorough studies of historical documents, geophysical surveys and recent test excavations that provided a number of samples, led Bruno to the conclusion that he has found a seventeenth century VOC-shipwreck, probably of the “Haarlem’. Further surveys, laboratory analyses and eventually a full excavation may prove his preliminary conclusions.

The search for ‘Haarlem‘ is a work in progress for about 30 years. The shipwreck played an important, if not crucial role in the history of Cape Town and South Africa.

About 90 interested people attended the lecture and they, as well as the organizing parties, donated a substantial amount of money which will be used for further research on the discovered shipwreck. Bruno Werz was very pleased with the support and the great interest for the ‘Haarlem Project‘. He was invited to give another lecture in Culemborg in future when the project shows up more progresses. 

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