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The museum’s permanent exhibitions are located in two buildings: The Tower and the Ordnance Repair-shop. The history of the navy is presented in the Tower. The history of the Royal Dockyard and the navy’s technology are on show in the Ordnance Repair-shop.

Historical exhibitions in the Tower

Discover the rich history of the Dutch Navy in the Tower’s six exhibition halls. From the day that Maximilian of Austria drew-up the Ordinance on the Admiralty in 1488, to the commitment of the Dutch Navy in the 21st century. Meet the Dutch naval heroes of the Golden Age, learn about the transition from sail to steam and experience the events of the Second World War. Relive the post-war reconstruction period through the personal stories of navy personnel and let the poignant presentation on the Cold War take you back to the time when the relations between East and West dominated the world stage.

The scope of the navy

In the course of time, the environment in which the navy operates has strongly altered. In the heydays of the Golden Age, the navy faced different challenges than in does today. But the navy still distinguishes itself by innovation in shipbuilding, communication and weapon technology. The interactive presentation ‘The scope of the navy’ not only sheds light on the courageous deeds of admiral De Ruyter and provides depth into the developments of the submarine unit of the navy, but it also unravels the ties between the navy and the industry. Discover the exhibition’s theme: the navy always looks beyond the horizon.   

‘The scope of the navy’ offers more in-depth knowledge on the permanent exhibition. The exhibition halls of the Tower are equipped with giant scopes which can be pointed towards objects which represent clever ideas from the naval history. The scope then shows a short film with more information on the object and links to the present. The text stimulates one to take a closer look at the objects as they all tell a specific story. Fun and informative for all.

‘The scope of the navy’ has English subtitles.

Werfgeheimen voor kleuters - Marinemuseum Den Helder

Ship and Docks

The interactive exhibition ‘Ship and Docks’ is located in the former Ordnance Repair-shop. Both the naval technology and the history of the naval maintenance companies are brought to life in a presentation of over 2000 square meters. Take on the role of craftsmen and technicians and learn all about shipbuilding, propulsion and navigation.

Through the objects and fun, educational experiments and games, you gain insight into naval technology. Together with your children you will be put to work to master the skills of riveting and welding or to steer a ship out of the harbour and operate the mounted gun.

An English-language Podcatcher-guide is available for this exhibition.  

Dockers work is men’s work

Den Helder is a renowned naval town. However, its ties with the Royal Dockyard are less well known. For generations the dockyard ensured employment for the inhabitants of Den Helder. At its summit 2000 people were employed at the docks, about 10% of the local labour force.

The dockyard offered social security to many families in Den Helder as the work presented a steady, albeit meagre, income. Although the working conditions only improved in the course of the 20th century, the dockyard gave employees a sense of security in both good and bad times. For outsiders the dockyard remained a secluded and distant world, as only the dockworkers, or ‘wervianen’ as they were called, had access to the heavily guarded yard.

This exhibition pays tribute to these ‘dockyarders’ as indispensable links, who ensured the ships could sail. These statements illustrate their personal stories: “No fleet without a dockyard”, “No dockyard without men”, “Dockers’ work is men’s work”.

An English-language Podcatcher-guide is available for this exhibition. 

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