200 years ago King William I commissioned the construction of a royal vessel. In those times, richly decorated rowing sloops were a ‘must have’ for European monarchs. Being a maritime nation par excellence, a rowing barge was also a perfect match for the Netherlands.
With a length of seventeen metres, the Royal Barge is not only long, but also very slender and richly decorated with gold-leaf ornaments. Neptune and his three sea horses decorate the bow. Neptune is of course the symbol for the greatness of the head of state, but also of a safe voyage. The barge is decorated with numerous other, smaller ornaments such as crabs and water plants. These ornaments all have their own stories. The Royal Barge is really a feast for the eye, but its symbolism makes it an interesting object as well.