A Dutch sailor© RIA Novosti. Ilya Grigoryev
Two Dutch warships have delivered a copy of the house in which Peter the Great lived in Zaandam© RIA Novosti. Ilya Grigoryev
The valuable “parcel” (photo) was delivered to the city’s seaport© RIA Novosti. Ilya Grigoryev
Dutch sailors ashore in St. Petersburg© RIA Novosti. Ilya Grigoryev
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ST. PETERSBURG, October 1 (RIA Novosti, Ilya Grigoryev) – The small wooden house in Zaandam, the Netherlands, where Peter the Great stayed incognito for a week in August 1697, was built in 1632. In the mid 18th century, the Czar Peter House became renowned among the Dutch royalty and was given the status of a historical monument.
A copy of the house in which Peter the Great lived in Zaandam during his first trip to the Netherlands has been delivered to St. Petersburg by the Dutch military ship Friesland.
From Zaandam to St. Petersburg and on to Moscow
Two hundred and fifty sailors have come ashore in St. Petersburg from two Dutch warships: Friesland, a modern frigate commissioned in 2013 which delivered the valuable “parcel” to the city’s seaport, and De Zeven Provincien, which cast anchor off Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment on Vasilyevsky Island.
Military brass band welcomed the warships, which came to Russia on an unofficial visit as part of Russia and the Netherlands cross-year.
“This is not the first time we have welcomed Dutch warships this year. This visit’s agenda includes a tour of the city’s sights, a meeting with the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy and a large joint cultural program for Russian and Dutch sailors,” Captain 1st Rank Vitaly Lunyov, deputy commander of the Leningrad Naval Base, told journalists.
The first thing the Dutch sailors from De Zeven Provincien did was to go to the legendary cruiser Aurora, which is moored nearby, where they met up with Russian sailors.
In the meantime, the Friesland crew was unloading five containers with a copy of the Czar Peter House, made by the Dutch military builders as a present for Russia. After all customs clearance procedures are completed in October, the house will travel by rail to the Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve in Moscow.
The house in Zaandam, the Netherlands, where Peter the Great stayed incognito for a week in August 1697, was built from the remains of old ships in 1632. It belonged to blacksmith Gerrit Kist, who met Peter when he worked in Russia. In the mid 18th century, the Czar Peter House became renowned among the Dutch royalty and was given the status of a historical monument.
The Czar Peter House’s distinguished guests include Russian emperors Alexander I and Alexander II, and President Vladimir Putin.
Unusual cargo on a warship’s helicopter pad
“It is very unusual for a warship to deliver this kind of cargo. But it was not hard for us because [Friesland] is a modern warship. Two of the containers were placed in the lower hold, and we set up special devices for the remaining three containers on the helicopter pad, which is also unusual,” said Commander Geert Lalleman, project officer for defense activities during the Netherlands-Russia year.
These three containers were unloaded very easily, unlike those in the lower hold. “We needed to take these containers out without hitting the ship’s body or deck. Nothing would have happened to the cargo if we had, but the ship could have been damaged,” said Mikhail Goncharov, technical director of the Baltic Port stevedoring company.
It took the Dutch warships four days to reach St. Petersburg. The Dutch commanders said the sailors, for most of whom it was their first visit to the Russian city, used the time to read books on Russian history, including the history of the Russian navy, which has close links with the Netherlands.
“The cargo we carried was another reminder of Peter the Great’s active involvement in marine transportation and expeditions. That’s why there are so many Dutch words connected with seamanship in Russia, such as boatswain (bootsman in Dutch), pilot (loodsman) and cabin (kajuit),” said Commander Lalleman.
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