The Republic of the Netherlands played an important role as a maritime trading nation in the 17th century. The warships of the various admirals were particularly intended to offer protection to Dutch merchant vessels during their trade voyages all over the world. Both pirates and hostile nations who wished to prevent free trade or demanded high tolls posed a threat.

Admirals
Various Dutch admirals were revered as true heroes during that period. Their heroic deeds were recounted in poems, songs and paintings. Many of these admirals were given a spectacular funeral. A number of important admirals had their roots in Brielle. Alongside Maarten Harpertszn. Tromp, who was born in Brielle in 1598 and lived there during various periods of his life, there were also Witte Corneliszn de With (1599-1658) and Philips van Almonde (1644-1711). The latter two may not be as well-known as Maarten Hzn. Tromp, but they definitely played an important role in the various naval wars which the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands fought, particularly with England.

Maritime heroes
The museum pays extensive attention to these maritime heroes from Brielle in the Zeeheldenzaal (Maritime Heroes Room). And don’t forget the enormous ship’s cannon that can be admired in the entrance hall to the Old Town Hall (also the entrance to the museum). This cannon came from the warship De Brederode, on which Maarten Harpertszn. Tromp died in 1658 during a naval battle (as did Witte Corneliszn de With later that same year). The cannon is a gift from Denmark to Brielle.