Ayutthaya

The Dutch Village

 
 
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In 1604, at the end of the reign of King Naresuan the Great, the Dutch, commonly known in Thai as the Hollanda or the Vilanda, made contact and carried out business transactions with Ayutthaya in the name of the Dutch East Indian Company. In 1634, King Prasatthong rewarded the Company for its assistance in providing ships for Ayuthaya for military purposes by allocating a piece of land along the river bank where the Dutch could set up a trading station.

A letter from Joost Schouten, Head of the Trade Station at that time, describes the Trading Station as follows, “When, in 1631 our trade company was able to make a profit and decided to establish the office once again, the Commissioner and directors of the East Indian Company permitted me to build this luxurious building in Ayuthaya in 1634. This building consisted of goods storage, living quarters and halls. A canal was excavated to direct water from the river to the Company. At present, our Office is suitable for all types of trade transaction. I believe that our Company would not be able to find a more appropriate location than here in the East.”

In 2004, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Crown Prince Wilhelm Alexander visited Thailand on the occasion of the celebration of the 400 years relationship between Thailand and the Netherlands. The Queen contributed to financing the erection of the Museum of the Dutch Village to serve as a centre of information about the history of the Dutch Village and the Thai-Dutch relationship.