Het West-Indisch Huis

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Het West-Indisch Huis

The former headquarters of the Dutch West India Company (WIC) has major historical significance. Although not as sovereign as the Dutch East India Company (also known as the VOC for Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie), it was essentially given free rein to trade on Africa's west coast, the Americas, and all the islands of the West Pacific and New Guinea, and to oversee the infamous export of 275,000 slaves from West Africa to the Caribbean in the 17th century. In these rooms, the decision was made to buy Manhattan for 60 guilders. Silver bullion, piled up by Piet Pieterszoon Heyn (also referred to as Piet Hein), the director and admiral of the WIC, was collected here in 1628 after Piet won another of his infamous sea battles. The building is now used as an events space but you can visit the courtyard of the building via its side entrance on Herenmarkt to see the statue of Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Director-General of Nieuw-Nederland–-today better known as New York City.

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