Fort Frederik Hendrik and surroundings
On 14th August 1642, the Zeehaen and the Heemskerck set sail under the command of Abel Tasman. Before commencing the actual journey to discover the so-called undiscovered Terra Australis (in Dutch: Zuidland), Tasman sailed to Mauritius to deliver supplies and to stock up for his own journey. After taking on fresh food and water and useful maps and repairing his ships, Tasman set sail again on the 4th of September. Since 1638 the Dutch had set up a small fort on Mauritius. The island served as a place for Dutch ships to obtain refreshments for Dutch ships sailing to and from Asia.
Isaac Gilsemans, merchant on board the Zeehaen, made this drawing of the island, as seen when one is anchored at the Dutch fort Frederik Hendrik on the island’s southeast coast at what today is Vieux Grand Port. The drawing shows the bay, the fort, some surrounding buildings and the mountains in the islands interior to the back of the Dutch outpost.Please contact Nationaal Archief for reuse and copyrights.