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Den Helder, in the North Holland province of the Netherlands, is a city and municipality on the coast and is where the main naval base in the country is located. Although there is not much to do in this city, the naval base has an interesting history and there is one museum that you will not want to visit. You may wish to rent a car in order to venture outside the city and see the surrounding countryside.
Since the early part of the 18th century, Den Helder has been a naval base. In August of 1799, there was an Anglo-Russian invasion where they captured the navy there. In 1811, Napoleon Bonaparte visited Den Helder and was impressed with the strategic location of the town and had them build Fort Kijkduin and Willemsoord (navy dockyards) from 1813 to 1827. The Royal Netherlands Navy made this city its main operations centre in 1947, and it is still the main navy base now. The Royal Naval Academy (Koninklijk Instituut Marine) is located in Den Helder too. Willemsoord houses a cinema, restaurants, and some other facilities now, and the administration and naval docks moved further east.
The museum that they have in the city is the Marine Museum, which tells you about the Dutch navy's history, including some interesting things on the heroes of the navy over the last hundreds of years. Admiral Michiel de Ruyter is among the most interesting. He defeated the English, French, Swedish, and Spanish during some daring exploits. Another thing that you will find is an explanation of the changes throughout the history of shipbuilding. They include a good number of vessels that have been decommissioned, like a minesweeper from World War II and a submarine from the 1960s.