An example of an impressive career in the United Dutch East India Company, VOC.

Or how to be a racist pig and get away with it: Rijckloff van Goens - AKA Rijklof van Goens (1619-1682)


A fabulous career explained during the United East India Company history walk.


Well researched, with eye witness texts, told on the right spot in the city. Scientifically sound, entertaining, fun, a tour with Drs. Kees Kaldenbach*



Dutch version.

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His career leading up to becoming Gouvernor-General 1678-1681

Rijklof van Goens, (1619-1682) aka Rijckloff van Goens
His career in the VOC was exemplary.


Initially he must have slept on board in one of these kinds of hammocks.

Rijklof's CAREER
1619 born in the Dutch Republic
1628 travels with parents to Batavia, where both parents died in 1629 and 1630. Rijkloff is most likely put in the care of his fathers brother and starts his career in the VOC
1632 as “boy”, assistant travels along with the Governor of Coromandel, in south-east India
1636 for f  12 p/month in service as helper
1637 for f  15 p/m in service as assistant
1639 for f  40 p/m in service as under trader
1642 for f  60 p/m in service as trader
1646 for f  80 p/m in service as upper trader, the highest rank
1644 for f ??,  in state service as diplomat, envoy, on embassy trips. Has to be sensitive all of the time with regards to feelings of honor of the local nobility. Divide and Rule: Opposes one group against the other with weapons and armed raids. Also does this age old trick in Ceylon. VOC trade had to be guarded with arms, each time considering both cost and gain when deciding to start an action. Up until 1670 also successful in military planning.
1678-1681 Governor-general

(source: VOC-O p 133)
(Extensive letter published in Roeper-VanGelder 2002, p 146, citing a racist outlook on the Javanese.)

If Rijklof van Goens represents the absolute top of the hierarchy, there were also people down below on the social and economic ladder.

According to the book Reisen (1687) by Nicolaus de Graaff,  travel with VOC was a refuge for the lowliest educatedd, unmarried, poorest of the poor from all over Europe: “...alderhande vreemdelinge en uitheemse natie, als Polakke, Sweeden, Deenen, Noor-luyde, Jutte, Hamborgers, Bremers, Lubekkers, Dantsikers, Koninxbergers, Hoogduytse, Oosterlingers, Westfaalders, Bergse, Gulikse, Kleefse, en voorts allerhande Moffen, Poepen [=Buben?], Knoete, Hannekemaaijers en andere groepen die ’t gras nog tussen de tanden steekt”.

(cit. in Gaastra 2001-2009, p. 97)

Click: Female history walk. Dutch version.

A tour or lecture with the theme Amsterdam - Bankers - Casanova

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Walks / Excursions

Each if 1.5 hrs just on foot or

3 hour walk + boat ride on the United East India Company theme

3 hour walk + boat ride on the Women of Amsterdam theme

3 hour walk + boat ride on the Rich and the Painters theme

Spotting the Rich & Famous inhabitants in the Golden Age.

A tour or lecture with the theme Amsterdam - Bankers - Casanova

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Powerpoint presentation of Amsterdam.
Powerpoint presentation of Athens.
Powerpoint presentation of Barcelona.
Powerpoint presentation of Berlin.
Powerpoint presentation of Copenhagen.
Powerpoint presentation of Florence.
Powerpoint presentation of Helsinki.
Powerpoint presentation of Istanbul.
Powerpoint presentation of Naples.
Powerpoint presentation of Rome.
Powerpoint presentation of Split.
Powerpoint presentation of Stockholm.
Powerpoint presentation of St. Petersburg, Russia.
Powerpoint presentation of Venice
Menu presentation of walks and museum visits in Towns in Holland.

Read a Kaldenbach biography.

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Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours" *. *Martha Gellhorn, Travels with Myself and another, p. 182.



Endorsements .I conduct Rembrandt walks in Amsterdam for the Netherlands Bureau of Tourism, London and New York City offices. Their clients include important journalists.The travel site has devoted a main feature to my tours and walks.

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About Drs. Kees Kaldenbach:

Read a biography.Drs. Kees Kaldenbach has been featured in television and radio documentaries, including BBC2 TV, NTV Japan, Danish TV and Radio Netherlands World Service. In July 2004 he was interviewed about Delft artists by Tetsuya Tsuruhara for the leading Japanese newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun. In 2004 and 2005 he acted in an advisory role to additional BBC teams. Kaldenbach has written extensively on Vermeer and 17th century Delft, on Vincent van Gogh and on other art history topics.


Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours".

Further information is available on his encyclopedic web site:

Contact information:Drs. Kees Kaldenbach , Haarlemmermeerstraat 83 hs1058 JS AmsterdamThe Netherlands

telephone 020 - 669 8119 (from abroad NL +20 - 669 8119)

cell phone 06 - 2868 9775 (from abroad NL +6 - 2868 9775)

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This page forms part of the 2000+ item Vermeer web site at

Launched 14 june, 2011. Update 17 juli 2016.