The “Friesland” is a beautiful example of a Dutch warship of the 17th century and belonged to the large fleet of the provinces of Holland under the command of Admiral de Ruyter. The ship was equipped with 80 cannons spread over two gun decks and as such she was the largest two-decker of that period.
The 17th century was characterised by the many sea battles between the Dutch on the one hand, and the English and French on the other.
Whereas the latter countries built many three-deckers, the Dutch stuck to their two-deckers, which were much lighter and this often turned out fatally in an artillery duel.
On the other hand, a great advantage was that these ships could outmanoeuvre larger ones and could operate farther inshore because of their shallow draught.