Image Source: De gouden eeuw 3D.
Rarely has history been rendered so accessible - and beautiful. Check out these incredible video previews, from the Dutch project The Golden Age 3D (De Gouden Eeuw 3D). (Thanks to -B.) 'The Golden Age' here refers to the great period of expansion of the Dutch Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries, including the activities of the Dutch East India Company (the VOC). Just to give you an idea of how important it was, Wiki mentions:
Boy, I'd like to get 40% return on investment today (legally)!By 1669, the VOC was the richest private company the world had ever seen, with over 150 merchant ships, 40 warships, 50,000 employees, a private army of 10,000 soldiers, and a dividend payment of 40% on the original investment.
CGI animation for this project recreates one Dutch town, the major Dutch East India home port of Hoorn, as it existed at that time. The Golden Age site explains:
Another important town showcased is Enkhuizen. More towns are promised. Ironic, that it takes futuristic computer technology to let us see the past so clearly. See some clips from the project - incredibly lifelike animation - below the jump. You can see that this is a work in progress, with some repeats, but it's still amazing.Founded in 716, Hoorn rapidly grew to become a major harbour town. During Holland's 'Golden Age' (or 'Golden Century'), Hoorn was an important home base for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and a very prosperous centre of trade. The Hoorn fleet plied the seven seas and returned laden with precious commodities. Exotic spices such as pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and mace were sold at vast profits. With their skill in trade and seafaring, sons of Hoorn established the town's name far and wide.