Runde is an island in Herøy municipality, Møre og Romsdal county in Norway. Runde is famous for its enormous amount of birds. It is said that there is about 500.000 to 700.000 seabirds inhabiting the island, most of them are to be found in the cliffs. The island has a population of ca. 150, and it's connected to the mainland with a bridge. Runde lies on the west-coast of Norway, close to towns like Fosnavåg, Ulsteinvik, Volda, Ørsta and Ålesund. This region of Norway is famous for its long fjords and steep, snowclad mountains.

The birds of Runde


Throughout the years, several ships have gone down around Runde on the Norwegian coast. Some of them are said to be ships from the Netherlands and Spain, loaded with gold and silver.

The Shipwreck of Akerendam lost at Runde in 1725

One ship from the Netherlands, the "Akerendam", was a newly built vessel which set sails from an island called Texel in Netherlands on January 19, 1725. Akerendam was a part of the Dutch merchant fleet, headed for Batavia (Indonesia) loaded with gold and silver coins to be used for the trade of spices in the Far East. The ship got caught in a storm in the North-Sea, and Akerendam disappeared into the north. The ship went down on the north side of Runde, and the whole crew of 200 was lost at sea. The inhabitants of Runde started to find parts of the ship that was washed up at its shore, including dead crew members.

The wreck site was close to the shore, and during the summer of 1725 four chests and other parts of the cargo were salvaged. But then the divers gave up, and the wreck was forgotten. During the 19th century, locals often found coins at the shore. But the origin was already forgotten, and the findings created the story that the coins was from the Spanish Armada of the 16th century.

The wreck was discovered in 1972 by sport scuba divers Bengt-Olof Gustafsson (Sweden), Stefan Persson (Sweden)and Eystein Krohn-Dale (Norway). Under the bottom vegetation of the seabed, the sand bottom was littered with encrusted coins. The following year the site was investigated by Bergen Sjøfartsmuseum. Little remained of the ship but more than 500 kg gold and silver was salvaged. Totally, ca 57,000 coins, 6,600 of gold coins, mostly the rare 1724 Dutch Gold Ducat minted in Utrecht with only a handful known prior to this find, and the rest silver coins. Parts of the treasure are kept at Bergen Sjøfartsmuseum, Bergen and at the Norwegian Coin Museum in Oslo. The finders were allowed to keep two thirds of the treasure, which was later sold to collectors worldwide. The 1724 Utrecht Gold Ducats can command $750 to $1,000 each and are all in uncirculated quality, the highest graded ones are NGC / PCGS MS-63. The Norwegian state received 25% and the Netherlands received 7% of the treasure. This event later initiated a new legislation, making all wrecks older than 100 years automatically protected in Norway.

Bibliography and sources

* Bruijn, J.R., Gaastra, F.S., Schöffer, I. Dutch-Asiatic Shipping In The 17th and 18th Centuries (3 Vols). The Hague, 1979, 1987
* Rønning, Bjørn R. Akerendam, The Story of the Runde Treasure. Oslo, 1979
* Wilson, Derek. The World Atlas of Treasure. London, 1981
* Muckelroy, Keith. Archaeology under Water. An Atlas of the World's Submerged Sites. New York, 1980

External links

* [ The Island of Runde (German)]
* [ Runde Miljøsenter (English)]

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