Vasa Museum – Stockholm

In 1626 King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden commissioned a warship that was to be the pride of his fleet and secure his dominance of the Baltic Sea. The ship was completed in 1628 and on her maiden voyage sailed less than a mile before she began to list and then, promptly capsized and sank. The bronze cannons were salvaged, but then the ship was largely forgotten until it was rediscovered and salvaged in 1961. The brackish waters near Stockholm, combined with low oxygen levels, in part due to pollution, meant that the ship was amazingly well preserved. So much so, that after extensive preservation work, a museum was built around the ship. The ship is almost fully intact and provides unique insight into 17th century ship building. Here are a few pictures to give you a sense of the museum.

The lighter colored wood in this picture is restored, but all the dark wood is original. It gives you a sense of just how complete it is.

Cannon ports

The Vasa had two cannon decks as well as a third set of cannons on the top deck. This made it top heavy and may have contributed to its sinking. The lower cannon ports were also very close to the waterline, which didn’t help.

Elaborate decorations

You can see people in the lower left on this picture. They give you a sense of scale.

If you are in Stockholm, I highly recommend a visit to the Vasa Museum. Plan on making it a day.

About If It Was Today

Eat, Drink, Travel, Write...
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