The Vasa ship is one of the most visited attractions of Stockholm, Sweden and the whole of Northern Europe. This is the only 17th-century fighting ship that has survived to the present day, which was raised from the bottom of the Baltic Sea in 1961. The giant’s dimensions reached 52 meters in height and 69 m in width, its weight reached 1200 tons, the structure was decorated with over 700 gilded sculptures, and 64 bronze cannons defended its defense power. What happened to the ship Vasa and how the ship survived to our time by 95%?
History of Vasa
Vasa is the greatest warship that bears the name of the dynasty of Swedish kings. Pride for the country, which became a huge disappointment, and the most expensive warship sailing only 1000 meters – the ship which predicted a great future, sank in the first raid.
Interesting fact! The creation of the flagship began in 1625 by order of Gustav II Adolf. Several thousand people took part in its construction, even the king did not stand aside.
At the end of the construction of the ship in 1628, it was the largest military ship in the world. In August, Vasa was first launched at sea in the harbor of Stockholm, but due to design errors, he sank after half an hour on the water.
Vasa was conceived as the most expensive and powerful warship in the history of Sweden. By order of the king, a huge number of guns were installed on the ship, which did not correspond to the dimensions of the ship. The builders added two additional decks to Vasya and a high superstructure, exceeding the weight norm of the vessel. Due to gusts of strong wind that rose after the solemn salvos from Vasa’s cannons, the ship turned over on one side and sank in a few minutes.
Several attempts to raise the flagship from the bottom of the Baltic Sea did not bring the desired results – the ship was too large for its time. Then it was decided to create a group of scuba divers, whose task was to get 64 expensive bronze guns. Despite the fact that the diver needed to spend about an hour at the bottom of the sea and get 1000-kilogram weapons out of the ship’s structure with just a hook and a hammer, the team managed to complete the task by 90%.
It was possible to raise the ship from the bottom of the Baltic Sea only in 1961. Its discoverer was Anders Fransen, a Swedish naval history specialist, enthusiastic diver who had been exploring waters off the coast of Stockholm for decades.
Coincidence? The ship Vasa took to the water a second time after 333 years from the time of the disaster.
After the rise of Vasa, the main task was to save the ship, which spent so much time on the seabed. Initially, it was regularly doused with water, and then for several years polyethylene glycol, a powerful soluble preservative, was sprayed on its surface.
Vasa Museum in Stockholm was established in 1990, today its number of visitors reaches 1.5 million people a year. It stores not only the ship itself in its original form, but also 14,000 restored wooden items and 700 sculptures that were on board at the time of the disaster.
The structure of the Vasa ship museum
In addition to the ship itself, there are 10 permanent exhibitions in the 6-story museum building, each of which describes a specific period of Vasa’s existence:
- The exposition “The period of construction” tells interesting information about the 17th century in the history of mankind.
- Face to Face is an exhibition dedicated to 30 crew members who were on board at the time of the disaster. Scientists managed to restore their appearance from the found remains, as well as find out details about their way of life, position and health.
- Who and when tried to lift the ship from the bottom of the Baltic Sea, the exposition “Salvation” tells, the key figure of which is Anders Fransen.
- In one of the rooms of the museum you can find out more about Life on board.
- How did ships build 400 years ago, and what tools did the craftsmen use? Answers and details are at the Stockholm Shipyard.
- Why there were more than 700 sculptures on board Vasa, whom they embodied and what their role was in a warship, the exhibition “Images of Power” will tell.
- The “Conservation” exposition will clearly show how, after everything that happened to the ship, scientists managed to save it to this day.
- In the room “Strength and Glory” you can see the magnificent ship in full size.
- In the “Museum Garden”, scientists planted plants that Dr. Vasa was going to grow in artificial greenhouses on a ship to treat sailors.
- Spend a few hours, fascinated by looking at a small copy of the ship, you can in the room “Model Vasa”.
Interesting fact! The building of the Vasa Museum in Stockholm (Sweden) was built specifically for the size and shape of the ship so that visitors can examine it from different sides at different levels of height.
In addition to the exhibits, the Vasa Museum in Stockholm has a cinema, where in 16 languages a documentary short film about the history of the ship is shown. Also on the territory of the attraction there is a restaurant (4th floor) and a gift shop with a large assortment of theme products.
Advice! If your children are bored, skip the expositions on the middle floors and go straight up to the very top – there is a simulator for controlling a military ship of that era.
Read before visiting
- If you want to see a film about a magnificent ship not in Swedish with English subtitles (the show takes place every hour every day), pre-order viewing in Russian by writing to [email protected]
- The museum is allowed to take photos of you and shoot video in unlimited quantities;
- For those who brought food with them, there is a special room with dining tables;
- Buying tickets in advance, you can not print them, but only present in electronic form;
- On the ground floor there are free left-luggage offices;
- The best time to visit the Vasa Museum in Stockholm is the morning when there are no tourist groups yet;
- To save on an audio guide, download it in advance on this website in advance – www.vasamuseet.se;
- Guided tour is included in the price. A lot of tours are held daily in English and Swedish – museum employees inform visitors about them through the loudspeaker. In the summer, several times a week guided tours in other languages are conducted. The exact schedule can be found on the official site of the attraction.
The ticket price to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm is 130 kroons. For children under 18 years of age, admission is free, students are entitled to a 15% discount. Schedule: in the summer every day from 8:30 to 18, the rest of the year – from 10 to 17 (on Wednesdays until 20).
Note! Tickets purchased online are valid for only one month from the date of purchase.
The attraction is located at Galarvarvsvagen 14. To get to it by public transport, you can use:
- Tram number 7 from the center of Stockholm (station Hamngatan / Kungsträdgården), you need to get off at the stop Djurgårdsbron;
- By buses No. 69 (departing from Stockholm C station) and No. 67 (from Karlaplan);
- By ferry, from the Slussen and Gamla Stan stops.
Going to the Vasa ship museum in Stockholm with your car, keep in mind that you will not be able to park the car next to it. Most often, tourists leave their cars in front of the bridge – on Strandvagen or Narvavagen.
The Vasa ship is a landmark of Stockholm that allows you to experience the atmosphere of the 17th century. Have a nice trip!