Vasa Museum / Stockholm Series #11

"The Maiden voyage

On Sunday, the 10th of August, 1628, Vasa lay rigged and ready for sea just below the royal palace Tre Kronor. Ballast, guns and ammunition were all on board.

On the quays and shores along Strömmen, an excited public waited to watch the ship leave Stockholm and celebrate her departure.

Over a hundred crewmen were on board, as well as women and children. The crew had permission to take family and guests along for the first part of the passage through the Archipelago.

The Disaster

For the first few hundred meters, Vasa was warped along the waterfront with cables from the shore. The ship did not begin to sail until she reached what is now Slussen. Sailors climbed the rigging to set four of Vasa’s ten sails. A salute was fired, and Vasa slowly began her maiden voyage.

Once Vasa came out from under the lee of the Södermalm cliffs, the sails could catch the wind, but the ship was tender and heeled over to port, then heeled again, even farther. Water rushed in through the open gunports and the ship’s fate was decided. Vasa sank, after sailing barely 1300 meters.

The crew threw themselves into the water or clung to the rigging until rescued, but not all managed to save themselves. Eyewitnesses differ on the exact numbers, but perhaps 30 of approximately 150 people on board died in the loss. After the ship was raised in 1961, the remains of at least 16 people were found."

(Excerpt from

Vasa Museum Stockholm)

What is the Vasa?

- the Vasa Museum in Stockholm exhibits the ORIGINAL Vasa ship that sank in the habour of Stockholm in 1628

- the Vasa is the only ship of the 17th century that is still preserved

- it is 95% original and one of the largest ships that has been built during that time

- the ship lay on the ground of the Baltic Sea in Stockholm's harbour until the 1960s

- the wood got black with time and the iron studs rusted but the ship was still in a good condition so that it could be rescued

Why did the ship sink?

- the ship lacked stability because the king wanted more canons on board than the ship could carry

- the ballast furthermore was insufficient

- and the ship was incorrectly proportioned

What else is there in the Museum?

- there are 7 floors built around the ship so that you can see it from every possible angle

 - on every floor there is a different exhibition, for example on life on board, on naval warfare in the 1600s, on the salvaging, on the people that died on board, and of course on the work of the museum to preserve the ship

- there is a film about the ship shown in 16 languages (not during off season though)

- there are daily guided tours

- a souvenir shop and a restaurant of course

Why you should visit it:

Have you ever seen a ship that was that old?

Are you interested in how they could rescue a WHOLE ship that has been underwater for more than 300 years?

Are you interested in life in the 1600s or the marine in general?

It is the largest preserved item in the world!

It is the only preserved ship of the 17th century in the world!

Do you really need more reasons?

When to visit it:

- during off-season if you can

- early in the morning during the summer if you want to avoid crowd

- January-May and September-December: 10am-5pm / Wed until 8pm

- June-August: 8.30am-6pm

Entrance fees:

Adults 130SEK

 Children (0-18) free

Students (with ID) 100SEK

How to get there:

tram from Sergels Torg (Centralstation) towards Djurgarden / stop: Nordiska Museet

Bus 62 or 62K from Sergels Torg towards Kaknästornet / stop: Djurgardsbron / cross the bridge and then turn right at the Nordiska Museet

Highlights:

- the first floor with information on the preservation of the ship and the skeletons of those that died on board

- the seventh floor from which you have an awesome view on the whole museum

Suitable for:

- everyone except smaller children - I think they would get bored as there is no real kids stuff to do but for children aged 10 and over it should be interestingDon't forget:

- 5SEK coins for the lockers

- come rested as the dimmed light makes you extremely tired

Are you interested in a visit?

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