The Vasa Museum is located on Djurgården island in the Swedish capital Stockholm, and is the most visited museum in Scandinavia. The maritime museum opened in 1990 and is home to the salvaged sixty-four gun warship Vasa, built for the war with Poland-Lithuania between 1621-1629. The ship fired two canon shots announcing her departure, before famously sinking on the maiden voyage on 10th August 1628. She sank due to the high winds causing the already unstable design to take on too much water in the hold, before sinking to the sea floor. According to reports thirty people perished with the warship. Amazingly the ship was recovered almost intact more than three centuries later in 1961.
The 69 meter-long mighty wooden warship is obviously the main draw at the Vasa Museum, and you will be amazed to learn that about 95% of the ship’s wood is original. The ship is of grand design and the impressive sculptures were designed to belittle the enemy – a reflection of how the Swedish king Gustav Adolf wanted to showcase himself and his country. At the museum you can see exhibits and models showing how the ship was constructed, recovered and the painstaking reconstruction process. There are also more than 40,000 objects and equipment from the ship on display.
Outside moored in the harbour there are other ships to see including the ice breaker Sankt Erik (launched 1915), the light-vessel Finngrundet (1903), the torpedo boat Spica (1966) and the rescue boat Bernhard Ingelsson (1944).
The museum also has a rather good restaurant with such usual delights as Smoked reindeer, horseradish cream on pumpkin bread with lingon berry dressing and Lightly cured cod with grated horseradish, haricot verts and browned butter. The food will go down as quick as the ship!
Photo by Rie H (on Flickr)
Where to find the Vasa Museum
The Vasa Museum, Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
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The Ultimate Guide to a Weekend in Stockholm: Museums, Attractions & Events
by Mikael Shainkman
Mikael’s book gives you a quick and comprehensive introduction to Stockholm. It also provides you with invaluable tips about where to go and what to do while visiting the Swedish capital.
Click on the cover to purchase, read or download