Stockholm’s Salvaged Warship: Vasa Museet
King Gustav II Adolf ordered the building of Vasa, an elaborately ornate warship in 1625. Taking almost two years to construct, Vasa’s masts stood at over fifty meters, the hull was built from more than a thousand oak trees, hundreds of sculptures were crafted and painted specifically for the ship and it was equipped with sixty-four bronze cannons. Vasa, carrying over one hundred crewmen along with their family and guests, was scheduled to set sail on her maiden voyage on August 10, 1628 amid much fanfare and in front of a large public gathering. Shortly after leaving the harbor, Vasa began to heel heavily once its sails began to catch wind and sank after only having sailed 1300 meters.
The wreckage of Vasa was found in 1956 by Anders Franzén and Per Edvin Fälting at a depth of 32 meters. The salvage attempt took several years with Vasa finally reaching the surface in 1961. The ship was carefully reconstructed, using 95% original timber, and was displayed temporarily at the Wasa Shipyard before the current Vasa Museum opened in 1990. The museum is designed around the prominently displayed, full-size reconstruction of the 17th century ship and features exhibits detailing the story of the royal family, the construction of the ship, the disaster of its maiden voyage and the findings of the inquest into what caused Vasa to sink.
Galärvarvsvägen 14, Djurgården, Stockholm