Vasa Museum

The Vasa Musuem is a must visit in Stockholm. The Vasa is an over-the-top ornate war ship that sank just after its launch. The theory is that the double row of cannons were too close to the water line, letting water rush in and sink the ship.

A scale model of the Vasa shows the ship as it would have appeared in all its glory. Scientists have been able to determine paint colors with extensive testing of the original ship.

All photos showing the ship painted are of the model, many with the actual ship in the background.

From the Vasa Museum ~

“The Vasa Museum collection consists of the Vasa itself and all of the objects that were found with the ship. We regard it to be a “closed” discovery in which all parts are of equal importance to an understanding of the whole.

There are several thousand objects that either belong to the ship or were on-board. Unlike the other Swedish National Maritime Museums, the Naval Museum and the Maritime Museum, the Vasa Museum does not continue to collect new objects – except of course when we dive again at the site of the shipwreck!”

Vasa lay at a depth of 32 meters. The navy’s heavy divers were able to cut six tunnels through the clay under the ship with special water jets. Steel cables were drawn through the tunnels and taken to two lifting pontoons on the surface, which would pull the ship free of the harbour bottom’s grip. In August 1959, it was time for the first lift. There was great uncertainty – would the old wooden ship hold together? Yes! Vasa held. She was lifted in 18 stages to shallower water, where she could be patched and reinforced in preparation for the final lift, to the surface!

The day that Vasa was scheduled to break the water, all of Sweden held its breath. Newspapers, radio and TV from all over the world were there, and Swedish TV made its first live broadcast to Europe.

At 9:03 AM on the 24th of April, 1961, Vasa returned to the surface. A piece of the 17th century was suddenly back among us.