Monday, 2 August 2010


After the boat cruise we walked around to the Vasa Museum.

Along the way we walked down the most exclusive street of Stockholm, Strandvägen. There were some lovely buildings built around 1897 along the way. These apartments are sort out by the rich and famous, because the majority of them have up to 20 rooms per apartment. As we walked along the Strandvägen, 2 police cars, 1 ambulance and 1 fire engine raced past us.

It continued to rain. We approached the Vasa museum to find the emergency service vehicles all at the Vasa museum. An information board showed us that the museum was currently full, and were slowly letting people in as people were leaving. The queue to the museum was a reasonable length, so we decided to wait in line. The boys wandered off in to the parklands to chase birds and came back every 10 minutes to check where we were in the line.

Alexander went to the front of the queue to see what the emergency vehicles were all there for. A small boy had got his finger stuck in a metal ring that was screwed into a concrete pillar. The fire department had to saw off the ring, and then the boy was taken to the hospital to ensure he was OK.

Once the emergency vehicles all left, the line seemed to move a bit quicker, and after about 40 minutes we were inside the museum.

This is an incredible museum, well laid out, and very informative. The Vasa is a wooden ship that was built between 1625 – 1628, at the naval dockland, Skeppsgården, in Stockholm. The Vasa was the most expensive and ornate naval ship built at this time in Sweden. On the 10th August, 1628 the Vasa set sail on its maiden journey. On board were about 100 crew members. As this was such a extraordinary ship, woman and children of the crew had been given permission to be on board for the first voyage through the archipelago.

As it set sail from the docks, it sailed 1.3 kilometres, and then the ship capsized and sank 32 metres to the bottom of the sea near Beckholmen. Many people jumped off the ship, but approximately 50 people drowned inside the Vasa. Captain Söfring Hansson was arrestded and interrogated during a Royalal enquiry. After interviews with crew, boat builders, and many others, it was decided that it was no one’s fault for the sinking of the Vasa, and no one was ever convicted.

In 1953, Anders Franzén began searching for the Vasa, and finally located the Vasa in 1956. In the next years a team of specialists worked out the best way to salvage the Vasa, and in 1961, the Vasa was finally raised.

The Vasa had sat on the bottom of the sea for 333 years, and was found almost intact. There are no shipworms, Teredo, in the Baltic Sea, so any wooden ships that have sunk in the Baltic Sea can be preserved for centuries.

In the next 20 years, specialist crews work to salvage and restore the ship. 25 skeletons were recovered from inside the ship and nearby, and over 14,000 “finds”, including food, clothing, and everything needed for a sea voyage were found in a metre thick of mud at the bottom of the Vasa. In 1990 the Vasa museum was opened and the Vasa is in full view to see.  It is a remarkable ship, even though it sank so quickly, the fact that this ship has sat at the bottom of the Baltic Sea for 333 years, and it is such amazing condition is mind boggling!
Here are just a few photos.  It is worth having a look at the website, because it is remarkable!!

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