Friday, 22 June 2012

Stockholm Vasa Museum

On day two we had again wonderful sunny weather. So we walked out of our hotel and started visiting the city. First we went to the famous Vasa Ship Museum. The Vasa is a 17th century war ship built at great expense which sank in 1628, minutes after being launch in the Port of Stockholm as stock holders and other backers watch in horror. The ship was top heavy, a mistake was made during its construction and a squall in the harbor capsized the ship, killing 50 of the crew.

a mock-up showing the moment of the accident.
The sailor whose body was found on board, he was 35 years old, measured 5.5 feet tall and was wearing what all sailors wore then.

It rested at the bottom of the harbor for 333 years preserved intact in its watery grave. When it was brought up in 1961, the ship was in such perfect state of preservation 95% intact that it was decided to build a museum to show what such a war ship looked like. What you see today is not only the ship itself but its sails and ropes, clothing and boxes of personal effects, money, glassware and all the objects which went down with it on that day, including one crushed body of a sailor who was pinned under a great cannon when the ship capsized. The museum has a wealth of information on life in Sweden at the time. It is well worth a visit, I can see why it is so popular.
The Vasa as is today in its museum.
very impressive to see such an old ship on display.

Through the cannon holes you can see right inside the ship. Sailors slept on the deck, ate and drank together. The admiral, the captain and all the officers lived in the great cabin at the back, slept together in murphy beds accommodating 8 men, took meals together and worked all in the same room. The toilets for all where at the head of the ship. A spartan life style you could say. The big difference was that the Officers ate fresh food while the men ate pickled and salted rations, no vegetables or fruits, thus much disease on board.


  1. I have heard of this shipping disaster, so it was a thrill to actually 'see it'. Thank you for sharing it.