Vasa Museum is a maritime museum located in the capital city of Sweden, Stockholm. What distinguishes it from its counterparts in the world is the admirable 17th-century warship Vasa that it hides. There is a tragic story behind Vasa, who gave the museum its name. You can visit the Vasa Museum to learn all the details of this story, what life was like in Sweden in the 17th century, and much more.
Vasa’s End of Sorrow
It is possible to see many exhibitions and items related to maritime and social life in the Vasa Museum period. However, the most striking part of the museum is undoubtedly the Vasa Warship. This famous warship was built in 1626 by the Swedish King Gustav II. It started with Adolf’s order. The king aimed to gain an advantage over Poland, where he was at war in those years, and control the region by gaining dominance in the Baltic Sea.
With the orders given, the impressive ship’s construction exhibited today in the Vasa Museum has begun. However, the king was so hasty and oppressive that at some point, all the workers, from carpenters to sculptors, started working 24 hours a day. That is the only way to complete such a large ship in 2 years.
According to the event described in more detail in the exhibitions and documents within the Vasa Museum, on August 10, 1628, the ship sailed for the first time. Vasa lasted for about 20 minutes, could advance up to 1300 meters, and started to lie on its side with the strong wind, and those were his last minutes on the sea.
Why Did Vasa Sink?
Anders Franzen, who was trying to locate the ship in the light of historical documents, discovered Vasa in 1956 after a five-year search. The ship surfaced in 1961. This wooden ship, which spent 333 years underwater, was unbelievably 98% intact. After a period of restoration work in a shipyard, Vasa went public. In 1990, the Vasa Museum was built, and they moved the ship there, too. Today, there is also an exhibition at the Vasa Museum, which includes records, documents, video recordings, and photographs showing the ship’s unveiling stages.
Today, research on the ship’s protection is still ongoing at the Vasa Museum because there is no way to stop the ship collapse. However, Vasa Museum officials are using new technologies to pass the ship on to future generations. According to the Vasa Museum’s statement, they aim to keep Vasa stable for at least another 1000 years.
We also know why Vasa was given great importance from the exhibitions at the Vasa Museum and went bankrupt. Research reveals that the plans changed a lot during the construction of the ship. Also, the king’s insistence prevented the needed care on the building. Claiming to be the largest and most magnificent warship of its time, Vasa was loaded with so many weapons for this purpose that it could not bear the weight and leaned on the first wind and could not straighten itself.
Heritage of the Vasa Museum
Vasa Museum is today a very famous museum not only in Stockholm but also in all northern countries. There are a wide variety of exhibitions, each of which is organized around Vasa. These exhibitions also make the Vasa Museum interesting for those with different interests.
Within the Vasa Museum, it is possible to visit an exhibition that introduces technologies to protect the ship. This exhibition shows the faces created by bone analysis of the crew who lost their lives when the ship sank, a presentation showing life on the ship through the ship’s crew items, and many more.
Vasa itself is, of course, the heart of the Vasa Museum. Although it is impossible to enter the ship, you can examine the ship from every point with detailed visuals and seven-story viewing terraces built around Vasa.
The Vasa Museum also offers its visitors a restaurant to unwind. You can have a small coffee break there.
Whether you are interested in maritime or not, Vasa Museum is one of the must-see places to visit in Stockholm. Vasa is the only one of its kind. The exhibitions that describe the life of the museum on Vasa in detail are worth seeing.