The Vasa Museum

31 Aug

Today’s HDR pictures the real warship Vasa that was salvaged from the bottom of the Stockholm harbor in 1961. Read more about her below the picture!

The warship Vasa at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.

In 1625 King Gustavus Adolphus ordered the building of 4 new warships to his navy. Dutchborn master shipwright Henrik Hybertsson received the contract to build two lager and two smaller warships. In 1626 the construction of Vasa, which was one of the larger ships, started. Henrik Hybertsson died in 1627 and was succeeded by Hein Jakobsson, also he dutchborn, as supervisor of the shipbuilding. In 1628 King Gustavus Adolphus made an inspection of the shipyard, he was eager to launch his new ships against the Polish Navy in the ongoing Thirty year’s war. Despite that the fact that Vasa failed a stability test at the shipyard she set off on her maiden voyage on 10th of August 1628. After sailing only 1 300 meters she heels over and sinks in the middle of the Stockholm harbor.

Vasa was not the largest ship built of its time but with her 48 24-pounder guns she had the greatest firepower the world ever seen. The probable reason for Vasa sinking was that she was poorly constructed. The underwater part of the hull was too small and the ballast insufficient to support the rig and heavy armament. The loss of Vasa was a big blow for the Swedish Navy however the Polish and Danish Navies were to week at the time to challenge Sweden dominance over the Baltic Sea. The sister ship of Vasa, Regalskeppet Äpplet (The Apple) was launched later the same year. The Apple was modified during construction by Hein Jakobsson and did not suffer the same instability as Vasa did. The Apple, that was significantly larger than Vasa, served as a Flagship in the Swedish Navy for over 30 years.

While the guns of the warship Vasa was salvaged by Albrecht von Treileben in the mid 1660’s the warship itself fell into obscurity. It was not until the mid 1800’s that she was rediscovered. In 1956 Anders Franzén and Per Edvin Fälting started diving on the ship and the year later a cooperation to salvage her was started. The lifting of the ship from 32 meters depth started in 1959 but it took 2 years before Vasa broke the surface and again saw daylight after 333 years at the bottom of the Stockholm harbor.

The warship was is not only the most well-preserved ship of its time it also have become the symbol for Sweden’s time as Great Power. The Vasa Museum also have become one of the most popular tourist attractions of Stockholm.

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Posted by on August 31, 2011 in History, Museum, Photo, Stockholm


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