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The Vasa from the Bow, Vasa Museum - Stockholm

The Vasa Museum is Scandinavia's most visited museum, located in Stockholm, capital of Sweden. The Museum was inaugurated in 1990.In the large shiphall stands the warship Vasa - the only remaining,intact 17th century ship in the world.

The Disaster:

In the early 17th century, Sweden was busy building an empire around the Baltic Sea in northern Europe.
A strong navy was essential. During the 1620s Sweden was at war with Poland. In 1625 the Swedish king
Gustavus Adolphus ordered new warships. Among them the Vasa.
In 1628 the ship was ready. Sunday August 10 was the day of the Vasa's maiden voyage. The beaches around Stockholm were filled with spectators, among them foreign diplomats. The maiden voyage was to be an act of propaganda for the ambitious Swedish king Gustavus
Adolphus.
The Vasa set sail and fired a salute. But only after a few minutes of sailing the ship began to heel over. She righted herself slightly - and heeled over again. Water started to gush in through the open gunports. And, to everyones horror and disbelief, the glorious and mighty warship suddenly sank! Of the 150 people on board, 30-50 died in the disaster. When Vasa had been salvaged in 1961, archaeologists found the remains of 25 skeletons.

Why did the Vasa sink?

Deep down in the Vasa several tons of stone were stored as ballast.They were meant to give the ship stability. However, the main reasonfor the Vasa capsizing was that the ballast was not enough as
counterweight to the guns, the upper hull, masts and sails of the ship.

Discovery and Salvaging:

On April 24 1961, the warship Vasa broke the surface of Stockholm´sharbour after 333 years on the sea bottom. At that time the "Vasa adventure" had been going on for five years. After many years of hard
work the shipwreck-specialist Anders Franzén finally found the Vasa in1956. He quickly found support for the idea of salvaging the ship.
The Vasa was located 30 metres beneath the surface.

At 9.03 on April 24 1961 the proud royal warship Vasa broke surface. The first to go on board was Anders Franzén and Per Edvin Fälting. During that summer the ship was excavated by archaeologists. An untouched part of the 17th century had warped into the 20th century! (Source: Vasa Museum)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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