Vasa Warship – The symbol of the “Swedish Empire” in Stockholm

Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1627. The ship foundered into her maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. The ship was salvaged with a largely intact hull in 1961. During the recovery, thousands of artifacts and the remains of people by marine archaeologists.

Vasa after recovery operations 1961

The warship Vasa was built on the orders of the King of Sweden Gustavus Adolphus as part of the military expansion he initiated in a war with Poland-Lithuania in 1621. She was constructed at the navy yard in Stockholm under a contract with private entrepreneurs and armed primarily with bronze cannons cast in Stockholm specifically for the ship.

Richly decorated as a symbol of the king’s ambitions for Sweden and himself, upon completion she was one of the most powerfully armed vessels in the world. However, Vasa was dangerously unstable, with too much weight in the upper structure of the hull. Despite this lack of stability, she was ordered to sea and foundered only a few minutes after encountering a wind stronger than a breeze.

Vasa has become a widely recognised symbol of the “Swedish Empire” / Image source
The ship was salvaged with a largely intact hull in 1961. She was housed in a temporary museum called Wasavarvet until 1988 and then moved permanently to the Vasa Museum in the Royal National City Park in Stockholm / Image source

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