Vasamuseet - Stockholm - Sweden

Address: Galärvarvsvägen, Stockholm (See map)
Telephone: +46 (0)8-51954800

Shop: shop present
Restaurant/refreshments: refreshments
Size of the museum/site: medium
Year of visit: 2004
Overall rating:

Description: What is the most visited museum in all of Scandinavia? No you idiot, it's the Vasamuseet! Who'd have guessed that about 800,000 people a year come from around the world to see an old boat that was so badly designed it couldn't even sail one bloody mile before it sunk on its maiden voyage!

Visit the Vasamuseet yourself and you will understand why so many people come to see it. Remember those big ships you saw on movies about ancient naval battles? Well, this ship is the exact prototype of the thing you saw on TV. A huge REAL AUTHENTIC ship from the 17th century (the only ship from that century there is left in the world apparently) with a lot of guns stuck onto it and magnificent sculptures carved in every piece of wood it is made of (except the keel obviously!). The ship can be looked upon from various balconies, so you'll get a great view of every detail and part of the ship. Apart from that, there are numerous small exhibitions and dioramas surrounding the ship, dealing with aspects of life in general during the period the ship was built, and with the techniques used to actually build the ship. Of course, special attention is given to the reasons why the Vasa sunk.

The only disappointment is that you can't enter the ship itself! So, no chance to carve your name in the wood... But it's understandable: The bloody thing already sunk on its maiden voyage and surely we don't want a second disaster to happen when it collapses under thousands of tourists' feet eh?!

Combine a trip to the Vasamuseet with a visit to the magnificent Armémuseum and you're guaranteed to have a great day!

A view of the gun-ports. The innerside of each gun-port's shutter was decorated with a mighty lion's head, which glared at the enemy ship when the shutters were opened.

One side of the ship. Notice the fact that the Vasa had 2 gundecks instead of the common 1, carrying 64 heavy guns in all. Ironically this amazing feature was one of the reasons why the Vasa was 'defeated by the sea'!

The magnificently decorated stern. All in all the ship is decorated by around 700 sculptures!

An overview of the ship from the top floor of the museum.

One of the dioramas alongside the actual ship. This one shows workers sawing planks for the hull of the Vasa. The planks are bended in their final slightly curved form by steaming and bending them over a fire.

A wallpainting of the provisioning of the ship just before its fatal maiden voyage.

The terrifying scene of the actual capsizing and sinking of the Vasa, represented by a scale-model.