Writer Historian Producer

Swedish Warship Vasa

In the afternoon of the 10th August 1628, the Swedish warship Vasa slipped from her dock and sailed slowly out into Stockholm harbour; the shore lined with thousands of excited sightseers. Just one kilometre into her maiden voyage, she was hit by a wind squall and keeled over. The water poured in through her open gunports and she capsized off the island of Beckholem, sinking in 32 metres of water and drowning nearly fifty people. 

The Vasa lay on the harbour bottom until rediscovered in 1956.  In August 1961 she was finally raised after 333 years and it then took seventeen years of conservation work plus a further nine years of drying before she could be opened to the public.

The wonderful, vast museum where the ship sits today was opened in 1990 by the king and has become one of the most visited museums in the world.

Will Davies


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