Often tourists visiting Sweden think that Vasa Museum, the main exhibit of which is a warship that sank immediately after leaving the shipyard, is not the most interesting place in Stockholm. The Swedes managed to create such an extensive exposition around the unfortunate ship that it was more of a 17th century museum than a single ship.
11 permanent exhibitions are housed under the roof of the Vasa Museum. Each of them is associated with the history, construction, death, restoration of this largest and most powerful fighting ship of the Swedish navy.
Ship building time
The exhibition acquaints visitors with the 17th century in world history: events, incidents, worldview. The story itself appears in 15 parts. A complete picture of life of the 17th century in China, Russia, America, the Ottoman Empire, West Africa, etc. is taking shape. This exhibition seems to immerse the visitor in the era of four hundred years ago.
Face to face
This part of the exposition tells about all the unfortunates who were on the ship at the time of the crash. As a result of the painstaking work of researchers (historians, anthropologists, biologists), about 30 skeletons of the dead were restored, and data were obtained on the appearance, state of health, and lifestyle of each. The visitor has the opportunity to meet with people who lived about four centuries ago.
The exhibits, diorama and touch screens of this part of the museum tell about the search, finding and raising the ship to the surface. Much attention is paid to personality Anders Franzen, to the person thanks to whom the ship was discovered, and then raised from the day of the sea.
Household items, chests of sailors, with all the contents, a model of the hold and the upper deck - the exhibits introduce the everyday life of a warship of the first half of the 17th century.
Images of power
This exhibition reveals the symbolic meaning of the numerous sculptures that decorated the ship. Among them are lions, mermaids, emperors, pagan deities, angels and demons. Once they were all called to maintain the status of a great sea power.
Three centuries ago, shipbuilding was an art. It is precisely this thought that you come to inspect this exhibition. Here, not only the remains of devices and mechanisms are carefully collected, but also the personal belongings of carpenters, builders, artists who worked on the ship.
This department of the museum tells about what measures have been taken to save the ship for future generations. Usually the most meticulous and inquisitive appear in this room.
His Majesty's ship
A king is invisibly present in every exhibit. The painting, which depicts a visit by the monarch of the shipyard and ship, the orders of the king. Layout of the very moment of the crash. Hearings in the royal court, where the case of Vasa’s death was examined in the most thorough manner. It is interesting to see the underwater bell, with which the ship’s guns were raised to the surface in the 17th century!
Strength and Glory
This exhibition gives an idea of what the most expensive and powerful ship of the Kingdom of Sweden looked like. Paints have been meticulously restored by researchers, and on large screens you can see Vasa's ship in all its colorful splendor.
The exhibition is dedicated to sailing in the 17th century. Among the exhibits there are real Vasa sails that have lain for more than three centuries under water.
This room has a 1:10 scale ship model. A small copy was made with such accuracy that it can be examined for hours, and then come back again and find something previously unprecedented. In creating the model, we used materials from all the studies that have been carried out from the moment the ship was raised to our time.
In the Vasa Museum’s garden, visitors can get acquainted with the plants that were used by ship's doctors to treat sailors; vegetables grow in the garden that filled the ship’s holds.
The center of the entire exhibition is the ship itself, fully restored. Today, Vasa is the only warship of the 17th century in the world, fully preserved. Due to the low salt content in the Baltic Sea, shipworms practically do not live here. Therefore, the waters perfectly preserved this miracle of shipbuilding. The loopholes in which the guns stand clearly demonstrate military power, and sculptures and jewelry tell of tastes and customs.
Entrance ticket will cost 130 kroons. Children under 18 are admitted free of charge. During the winter season, on Wednesdays, tickets are cheaper - 100 CZK. The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm. In the summer - from 8.30 to 18.00.