The Vasa Museum is by far the most outstanding museum I visited on a recent trip thru Scandinavia. According to the museum guide the Vasa Museum has had over 25 million visitors and is far and away the most visited museum in all of Scandinavia. Upon entering the parking lot our tour guide noted that the real hot spot the could cause world war III was the parking lot for your buses, vans and taxis. Apparently some very heated arguments arise over parking due to the popularity of the museum.
After entering the museum, it is so modern looking and there were over two hundred architects vied for the chance to have their designs chosen. It is a very interesting museum from the outside, but the most impressive, breathtaking first view of the Vasa is incredible.
To consider that a warship of this size – 226 feet in length armament – 64 cannons – that launched in 1628, and sank less than an hour later, has been preserved and restored for all to see is way beyond any superlative I can come up with.
Referred to by some of the workers as the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle, it is again amazing that they claim to have 97 percent of the original pieces. The have over the course of 30 plus years figured out how to protect the original parts so they can be seen by future generations.
The ship on its maiden voyage sailed about 1400 feet, fell over and sank. The bronze cannons were recovered and the rest was left to the sea. Luckily, as I understood the speaker, the mud was a low oxygen content so the ship was preserved. In the early 1960’s recovery started and the results are now available for all to see.
The question arises – What is so important about a ship with such poor engineering that it immediately sank? – Well I asked that question and was informed of a different point of view. Yes, the ship design is not one that will be used as the blueprint for a duplicate. The Vasa does give us pure insight into the building styles, and other construction techniques, that might have never been able to be examined with our eyes of today. I don’t think it is much of a stretch to say that there are not many boats avail to examine that were built in 1628.
This museum is a definite must see when you are in Stockholm. Don’t miss this one. Oh yes, do your homework on the web prior to arrival to minimize the overwhelm when viewing this fabulous artifact in person.