The Vasa Museum
Over a million visitors
Over a million visitors each year can't be wrong. The warship's inglorious fate – sinking on its maiden voyage – almost 400 years ago leaves nobody unmoved. It's impressive to see what good condition the ship is in, to hear its fascinating story and to learn about the harsh life on board a warship at that time.
The Vasa was built at a Stockholm shipyard as the mightiest naval vessel of her time, with two cannon decks carrying 64 cannon. On the day of the maiden voyage – Sunday, 10 August 1628 – spectators gathered along the shoreline to watch the spectacle. The sails were hoisted and the salute fired, but just a couple of minutes later the Vasa started listing. She managed to write herself but soon began capsizing once more. The pride of Sweden sank beneath the waves after sailing no more than 1300 metres.
The warship Vasa was salvaged in 1961, having spent 333 years on the seabed. A temporary building made of corrugated sheeting was quickly erected to protect the ship in its new location in Södra Djurgården, and that's where the Vasa lay on its bobbing pontoon for 27 years. The foundations for the current building were laid in November 1987 and the museum was officially opened on 15 June 1990.
The architects for the sensational new museum building were Marianne Dahlbäck and Göran Månsson. In addition to the striking copper roof, the outside of the building is clad in glulam panels painted in blue, pitch black, Falu red, ochre and dark green. The colours on the outside are repeated inside, painted on wood panels and directly onto concrete. Large sections of the walls and the whole ceiling have been kept in bare concrete.
The Vasa Museum is a museum that attracts all ages. Don't miss the film about the Vasa, which is shown daily every half an hour. There is a large museum shop and restaurant, as well as picnic tables for those with their own supplies.
The building is part of our shared cultural heritage. The National Property Board Sweden looks after it, but it is the museum that keeps the building alive. Information on exhibitions and activities can be found on the museum's website.
- Audio guide
- Guided tours
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