The Vasa Museum

March 1, 2015

In all honesty, I’m not really in the mood to write this week’s blog post, but since I feel obligated, I shall do so anyway.

Last week’s Sunday I finally got a chance to visit the Vasa Museum here in Stockholm, it’s about a ship and should not be confused with the city in Finland.

I’m not an expert in the subject, but to give a quick brief what it’s all about. Vasa was a warship built by the Swedes back in 1628, it was an unstable ship and shouldn’t have been put to use, but since the king wanted his boat, they set sail. The maiden voyage was a success, or rather, the first five minutes were successful, after those initial minutes, she sank — like a stone, just a couple of meters from the shore (1300m to be exact).

Sadly, people couldn’t remember exactly where she sank, so it took until 1950 until they discovered the ship, which again, was located in central Stockholm. It took them another couple of years before they could salvage the ship, and thanks to the fact that the waters outside Stockholm is heavily polluted, the ship was mostly intact. They let the ship dry up through some kind of weird conservation voodoo, and could then, a couple of decades later, erect a huge museum that would encapsulate the ship.

And if you want to read about it without my snarky comments, here’s the wikipedia article.

vasa_museum
The museum building.

Every since I moved to Stockholm, I’ve been interested in going, but haven’t really had the chance, Calle, who apparently is a huge fan of the museum, asked if I wanted to go. The first time for me, the third for him. The museum itself is located on Djurgården, which is an island smack in the middle of Stockholm, just north of Södermalm.

We went out there with a boat (Waxholmsbolaget handles this route) which is free to use if you have a commuter-card. The ferry leaves from the docks on gamla stan, and, erh, lands(?) just a couple of meters from the museum.

miniature_outside_vasa-museum
The museum itself is built on a dry dock — or what used to be a dry dock, the above image is of a miniature model of how the museum grounds used to look like.

A lot of the people who’ve talked about the museum have really hyped me up about it, and the museum building is quite big, I had kind of imagined a ship the size of a Finlandsfärja, sadly, that was not the case, even though the ship is indeed large, it’s not that big. Either way, it’s quite an impressive vessel, especially considering how old it is and the fact that it’s been submerged for 333 years.

the_vasa_ship

Sadly, I hadn’t been prepared for visiting the museum, so I only had my Canon EOS M with me, and a 22mm f/2.0 prime, and of course, I ran out of power almost the instance we got in to the museum.

There wasn’t enough room around the boat to get a complete picture of it, but luckily, they’ve placed out a couple of miniature versions around the museum, and so that’ll have to do.

miniature_vasa_ship
How the boat looked like before it sank.

It was well worth the entrance fee, and the museum was pretty cool, I’d definitely visit it again if I’d get the chance.

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