The Vasa was a Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628. It sank on its maiden voyage in 1628 and remained underwater for over 300 years until its discovery in 1961. The ship was remarkably well-preserved due to the brackish water of the Baltic.
It was salvaged with a largely intact hull in 1961 and can be seen today at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, where it is one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions, having been seen by over 35 million visitors since 1961.
The ship’s sister vessel, Applet, has also been found by marine archaeologists in Sweden. Unlike the Vasa, Applet was launched without incident the following year and remained in active service for three decades before being sunk in 1659 to become part of an underwater barrier meant to protect the Swedish capital from enemy fleets
In 1628, at the height of Sweden’s military expansion, the Swedish Navy built a new flagship, the Vasa. At the time it was the most heavily armed ship in the world but 2 hours into its maiden voyage, it sank in Stockholm harbour.
The Vasa remained there for more than three hundred years, until its discovery in 1961.
A former Swedish naval officer, Bertil Daggfeldt, remembers the day that the mighty ship was brought up from beneath the water in near perfect condition.
The World’s Best Preserved 17th Century Ship
When it set sail from the Bay of Stockholm in 1628, the Vasa was the world’s most high-tech warship! However, 20 minutes into its maiden voyage, the boat sank, killing 30 of its passengers. The story of the Vasa’s quick sinking has gone down as one of the most colossal failures and greatest mysteries in naval architectural history.
She sat at the bottom of the bay for around three centuries, until archaeologists unearthed the ship, restoring and displaying it in what has become the most-visited museum in all of Scandinavia. VASA Museum
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