There are many great museums in Stockholm, but the one that fascinates me most is The Vasa Museum. The amazing story of this museum begins more than 380 years ago…
Vasa is the name of a warship that was built in 1628 for King Gustav II Adolf in Stockholm. About 1000 Oaktress went into the production of the ship. It is 69 meters long, 12 meters wide and at the highest point it reaches 58 meters. To build this ship was a very ambitious project at the time.
When the Vasa’s bottom was already finished the king decided that one deck of cannons wasn’t enough. He wanted to overwhelm his enemies and ordered to put a second deck on top. The construction of the keel wasn’t prepared for this additional weight and so the catastrophe became inevitable.
Already on its maiden trip, about 20 minutes after having left the harbour, a blast of wind knocked over the vasa. It sank and many people died.
Over 300 years later an archaeologist named Anders Franzén started looking for the wreckage. It took him 5 years but finally he found it. An astonishing discovery was made. The ship was amazingly well preserved thanks to a very special sea current. It turned out that the ship was so well preserved that it could be recovered in one piece!
And so another 6 years of recovery and repair later the vasa was brought back to the surface, able to swim again and then towed to the nearby island Djurgården where they finally built a museum around this treasure chest of a boat.
Why did I tell you all this?
Because I think unless you know the story of the museum as well as the ships it’s hard to conceive the magic of this place. Some people enter the museum and get disappointed because all they see is a big wooden boat. But for me it was like being able to travel back in time. The thought that this ship sank to the oceans ground and then over 300 years later it comes back into our world just as if nothing ever happened still amazes me even months after my visit at the museum.
But for us lomographers there’s even more in it: great shots!
The good thing is that you can get very close to the ship. The museum consists of three floors so you can take a good look at the bottom, the side and the top of the beautifully decorated Vasa. Photography is allowed and even using the flash doesn’t seem to be a problem. Besides the ship itself you will find in the museum: miniature models, paintings, reconstructions of several parts of the ship and even skeletons of men who died on the ship. I also recommend watching the movie which tells the story of the Vasa and its impressive recovery.
So if you plan to travel to Stockholm, pay a visit to Vasamuseet and don’t forget you favorite lomographic camera, a tripod (!) and your colorsplash flash. I think you will enjoy it.
And by the way: I’d love to see some Horizon shots of the Vasa!!!