The Titanic was not the only ill-fated sea vessel millions came to see. Spend a holiday in Stockholm to see its own tragic ship, the Swedish Vasa, which was never made into a movie, but has its own museum!
The Vasa was built during the reign of Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus, and his efforts to build an empire around the Baltic Sea. It was to be the “mightiest warship in the world,” with 64 guns on two decks. On its maiden voyage on August 10, 1628, the Vasa tipped over just minutes after it set sail. Water rushed into the gun ports and it sank, taking 30 to 50 people along with it.
Centuries after this blow to the monarch’s ego – on April 24, 1961 – shipwreck-specialist Anders Franzén and his team resurrected the Vasa from its underwater tomb. Today it is housed in the Vasa Museum, a top attraction on Stockholm holidays. The striking wooden ship is covered in lavish ornamentation, including carvings of lions, angels, emperors, and heroes, to impress the power of Sweden upon its enemies. A scaled-down model of the Vasa has recently been constructed to give visitors a feel of the splendour of the ship when it was first presented to the people. It can be appreciated in full colour and detail, particularly its Greek, Roman, and Bible-inspired decorative figures.
There are exhibits of 17th century battles at sea, dioramas of what life would have been like on board, and realistic sculptures of those who were on board the Vasa. On display are thousands of items which were found on board, as well. For a clearer picture of the life and times of the Vasa, watch the 25-minute film dedicated to it.