A highlight for Stockholm visitors is a visit to the Vasa Museum. On the evening of the first conference day in Stockholm, our hosts did not want to miss the chance to show us this impressive ship. Afterward, they had planned a visit to the ABBA Museum, which is just a 500 m away.
We take the tram S7 (direction Waldemarsudde) to the Nordiska Museet (Nordic Museum) on the island of Djurgarden. The huge renaissance building houses objects of the history of civilization and from ethnic groups in the north.
But, we pass the building and walk straight to the Vasa Museum lying behind it.
The Vasa museum
The modern building opened in 1990. The 34 m high hall houses the entire Vasa. On several levels, you can get good insights into almost every detail of the ship.
Different objects from those time and pictures of the rescue of the ship round off the exhibition.
The Vasa is a Swedish galleon and was one of the largest and the most powerfully armed warships of that time.
The Vasa was built in Sweden on orders of the King Gustav II Adolf, in 1625.
It was the time of the 30-year war when Protestants and Roman Catholics fought each other. Lutheran Sweden wanted to run up the flag against the Catholic Poland to ensure the import of hemp for ropes from the Baltics.
But personal reasons also played a role. King Sigismund III Vasa, known as Sigismund III of Poland, was a cousin of Gustav II Adolfs father Karl IX. Karl IX dispossess Sigismund from the Swedish throne. But Sigismund wanted to get back the throne.
The Vasa had 64 guns on two decks. With that, she would have had almost the same firepower like the Polish fleet. The Vasa was 69 m long, 12 m wide and 52 m high.
But already on the maiden voyage, the Vasa sank after a voyage of 1300 m at the port exit from Stockholm, on August 10th, 1628
Construction defects caused the sinking. The center of gravity of the ship lay too high. The reason for this was the 2nd canon deck, which had the same number of guns with the same caliber as the 1st deck. In proportion, the ship was too narrow.
This caused instability by the wind. Also, the opening flaps for the guns of the first deck were too close to the water line. Water could enter when the ship heels. The first strong gust of wind caused the ship to capsize.
Normally, the ship had a crew of 437, including 300 soldiers. Although there were no soldiers on board at the time the ship sank, but 50 to 60 people lost their lives.
At the place of misfortune, the main-mast stood out of the water for many years, until it was finally cut to keep the port entrance free. Then the ship sank into oblivion.
The marine biologist and amateur naval archaeologist Anders Franz had located the wreck of the Vasa in 1956. After the salvage, she was preserved for decades. This process still continues today. The good condition of the wreck tells a lot of the ship builder’s art of those days and also about the everyday life of the people.
The Vasa is a unique testimony to the technique of past centuries. Today, one speaks of the Vasa syndrome in case of failed innovation and project management.
We are fascinated by the ship and the replicas, like parts of the deck and the cabins, that we almost overlooked the provided snacks and drinks from our caring hosts.
The friendly museum staff is ready to answer all questions.
As a special highlight, a virtuoso violinist also appeared, who completely captivated us with her skillful play. Unfortunately, we do not know her name.
1 June – 31 August: Daily 8.30-18
1 September – 31 May: Daily 10-17 (Wednesdays 10-20)
New Year’s Eve 10-15
The museum is closed: 1 January and 23-25. December.
After a short walk of about 500 m, we reach the ABBA Museum. On the way we passed a sports harbor, where we can see today’s shipbuilding art.
The ABBA museum
Foundation stone of the ABBA museum were the exhibits of the ABBAWORLD touring exhibition which could be seen between 2009 and 2011.
The museum opened in 2013 and shares the premises with the Swedish Music Hall of Fame of Swedish popular music.
On 5000 m², you can see personal items of the band members and trace the individual stations of their careers.
ABBA is the most successful Swedish band and has shaped the music direction of the 70s with their worldwide hits.
The name ABBA derives from the initial letters of the founders Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog.
The international breakthrough came with the hit Waterloo in 1974. Then followed Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, Fernando and The Winner takes it all.
The exhibition concept of the ABBA museum is interactive and modern.
A special attraction is a karaoke stage where you can sing the worldwide hits together with the moving holograms of the stars themselves.
Swedish Music Hall of Fame
After the ABBA exhibition, you will enter the Swedish Music Hall of Fame. The visitor can immerse in the history of the popular Swedish music here.
Each decade has its own section, hundreds of musicians are represented. Visitors can push a button to select a musician or a group and hear one of their songs or to watch a video.
Music-lovers can spend several hours here.
1 May to 30 August: daily 10 am – 8 pm,
1 September to April: daily 10 am to 6 pm
We highly recommend a Stockholm Pass. It gives you free access to some 65 attractions, tours and excursions in the city, including free access to the Vasa Museum (and a 20% discount on the ABBA Museum)
Please read on > Under the bridges of Stockholm
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Disclosure : We would like to thank the sponsors and hosts of the Vasa Museum and the Abba Museum this a wonderful evening. All views and opinions are our own and not influenced by the invitation!
Text, photos and video: Copyright © myVideoMedia
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