Posted by: Debra Kolkka | December 16, 2015

Ghost ship

One of Stockholm’s most popular attractions is the Vasa Museum. It is a purpose built museum which houses the almost fully intact Vasa, a 64 gun warship that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628.

Once her valuable bronze cannons were salvaged in the 17th century, she lay almost undisturbed until she was located in the late 1950s. Vasa was salvaged in 1961 and housed in a temporary museum..go to Wikapedia for the full, fascinating history.

The construction of the present museum began on and around the dry dock of the old naval yard. Vasa was towed into the flooded dry dock under the new building in December 1988 and the museum was opened in 1990.

The first sight of this incredible ship in the subdued lighting will take your breath away. Vasa looks as though she might sail off at any moment with a ghostly crew.

The low light and the fact that the ship is so huge and fills the space makes it difficult to get good photos. You really will have to go there to appreciate just how magnificent it is.

Vasa Museum Stockholm


Vasa Museum Stockholm

Vasa Museum Stockholm

Vasa Museum Stockholm

The 3 metre long figurehead lion consists of several parts carved individually and fitted together with bolts.

Vasa Museum Stockholm

The intricate details on the carvings is amazing. Vasa must have looked stunning as she sailed out of the harbour.

Vasa Museum Stockholm

Vasa Museum Stockholm

There are several models showing what the ship would have looked like on her maiden voyage.

Vasa Museum Stockholm

I particularly liked the one showing a cross section of the ship and how the sailors worked their positions.

Vasa Museum Stockholm

Vasa Museum Stockholm

Vasa Museum Stockholm

There is a very good guided tour in several languages explaining the circumstances of the ship, the sinking and the salvage. Take time also to watch the film of the salvage. There are areas depicting life as it was at the time of the ship’s construction, with life size models in the dress of the time.

Allow a few hours to really appreciate this amazing ship and the work that has been done by many people to preserve it. There are several floors each giving a different perspective of the ship…don’t miss anything. I guarantee you will be fascinated.


  1. What a beauty! I will certainly put it on my “to visit” list. Thank you for sharing it, Debra.

    • I was delighted with my visit to the Vasa museum…it is amazing.

  2. Surprising how many ships sink on their maiden voyage!

    • This one was too narrow and too high and the guns were too heavy.

  3. Such a sad tale, but how glorious that she has been so lovingly preserved and reconstructed. 🙂

    • The restoration is brilliant…decades of work and it is ongoing.

  4. Remember reading about this when it was first salvaged. They certainly have done a wonderful restoration. I think seeing a ship out of water makes you realise their full size as in the ocean, we only see a fraction of a vessel.

    • It was the size that struck me as I walked in.

  5. that is really magnificent!!! thanks for sharing..

    George Miori

    • The work is amazing, so much attention to detail.

  6. That’s utterly fascinating. The workmanship is extraordinary. How tragic for it all just to sink out of sight. I can imagine that salvaging the ship would have been a wonderful thing to work on. I can’t imagine what it would have felt like below decks – especially in rough weather.

    • I think life was tough for those below decks.

  7. Great photos, that is a great museum and I enjoyed it very much. I also enjoyed the timeline video display . You are right, it is fascinating.

    • You could easily spend hours in the museum.

  8. Stunning ship. Thanks for showing it to us.

    • You really need to be there to get the full effect…definitely worth a visit.

  9. I was able to take my kids there about 5 years ago — we all loved it. We found it quite stunning and majestic!

  10. What a fascinating little museum! I’d love to visit Stockholm one day 😀

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