söndag, april 24, 2011

Vasaskeppet/The Vasa Ship

This day, 50 years ago, the royal combat ship Vasa (Vasa ship/museum site) - or the ship that was designed for combat but only succeeded in making 1,3 km in the harbour of Stockholm - was salvaged from the bottom of the sea at the inlet of Stockholm.
There it had been dwelling for 333 years (it sank the 10th of August 1628), almost intact, thanks to the cold water with its special quantities of salt balance.

This ship has become one of the most 'inspected failures' in the world, with more than 1,1, million visitors per year. Only the open air museum Skansen in Stockholm receive more visitors, among the museums in Stockholm.

The ship was built during the reign of Gustav II Adolf (Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden) and was meant to become the finest and greatest war ship in the Swedish Royal Navy and (one of) the most important flagship(s) in Europe.
Vasa was one of the heaviest armed ships in the world at the time and it was designated to be used during the Thirty Year's War. It had 64 canons.

When it sank it had 150 men aboard and more than 30 drowned.

It was forgotten and it was first when the amateur historian Anders Franzén (1918-1993) started looking for it, that it became known to the public. He nourished a dream to salvage the old ship and so he did.
Another important person was Per Edvin Fälting the divers forman, besides all the men and women involved in the practical work.

At first the government and members of the parliament and different institutions, were sceptic towards Franzén's ideas as they saw him as a treasure-hunter but when he succeeded finding sponsors - among them king Gustaf VI Adolf memorial fund - they became more interested. Later on the Wallenberg fund also contributed with money.

It was though after the ship reached the surface that the politicians really understood the potentials of this shipwreck.

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