Exploring the Wasa Ship Museum
Randy Asplund

All imagess are copyright Randy Asplund

     The Wasa Ship Museum is a highlight of anytrip to Stockholm. Unlike most tourists with a flash camera, I went in with a tripod and used long exposures. The museum is pretty dark, and there's just no way to take pictures of the full ship and exhibits with flash photography. The Wasa (pronounced Vasa in English) was the jewel of the Swedish fleet when she launched in 1628. Her glory was short lived because about a mile after launching, with all of her flags flying and gun ports open to show her might, a cross wind heeled her over because they had not added enough ballast, the water rushed into the lower gun ports, and down she went. She sat there until being discovered and finally raised in exceptionally complete condition in 1961.

Here are some of my many pictures of the Wasa in her specially built museum.

The Wasa (Vasa, eng.)
The Wasa in Stockholm, Sweden

The Wasa Ship Model in its glory
The very large model of the Wasa is an amazingly detailed and acurate replica

The Wasa Capsizes
A beautifully wrought model and diorama of teh Wasa's final moments

The Wasa stern
The intensely carved stern of the Wasa

Another stern image of the Wasa
Another view of the Wasa stern

The colorful carved wood ornaments of the Wasa
The colorful carved wood ornaments of the Wasa

Wasa Canon
The museum contains a full scale replica of a section of the gun deck

High view of the Wasa
A higher view of Wasa from one of the museum's observation galleries

The intricate bow of the Wasa
The intricate bow of the Wasa

Wasa Crewman
Several of the skelletons found on Wasa were studied and
the faces of the long lost crew and passengers were remade
using scientific reconstruction. You are seeing the face of one
of Wasa's crew.

     If you have even a casual interest in history, and happen to be in Stockholm, the Wasa Ship Museum is an absolute must see destination. Even on a rainy day it was well worth the long line to get in. I spent 4 hours photographing and reading about the many exhibits. There were dioramas and models of what it looked like inside and out, displays of many items found on the ship, reconstructions, and even an exhibit of the many paint colors used to paint her hull. The scale of the Wasa is breathtaking and difficult to appreciate in photographs. The many reconstructed busts of crew and passengers, while eerily haunting, really transport you back to the 17th century and provide a connection to the human aspect of the story.  The gift of these people to us today is that connection to their time.