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Sweden: Nordic Cities IX – Stockholm

Published: 7.1.2017
We are in a camp near Stockholm. We set off for a walkthrough in the city yet first we make a stop at Vasa Museum.

The name of the museum comes after a Swedish war ship and it is basically integral part of the museum. Gustavus Adolphus during the years 1625-1628 by the Duch shipbuilder Henrik Hybertsson. The name comes after Vasa dynasty. Over 400 people had their part in building the ship. It was supposed to become the largest and the best equipped ship to demonstrate royal power.

Vasa ship   Vasa ship

Original plans had changed for king changed his requirements - he wanted the ship to have rich and high upper deck and also he did wnat to have many cannons on the ship. Therefore, there were two decks which, on the other hand, made the ship less stable. Stoens on the bottom of the ship were supposed to make it more balanced.

 loď Vasa   loď Vasa

Unfortunately, this was not enough. The ship first set sails on August 8 1628. Once it left the port it fired ceremonial cannon shots. However, the recoil of th cannons made it swing and the wind leaned it even more. Water then flew inside through cannon holes and the ship sunk. Fortunately, nobody died even though over 30 members of the crew remained in the ship.

Anders Franzen discovered Vas in 1956. Everybody was surprised about the good condition of the ship. This is possibly due to lack of naval shipworm in the Baltic sea. It eats shipwreck or it damages it at least. Several years later the ship was got back on the surface. 14000 ship items were found around the wreck statues included. Also 12 crew members remains were excavated.

Vasa Museum

It took several years to renovate the ship. It has been still a subject of inquiry how to preserve the ship. Vasa Museum which holds the ship was opened in the year 1990. It is one of the greatest attractiosn around. There are bridges around the ship to allow the visitors to see it. It is not accessible from inside. It is truly great experience. We learn many interesting facts about the period in the museum. We also see some items which were renovated and identified.

To spend two hours there is bare minimum. But we have still a lot on our schedule. Stockholm spreads across 14 islands connected by bridges and an underground subway or public sea transport. Not many know that all islands are in the sea. Lake Mälaren borders Stockholm in the west. It mixes with the salt water of the Baltic Sea in the center of the city close to the building of the parliament.

budova parlamentu

Vasa Museum is located on Djurgården island. We cross the Djurgårdsbron bridge to reach its downtown. The bridge was built for the purpose of the world exhibition of 1897 in Stockholm according to the plans by Carl Fraenell. Statues of Nordic gods stand on four granite columns decorating the bridge.Heimdall blows his Gjallarhorn, Frigg, the wife of Odin, holds a pole. You can recognize Thor by his Mjolnir hammer resting on his shoulders. Rold Aldersparre is the author of these statues. The bridge enters Narvavägen boulevard. Along the boulevard there are yachts and other vessels. First, we head to buy tickets for a cruise around the islands. It is wonderful experiences. Then we rush to the royal palace. There we see the entire guard. They leave the barracks exactly at noon to change guards. The vista is splendid and soon we hear music from afar which means the soldiers are coming. Two guardsmen ride on horses in the front. They adjust traffic and clear space for the royal guard. 

royal palace   royal guard

We still have about an hour worth of cruis around Stockholm's islands. We tell you about it more next week.

GPS: 59°19'46.5"N 18°04'09.1"E

 

Text and photos: Magdaléna Radostová



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