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How the sunk galleon became the main exhibit of the museum? Tragedy and greatness of the royal ship “Vaasa“. Part 1

10 of August, 1628. This warm and clear Sunday promised to be special for Stockholm - the royal galleon of “Vaasa“ was going to go to the first swimming. But there was unforeseen...

The sudden flaw in a flash overturned the huge four-deck vessel sideways. The ship went to a bottom promptly, claiming together with itself the lives of fifty people from hundred fifty who were at that moment onboard.

the Tragedy of “Vasa“

Ship accidents in Sweden of those times were not a rarity at all, for 1620 - x years more than fifteen large and powerful fighting ships sank. However only “Vaasa“ became well-known.

Construction of “Vasa“ was conducted directly on the shipyard located in the central part of Stockholm. As soon as all works were complete, the vessel was moved to the mooring adjoining to the palace of the king. Before grandiose departure remained absolutely not for long - it was only necessary to load on a gun galleon, necessary quantity of gun kernels and ballast.

Plans of the very first swimming of “Vasa“ were grandiose. Before departure in a fighting campaign the galleon should make passing among magnificent a shkher of Stockholm and to solemnly take three hundred soldiers on the board.

This Sunday was the real holiday for residents of Stockholm therefore onboard “Vasa“ there were wives and children of crew members who came to see off the heroes.

From - for adverse wind the galleon was necessary to pull the first several hundreds of meters by means of anchors. Then, by order of the captain Hansson, were lifted fok, fok - Mars, a grotto - Mars and bizan.

Solemn gun salute became for “Vasa“ the last. The galleon thrown by the raged wind sideways was instantly filled with water through gun ports and … with the lifted flags and sails began to go slowly to a bottom.


the Galleon of “Vaasa“ got glory still before it was for the first time floated.

The king of Sweden Gustav II Adolf claimed that prosperity of the kingdom depends on God and fleet. During Thirty years` war (1618 - 1648) for the purpose of mastering Pomerania (the southern coast) the governor disposed to direct all forces to strengthening of the military fleet.

Gustav planned to get four huge warships. Their creation was entrusted to the talented Dutch by the name of Henrik Hyubertsson who was the chief shipbuilder of the kingdom.

The galleon of “Vaasa“ which received the name in honor of a ruling royal dynasty was fated to play a leading role and to become pride of royal fleet of Sweden. Construction of this huge galleon was a significant event which not only all Sweden, but also ambassadors of many foreign states attentively watched.

The king was absolutely confident that he will be able to shake all the enemies by such ship which will combine not only invincible military power, but also kingly magnificent furniture. Therefore for magnificent sculptural work to Stockholm all most talented masters of woodcarving, painters and smiths from the European countries were invited.

“Vaasa“ turned out really magnificent. Aft - the rich gilded galleries and balconies decorated with figures of gods and heroes of myths of Ancient Greece. And on a stem the huge image of the lion who prepared for a jump which is also covered with a gilding layer flaunted.

Certainly, in the course of construction of “Vasa“ the main emphasis was placed on outstanding seaworthy and fighting qualities which till that time were not possessed by any vessel.

This powerful galleon has to be to become the newest superweapon of Sweden. Entirely this giant made of high-quality wood of an oak in length reached 61 meters. At the same time its maximum width made 11,7 m, and draft - 4,8 m. The ship had four decks, the second and third of which were gun and were equipped with 64 guns. By the way, 48 guns were 24 - pound - for those times it is the huge power.

The Dutch ship masters suggested Gustav II Adolf to change several the project of the ship as the center of its weight was provided too highly. They suggested to reduce the number of tools or to slightly expand the vessel, having offered its maneuverability. But the governor of Sweden remained unshakable before the decision.

The desire of the king consisted in creation of absolutely new fighting vessel which had no analogs. Prophesied to a galleon of “Vaasa“ fighting glory, but at God, most likely, there were other plans.

To be continued …