The “Forgotten” Sinking Of The Swedish Galleon Which Has Remained Almost Intact In The Waters Of The Baltic Sea.

There are ships which, at a glance, are able to take us with our minds back many years, to specific times and places, perhaps far in time but alive and present in the world. everyone’s imagination. Think, for example, of famous shipwrecks: we all know the story of the Titanic or the Andrea Doria, to name just two, but there are also lesser-known events, like the one we are going to tell you about. tell.

What is it about? A spectacular Swedish ship dating from the seventeenth century called the Vasa. This galleon was a true shipbuilding marvel and, like the more modern Titanic, it failed to complete its maiden voyage, sinking and remaining essentially “forgotten” for a very long time. His recovery and rebuilding, however, made the world admire him again.


image credit: Oxyman/Wikimedia

The history of the Vasa is one that can mark an era and set an important precedent in terms of shipwrecks and disasters at sea. Designed by Henrik Hybertsson on the order of King Gustav II Adolf, this warship carried more than 60 bronze cannons, as well as a very large number of decorations, ornaments, paintings, and precious objects which have unfortunately never been used.


image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The first trip, scheduled for August 10, 1628, is also the one that marked its end. The Vasa, in fact, had traveled just a few kilometers from the port of Stockholm when gusts of wind blew it from side to side. Although at first the situation seemed to be under control, the wind was fatal to her, and water from the Baltic Sea began to enter the hull.


image credit: Vasamuseet / Facebook

The sinking was imminent and, of the approximately 130 passengers on board, more than 40 lost their lives. The ship had obviously been built too quickly and with unbalanced weights to be able to withstand the vagaries of the sea and the wind, although no one at the time was able to trace the exact causes of the sinking. If the history of the Vasa was never completely forgotten by the Swedes, the wreck remained incredibly buried in the icy waters of the Baltic Sea until 1956 .


image credit: Nick Lott/Wikimedia

This is because the technologies of the time did not allow recovery, and over the years they even lost the memory of its exact location. When the teams led by Anders Franzén found the beautiful galleon, they immediately realized that its state of conservation was surprisingly good and that the reason was the low salinity of the Baltic Sea, as well as its low temperatures, factors that had prevented the total deterioration of the 17th-century ship.


image credit: Vasamuseet / Facebook

In 1961, finally, Vasa was completely removed from its aquatic “graveyard” at a depth of 32 meters, and researchers had the opportunity to make a real journey through time, thanks to the perfect state in which it is. found. The restoration and recovery of the cargo lost at sea began immediately until the galleon became a true historical attraction of Sweden.


image credit: Vasamuseet / Facebook

In Stockholm, in fact, the Vasa Museum houses it, cleaned and rebuilt by meticulous work that lasted several years. It is, to say the least, sensational to have the opportunity to observe it closely: in addition to the beauty of the structure, its decorations, and the objects it carried, this ship is a true historical testimony to which the centuries (and a shipwreck) seem to have left no sign. Just look at it to go back in time, to the days of naval battles, discoveries and pirates.


image credit: Vasamuseet / Facebook

Source used:

 Vasa Museum

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