Entertainment & Arts

Europe, Sweden, Stockholm

The Vasa Museum (Swedish: Vasamuseet) is a maritime museum in Stockholm, Sweden. Located on the island of Djurgården, the museum displays the only almost fully intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged, the 64-gun warship Vasa that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628. The Vasa Museum opened in 1990 and, according to the official web site, is the most visited museum in Scandinavia. Together with other museums such as Stockholm Maritime Museum, the museum belongs to the Swedish National Maritime Museums (SNMM). From the end of 1961 to 1988 Vasa was housed in a temporary structure called Wasavarvet ("The Vasa Shipyard") where she was treated with polyethylene glycol. Visitors could only view the ship from two levels and the maximum distance was only 5 m (17 ft). In 1981, the Swedish government decided that a permanent Vasa museum was to be constructed and an architects' competition for the design of the museum building was organized. A total of 384 architects sent in models of their ideas for the most suitable building to house the Vasa and the final winners were Marianne Dahlbäck and Göran Månsson with Ask ("box"). The construction of the new building began on and around the dry dock of the old naval yard with an inauguration ceremony hosted by Prince Bertil on 2 November 1987. Vasa was towed into the flooded dry dock under the new building in December 1988 and during the summer of 1989, when visitors were allowed onto the construction site, 228 000 people visited the half-finished museum. The museum was officially opened on 15 June 1990. So far Vasa has been seen by over 25 million people. In 2008 the museum had a total of 1,143,404 visitors.