Program - Sightseeing - Stockholm - Sweden
Vasa, The World's Best Preserved 17th Century Ship

The journey of the warship Vasa

Seventeenth century Sweden was an up-and-coming state with great ambitions. Colonial expansion was on the mind of every royal, and for Sweden, the Navy was to be the backbone of any successful grand strategy. A ship called Vasa was built as the flagship of the new Swedish navy. King Gustavus Adolphus himself commissioned the ship.

The ship was to be a giant floating fortress. The combined weight of the ammunition fired from one side of the boat was 588 pounds, making it the most well-armed ship to date. Vasa’s armament included 48 light cannons, two additional large cannons of an older design, eight “three-pounders” and six large howitzers for use during boarding action. All this heavy firepower was crammed onto both the ship’s lower and upper floors, making for a somewhat top-heavy design. Construction problems were evident from the beginning, and early stability tests showed the ship was in constant danger of capsizing. Nonetheless, under pressure from the royal court, the ship was completed on a very tight schedule.

The ship was to be a giant floating fortress. The combined weight of the ammunition fired from one side of the boat was 588 pounds, making it the most well-armed ship to date. Vasa’s armament included 48 light cannons, two additional large cannons of an older design, eight “three-pounders” and six large howitzers for use during boarding action. All this heavy firepower was crammed onto both the ship’s lower and upper floors, making for a somewhat top-heavy design. Construction problems were evident from the beginning, and early stability tests showed the ship was in constant danger of capsizing. Nonetheless, under pressure from the royal court, the ship was completed on a very tight schedule.