New Clues Emerge in Centuries-Old Swedish Shipwreck
In 1628, the Swedish warship Vasa sank on its maiden voyage. Over the centuries, many have tried to explain what caused that embarrassing and deadly mishap.
Researchers in Stockholm have now conducted a detailed examination of the 17th-century vessel, and they’ve found new clues as to why it sank.
The ship is on display at Stockholm’s Vasa Museum, one of Sweden’s most popular tourist destinations.
Step inside and you’re greeted by a breathtaking sight – the bow of a nearly four hundred year-old wooden warship. It looks like something out of the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
“It’s like a piece of art,” says Susanna Valleros, a guide at the museum. The ship, especially its stern, is covered with wooden sculptures.
“They’re very beautiful, of course, but the main use of them was to tell us things about the royal family, the king,” says Valleros.
The King of Sweden at the time was Gustav II Adolf, the man who ordered the building of the ship.
Today, at least a million people visit the museum every year, but Valleros says what draws visitors is more than just the beauty of the ship. “The story is also quite special and tragic.”
Vasa set sail on her maiden voyage on August 10, 1628. At the time, she was the most powerfully armed warship in the world, with 64 bronze cannons.
Twenty minutes into her journey, the ship was hit by two strong winds. It heeled to port, water gushed in, and the ship sank less than a mile into the journey. Thirty people died.
[ The inquest ] http://www.theworld.org/2012/02/vasa-shipwreck-new-clues/