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Photographer's Note

The Vasamuseum was one of the more interesting sights on my short trip to Stockholm; I could have spent many hours there and so I thought I’d share this view with you today.

King Gustav II Adolf was a powerful man; during his reign he reorganised the Swedish military and led Sweden in its transformation from an insignificant small country to one of the leading states of Europe – militarily and politically. He became known and “the Lion of the North”. During this time he commanded the building of the Vasa – the largest and most expensive ship in the Swedish navy. Being a proud man, he wanted the ship to show off his strength and power. Having seen the plans, he wanted the ship to be made yet larger and with taller masts. When the ship set off on her maiden voyage in 1628, she sank like a stone before even having left the harbour. This was a huge embarrassment to the king, and the masts, still visible above the water’s surface, were cut to hide all evidence.

In the 1950s work began on raising the ship from where she had lain for over three centuries. Due to the low salt content of the Baltic Sea, the ship was perfectly intact and had not rotted. More recently the Vasa was moved to a purpose-built building enabling visitors to view her from almost every angle. Despite the low lighting, the conditions for photography were excellent, a low wall providing the perfect camera support for long exposures. This was taken from one of the viewing balconies and shows the decoratively carved stern of the ship. From this angle it is not difficult to see why this top-heavy ship sank so easily. In the lower left corner are a couple of people viewing from a lower level.

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Additional Photos by Susanna Leon (sleon) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 724 W: 76 N: 2025] (9402)
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