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Swedish warship Vasa sinks in Stockholm harbor

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You have to see it to believe it - which is, perhaps, one reason why the Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia.

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Here's the captivating backstory: in 1628, the Swedish royal warship Vasa commenced her maiden voyage – only to founder twenty minutes after setting sail, whereupon she sank into Stockholm harbor. There she rested on the seabed - for more than 333 years.

Vasa Museum is situated on the island of Djurgården, about a 30-minute walk from the Central Station in Stockholm. Start your visit with the 17-minute film, which is available in sixteen languages.

Then head upstairs to the top floor where you can grasp the immensity of this boat made from the wood of thousands of oak trees and the remarkable feat of engineering that enabled Vasa to be lifted intact from a depth of more than 100 feet. The day of Vasa's final lift to the water's surface in 1961 was also Swedish television's first live broadcast.

Vasa Museum has hosted 30 million visitors since the museum opened. Now celebrating more than 50 years, Vasa Museum’s new home was purpose-built in 1990 to house the only preserved 17th-century ship in the world.

With more than eleven permanent exhibitions, few other places in the world provide such verisimilitude to 17th-century maritime life.

For those in need of Swedish sustenance, Vasa Restaurant features a menu of traditional Swedish favorites, with a focus on local purveyors.

If you're looking to host a dinner, a cocktail reception, or even a banquet, Vasa Museum offers catering in one of the world's most spectacular banquet halls surrounding the royal warship. Menus include a 17th-century medieval feast, a Captain's menu, and a Swedish buffet.

Recent renovations to Vasa Museum include new exhibition and entrance halls, as well as a new location for the well-curated museum store that is stocked with a bounty of Swedish treasures.

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