kingdom of Sweden

Historical warship under threat


From European Commission

In the 17th century the kingdom of Sweden embarked on the construction of the most expensive and ornamented warship of its time.

Taking three years to build, it involved the work of carpenters and sail-makers, as well as sculptures and painters to work on carving and painting the intricate woodwork motifs and decorations that adorn this ship.

Unfortunately the ship sank on its maiden voyage. The king's misfortune however turned out to be our good fortune as it has been a vital resource for historians, giving us valuable insight into the times.

Now the royal warship Vasa is facing a battle for its life as it is under threat from its own iron armoury.

Since early 2000, scientists have noticed certain changes taking place in the wood of the ship: changes that threaten the very stability and life of the ship. Now a team of experts working on Vasa have been able to identify the culprit that was threatening the ship: iron.