Important dates

Important dates


King Gustav II Adolf signs a contract on 16 January with the master shipwright Henrik Hybertsson and his brother Arendt de Groot for the construction of four new ships, of which Vasa will be the first. Material for the ship is purchased.


Construction of Vasa begins at Skeppsgården, the naval shipyard in Stockholm, employing more than 300 men. Casting of bronze cannon for the ship begins at the military foundry in Stockholm.


Master shipwright Henrik Hybertsson dies (he had already been succeeded by Hein Jakobsson as the responsible shipwright for Vasa in 1626). Vasa is launched.


Gustav Adolf visits Skeppsgården in January to inspect Vasa. On the 10th of August, Vasa commences her maiden voyage but heels over and sinks in the middle of Stockholm harbour after sailing barely 1300 meters. Captain Söfring Hansson is arrested but released. No one is officially blamed for the catastrophe. Attempts to raise the ship begin and continue into 1629 but without success.


Albrecht von Treileben receives a permit to salvage the ship.


Most of Vasa’s cannon are raised by Treileben’s divers, working from a diving bell.


Naval engineer Anton Ludwig Fahnehjelm introduces modern diving dress to Sweden, dives on the wreck of Vasa.


The Olschanski Diving and Salvage Company seek a permit to salvage Vasa, but are turned down.


Anders Franzén and Per Edvin Fälting relocate Vasa off Beckholmen. In September, the first dives are made on the ship at a depth of 32 meters and the foremast is raised.


The navy, the National Maritime Museum and the Neptune salvage company cooperate in the salvage of the ship. Divers tunnel under the ship and bring up well-preserved sculptures.


One of the ship’s three remaining cannon is found and recovered.


Heavy cables are drawn under the ship and Neptune uses these to lift and move Vasa into shallower water in 18 separate stages.


The final lift takes place on 24 April and Vasa breaks the surface again after 333 years. After the interior is excavated, the ship is moved into the provisional museum, the Wasa Shipyard, which opens to the public in November, just seven months after the salvage.


Conservation by spraying with PEG begins, work that will last for 17 years.


Divers excavate the harbour bottom where Vasa lay until 1959. They recover hundreds of sculptures and thousands of other objects, primarily from the collapsed sterncastle and beakhead. The excavation concludes with the raising of the ship’s 11.7-meter-long longboat.


Spraying of the ship with PEG stops.


Construction of the new Vasa Museum begins.


Vasa makes her last voyage, from the Wasa Shipyard into the new museum.


The Vasa Museum at Galärvarvet is officially opened on 15 June by King Carl XVI Gustav.


The ship is rerigged as it would appear in winter storage, using the original masts, deadeyes and blocks, as well as more than four kilometres of specially made new rope.


Rainy weather and a large number of visitors lead to widely varying humidity in the ship hall in the summer, and alarming deposits of acidic salts are observed on objects in the magazine. A groundbreaking, international research program focused on Vasa’s preservation begins and is followed with interest around the world.


Fifteen copies of original sculptures are painted in their original colours and displayed in the exhibit “The Power and the Glory.”


A new climate system is installed in the Vasa Museum to stabilise the temperature and humidity, an important component in the work to preserve the ship.


The Vasa Museum sets a new attendance record.