Learn more about Vasa’s sculptures and their message, and about how Vasa was intended to be sailed and used in battle.

Vasa was as much a floating palace as a sailing vessel and war machine. The Vasa Up Close exhibition provides deeper understanding of the sculptures, what they looked like and, not least, what they symbolised and the messages they sent.

Vasa has 460 sculptures and over 300 ornaments. The sculptures make no sound, yet speak many languages. There were many different nationalities in Stockholm in the 17th century, and few could read. Naturally, the intention was also for other countries to be able to understand the sculptures’ message about the Swedish king’s courage and power. Several of the sculptures are based on biblical stories, others on ancient myths.

A selection of Vasa sculpture reconstructions is presented in the Vasa Up Close exhibition, all of which can be seen in the original on the ship. The exhibition also includes a digital production which delves deeper into the sculptures and provides a better understanding of how Vasa worked as a sailing vessel and warship.

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