What can I say? If you’ve seen the Mary Rose you’ve got to see the Vasa – which is around a century or so later, but much better preserved because of the exceptionally cold waters of the Baltic (amongst other reasons).

Why did she sink? Well, it was the first big new ship constructed by Gustavus Adolphus’s new foreign shipwright and evidently he allowed GA to mandate the dimensions … so the darn ship was to narrow in the beam for her size and if she’d taken aboard the amount of ballast that was needed to make her stable, the lower level gunports would have been awash.

So she didn’t. So the first strongish breeze that hit her started to capsize her … and a second gust finished the job. She’d been at sea less than half an hour.

No one was blamed at the court of inquiry (or, at least, no-one has been able to find any record of blame being apportioned in any of the surviving documentation … there were too many important people involved at all stages of the busted decision tree and all of the people on the investigatory panel were, surprise surprise, all involved in those decisions).

Looks pretty good, doesn’t she? She’s about 98% original – with some additional modern bits (the ropes in the rigging, obviously, the masts or parts of them etc.)
The Sterncastle. You can sort of get a perspective of how narrow the beam was.
A model of what she probably looked like when she set out on her less than six hour cruise!
The sterncastle decoration – not all of it is intact, some bits fell off as nails lost their grip or treenails and wooden dowels rotted … many of those bits were able to be re-situated with some careful detective work, but not all. Still, this is probably close to what it would have originally looked like.
One of the Vasa’s longboats survived as well.

Stockholm open air museum

This is situated at Skansen, one of Stockholm’s many islands, and the end of one of their tram lines.

It contains original buildings from many places all over Sweden or, in at least one case, what was once Sweden, but is now Norway, and in another case, in Finland or, possibly, in parts of Sweden where Finns were invited to settle during the early modern period (i.e. the 16th century or so).

A 14th century Storehouse – large and small. The style remained pretty much unchanged from at least the 11th century through to the 17th or 18th except in the case of dwellings, which, of course, added chimneys.
This one’s from Finland. Apart from the stuff growing on the roof (originally on a base of birchbark) it’s almost exactly like the one above … and very similar to US colonial era Log Cabins.
A pole-pivot windmill – again, around the 14th or 15th centuries.

It’s really amazing how little the building styles changed over so long a period – of course, wood was cheap (cheap and plentiful enough such that half-timbered construction wasn’t really necessary) and stone was dear, and brick was expensive.

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