The Vasa is a wooden warship that was intended to help the Protestant Swedes defeat the Catholic Poles in the religious wars of the 17th century. Unfortunately 20 minutes into its maiden voyage in 1628, the ship sunk. It was a new design, narrow and with two cannon decks. With the weight of full-size cannons on both decks and not enough ballast down below, down it went. The location of the sunken ship was eventually forgotten. In 1956, salvage divers working on other ship wrecks in the Stockholm harbor noticed an unusual mound — and discovered the Vasa. Because of the salinity of the water, there are no sea worms to destroy the wood and the Vasa was still 95% intact. In an amazing feat of underwater engineering, the Vasa was raised in 1961, restored and installed in a museum. You can read more about the ship and the restoration project on the museum website.
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