This made the ship top heavy for the width of the beam. Here is a scale model of the Vasa. This was the part above the water...but there was not enough of the ship below the water to hold her steady. You can see how near to the water the gun decks were. When she tipped a bit from the breeze, the gun decks filled with water...the rest is history.
Twenty minutes into her maiden voyage, in full view of spectators and with over 250 crew and their guests aboard, she caught a slight breeze, took on water and in twelve terrifying minutes, sank in Stockholm harbour, where she remained for over 300 years.
You can see in this cross section model, that the bottom layer was the only one under water...the rest were above. And with 64 bronze cannons on two gun decks...that's more than a mathematical miscalculation...that's a disaster destined to happen.
In 1959 they started to raise her from the muck and mire and the process took two years. But finally in 1961, she was guided into the harbour on her own keel to her permanent home at the site of the museum.
And then the real story begins...years and years of preservation to keep the wood from deteriorating. Years of forensic anthropology to reassemble and try to identify the 30 some-odd skeletons that were found (including those of two women, probably relatives of a senior officer)
300 years in the water didn't do the paint job any good. However with microscopic examination, they were able to determine that the stern looked like this, complete with the King's seal - the opulence of which designed to impress their allies and terrify the enemy.
Here are samples of the types of powders for the paint they used for those rich colours - paint that would not be allowed today because of their carcinogenic properties. But back then, it was a different story. Lead and antimony in paint was a fairly common occurrence.
Stockholm in 1628.
Today my time in Stockholm comes to an end, but I hope you have enjoyed travelling with me back in time and to another place far, far away.