Did you know that the Vasa Museum on Djurgården in Stockholm is Scandinavia’s most visited museum? Last year the museum attracted no less than 1,3 million visitors. This year it has the new exhibition “Vasa’s Women”, which illustrates the role of women in the history of the Vasa ship in the 17th century. The exhibition will open in May 2017 and will continue for several years to come.
“The reason that we do this now is because we have taken a closer look at objects on the ship that have a connection to women,” says Martina Siegrist Larsson, communicator at the Vasa Museum, and adds:
“There are women that we haven’t told people about before, so now it’s definitely time to do it. One example is the head and property manager of the Stockholm shipyard Henrik Hybertsson, who died during the construction of Vasa. Then his wife Margareta Nilsdotter took over as manager of the Stockholm shipyard.”
A newcomer for all families with children is the activity “Sail a Ship”. It’s an interactive adventure divided into three stations, and it’s both digital and analog at the same time. The goal of the activity is that you together should solve the task of getting a ship to sail, and it’s fun for both children and adults. You need to hoist the anchor, set sail and then steer the ship with a long pole called whipstaff.
“In Vasa’s time, there wasn’t a steering wheel on the ships like it is today, instead they used a whipstaff that is a long thin pole attached to the rudder. And in order to steer, you pulled the pole sideways in the direction you wanted to go,” says Siegrist Larsson and continues:
“If you do all three steps successfully, you will see the ship sail away.”
There are also several other family activities you can enjoy, such as experiments the museum arranges during weekends and school holidays. For the smallest children there’s the short children’s film “The Vasa Piglet” (from 3 years). The film is based on a children’s book about a piglet called Lindbom, and after the film, the children can follow in Lindbom’s footsteps through the museum, where they get to answer tricky questions based on the film. Some of the activities are available in different languages, and there are also films, guided tours and audioguides in several languages.
If you want to avoid crowds, it’s a good idea to visit the Vasa Museum during October to April, as it’s a calmer period at the museum. During the summer months, May to September, it’s high season and a lot of people all day long, but in the late afternoon it usually cools down.
All cultural events are included in the entrance fee, and are linked to the history of the Vasa ship or the time around the 17th century. More information about all the activities and exhibitions can be found on the Vasa Museum website.
Photo: Anders E. Skånberg