Sjöhistoriska museet or national maritime museum of Sweden is situated in Musieparken, Stockholm along with several other museum like tekniska and polismuseet. I have a fascination for maritime museums since I visited Barcelona Maritime museum and while doing my trip planning, I saw the stockholm museum offers free entry. So, there was no reason to skip it.
The best way to visit the museum is to take the bus number 69, as it offers a stop just outside the museum. Else you can take a tram to djurgardsbron and then the bus.It also possible to walk to the museum from djurgarden, but you want to save time while travelling. The stop is named after sjöhistoriska museet, so you do not have a problem to identify it. In the outside ground, real parts of a ship are kept like I saw never before. With snowfall, they took an amazing contrast of black and white.
The museum is a gently curved building with real parts of ships in and around and even the door have handles inspired by sea creatures. The museum opens from Tuesday to Sunday 10-17pm. Entry is free to all visitors and you can rent the audio guide for 40SEK in the entrance. The museum have six exhibitions spreader over two floors.
The first hall of entrance houses Amphion. The schooner yacht, later celebrated in song by the Swedish bard Bellman, served as a command ship in naval battles against Russia till 1790.But after the assassination of Gustav III in 1792, the ship was placed in a shed. There she remained until 1829, when she was repaired and refurbished and turned into a quarantine ship for cholera victims.Ten years later, in 1885, Amphion was broken up. The stern was preserved and is now on display at the Maritime Museum in all its former glory. The inner cabin was preserved and carries the mark of luxury inspired by French court at Versailles.
This model of Cargo -and Passenger Steamship AEOLUS was built between 1893 to 1912 by Frans Oscar Carlsson Helmsman spending 30,000 working hours. The real ship was built in Lindhholmen shipyard of Gothenburg. The model has full working details and the interior is fully furnished.
Left to the Amphion, lies the Battle stations. All swedish battleship models are preserved here along with the weapons and ship accessories. The models tell the story of the Swedish Navy’s ships from the 18th century until the present. They include models of ships built by the famous shipbuilder Fredrik Henrik af Chapman. Wreckage of the Swedish submarine, Ulven is kept here who sank outside Gothenburg in 1943 after hitting a German mine during an exercise mission along with 33 crew members.
‘ All about the poles” is in the right hand side of amphion, and this section is particularly interesting to the kids. The freezer room shows research on ice cores. You can play Polar-memory and do the Ice Age puzzle at the Researchers’ table, does not it sound fun:D
The section “shipping and shopping” tells about reaction between trade and ships. “Shipping underlies our everyday life. One of the goals of the exhibition is to show these connections and provide a context – to show how our demand for something sets off a trade chain.” Then in the maps and globes” is relatively new exhibition which open from 2014.Maps can be drawn in different ways. King Roger II of Sicily ordered a world map from the Arab geographer Al-Idrisi 1,000 years ago. The map depicts Europe, Asia and North Africa as they were only aware of these parts of the world.
The last section “sex and the sea” offers the vision to the seafarers sexuality and is based on a series of interviews with sailors. Movies and artefacts from the journeys over seas, through fantasies and myths. A poem by Jan Slauerhoff caught my eyes. The poet says “Only ports are true to the end/ None of the rest upon dry land/ Is ours, neither woman nor friend /Ever behind the seaman stand. Then he goes on, ” I have a home in every town/ A nights fixed anchorage for me/ To her my wages I pay down/ Forget her once I put to sea”. It depicted the brutal reality of the seamen’s lives.
Many open-air conserts and music festivals are held in the park in front of the museum. The annual concerts arranged by the newspaper Dagens Nyheter with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra are held here. The garden also offers a panoramic view of djurgarden, a great view of and from the kaknäs törnet which is the famous TV tower nearby. You can go up the tower for 55 SEK and have a great view of the city. If you have a whole day, you can go to the other museums nearby as well. I think Musieparken is a must while you are tripping to Stockholm.
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