Swedish scientists rejoice. After meticulous investigations, there is no longer any doubt: the sister ship of the legendary “Vasa” has finally been found.
Stockholm – The search for the past of a shipwreck has led to a realization that puts Swedes in raptures: It is actually the “Äpplet”, one of the largest warships built in the 17th century and sister ship to the legendary “Vasa”, which is used today is in a museum in Stockholm.
Underwater archaeologists found the sister ship, which had been missing for centuries, at the bottom of a strait off the island of Vaxholm at the end of 2021. After several months of research, there is certainty: the evaluation of technical details, measurements and wood samples showed that the shipwreck found was the “Äpplet ‘ (Eng.: ‘apple’), according to the Swedish Wreck Museum.
Sweden: “Vasa” sank after just one kilometer – now the sister ship has been found
The legendary “Vasa”, which is already on display today, was never really able to fulfill its original purpose: the 69-metre-long, heavily armed warship was intended to serve as a symbol of Sweden’s military power, but instead sank after about a kilometer. In 1961 this ship was then salvaged.
The now found “Äpplet” should be more successful: The warship, launched in 1629, was designed by the same shipbuilder as the “Vasa”, Hein Jakobsson. After the flawed “Vasa”, however, this ship was built wider to improve the stability of the Swedish warship. In contrast to her sister ship, which was about the same size, the “Äpplet” was in service for much longer: Sweden could also count on the ship during the Thirty Years’ War against Germany. It was not until 1658 that the “Äpplet” was finally sunk off Vaxholm because it was no longer considered seaworthy.
Sensational find “Äpplet”: “Important factor in Sweden’s rise to become a great power”
The museum had already announced the discovery of two wrecks in the same area in 2019. But back then, archaeologists had mistakenly believed that the “Äpplet” was among them. Instead, these were two smaller warships of the same era. But now the Swedish researchers have actually been able to identify the sister ship of the “Vasa”, which is on display in Stockholm’s Vasa Museum, a purpose-built tourist attraction.
Underwater archaeologist Patrik Hoglund said the Äpplet’s find will “help us understand how large warships evolved”. This was a “decisive factor in Sweden’s rise to a great power” in the 17th century.
And what happens to the “Äapplet”? The spectacular shipwreck should remain on the seabed, as the TT news agency reports. Marine archaeologist Jim Hansson is quoted as saying “that’s where she does best”.
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