The Vasa museum was built just to house the Vasa, a magnificent ship, massive and grand which was commissioned by King Gustav Adolf II of Sweden. He spared no expenses. He was to use the ship to fight against his cousin, the King of Poland in the 17thC. The Vasa spent only 1/2 hour afloat. It was a specially designed ship with double decking, both decks having cannons. On its maiden voyage, all the gain decks were opened so that the cannons could fire a salute. Somehow a breeze came, the ship heeled to the side but could not straighten out, it took on water quickly through the opened cannon port holes and sank killing 50 people.
It had all kinds of carvings like a temple.
The royal crest and everything of King Gustav was there. It sat in the sea floor for a few hundred years until they raised it up in and around 1967. 95% of the original ship is here, though not intact but they could the pieces. The water of the Baltic sea is perfect for the preservation of the ship, lack of oxygen and lack of wood worms. There were paint residue that was left and from these they were able to deduce how the ship was painted.
They made replicas of the carvings including copies of the way it was painted. It was a magnificent ship and the Vasa museum was built specially to house it. There was an inquiry as to whose fault it was that it sank but no one was found guilty, everyone blamed everyone else.