Outside Göteborg, on its return from China and India, the East India company ship called Götheborg sunk just a little outside the harbour in 1745. Luckily, no one was killed but much of the cargo sunk along with she ship, such as tea, silk, and china. You can still find crushed china on the sea floor, but some of it is on display in the East India ship museum.
The exhibition itself is interesting and well worth a visit. Children will also enjoy the interactive shows and how life was on board in old days. They also show how the ship was built using traditional techniques and materials and the story about the ship is neatly intevowen with the history of the city.
The ship went to China, and back, so it has made the same journey as its namesake in the 18th Centiry.
For info on the ship, see also this link:
Few things in life interests me so much as history (well okay, except for sport, travels, party and girls...:) ), but there are limits for how interesting it can be.
A lot of years ago some persons came up with the bright idea to rebuild the East India ship and travel with it on the original route down to China.
Would cost 5 million euro.
Last year the whole project was done and the "Götheborg" could take off to Shanghai in China. This summer it came back, and it had then costed 60 millions euro...
Now, again, I'm interested in history. But there are limits. Take a look at this ship, and then you can as me start to think about if it's built in pure gold, or how on earth it could cost 60 millions euro!?
There are many people in the world who could have gone to bed less starving for those money...
Or we could have gotten ourselves a really nice football stadium in Gothenburg... :)
Anyway, the original ship sank outside Gothenburg in 1745 after it's third trip to China, which had lasted for 30 months. It had carried tea, porcelain, spices and silk from China. It's said that the shipping company gave the order to sink the ship to get out the insurance money.
In 1984 the ship was found again, and almost immediately they started to talk about building a copy of it. In 1993 the project started, and 14 years later the ship had gone through the whole trip again.
Now it's located just a couple of hundred meters from where I live, in the Gothenburg harbour and during the weekends it's possible for anyone to get onboard, for a fee of 100 SEK. During this summer it will also make some shorter trips along the swedish west coast. And then there are plans to shipping it back to Shanghai next year for that city's 100 years jubilee.
Wonder how much the trip will cost this time...?
To say the truth I was pretty disappointed when I first saw the ship. It's not big, it's not beautiful and it looks like any tourist trap I've seen...
But I guess it's worth a visit anyway. After all, it's swedish history...
The "Göteborg" sailing ship was owned by the Swedish East India Company, active in the 18th century. She sailed to China and only minutes from the safe harbour in Göteborg, she sank and so did all her cargo. Bit by bit, cargo and ship parts have been found throughout the years and then it was decided to make a replica of her. Today, the new Göteborg is ready and can be visited weekends. Having said that, she will set sail first for Stockholm and then China again in autumn 2005 so you might have to wait a year if you are too late...this time she will of course sail with all the modern amenities a ship requires to be legally fit for the world's oceans but they hope to use as little as they can of modernities.
Definately go to the Terra Nova shipyard in Eriksberg and watch as craftsmen faithfully reconstruct the East Indiaman merchant ship from scratch, right down to the last bolt and toggle. In fact, the only aspect about this ship which isn't from the original specs, are the massive Volvo engines being installed because of International Harbour law which prohibits sailing vessels from entering without engine power. Even if you've no particular interest in shipping/sailing history, it's a fascinating way to spend a couple of hours. These craftsmen are hand-building an authentic masterpiece which was launched on Sweden's National Day; June 6th, 2003 and will actually set sail to China and back in 2004-2005, taking the same route which the Swedish merchant ships took in the 18th century. Quite an awesome undertaking if you think about it.
And I thought building something with Lego was tough. ;o)