Vega Monument – Stockholm, Sweden
Sweden has a strong navy tradition. Throughout its history, Sweden has had many ships that are now considered famous, (or infamous). But the ship that received the most acclaim is generally considered to be the one Vega.
This 1873 hybrid sail/mechanical vessel began life as a whaling vessel but was eventually chartered by Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld to attempt the first crossing of the Northeast Passage. This dangerous Arctic route has been the end of many explorers, but the trade potential it held was too great for anyone to ignore, and so was the fame that comes with finding a way around.
Nordenskiöld tried this very thing in 1878 and took two years to find a way. Although this journey was long, demanding and above all dangerous, Nkrdenskiöld and his team returned victorious. The Vega rreverted to being a fishing vessel and unfortunately sank near Greenland in 1903 after becoming trapped in a bay of ice.
Some geographical places are named after Vega, such as Vega Island in Antarctica, the Vegafonna Glacier in the northeast of the country in the Spitsbergen archipelago and the Vega Sound Strait. In addition, the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography awards the Vega Medal in memory of the first voyage of the Northeast Passage, whose first bearer was Nordenskiöld himself.
The statue of the ship was erected in 1930 in front of the Natural History Museum to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the voyage. The copper ship was designed and manufactured by Ivar Johnsson. A perhaps more easily accessible copy of the statue can be found at the Observatory Garden.