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Divers find 17th-century Swedish warship

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Divers find 17th-century Swedish warship
The 'Solen' warship. Photo: Jens Lindström/Maritime Museum
17:16 CEST+02:00
Swedish divers confirmed on Thursday that they have uncovered the wreck of a legendary warship which was lost off the coast of Karlskrona in southern Sweden in the 17th century.

Marine archaeologists from the Maritime Museum in Stockholm said that a wreck found near Karlskrona is that of the 'Solen' (which means 'sun' in Swedish) warship from the 1600s.

"This is one of the first pieces of the world heritage puzzle," marine archaeologist Jens Lindström, who found the ship together with his colleague Jim Hansson, proudly told regional newspaper BLT.

The wreck was discovered at a depth of only six metres, in an area where several other warships are believed to lay buried. It was intentionally sunk in 1694 after it had served its purpose.

Solen was one of the largest ships in the Baltic in his heyday and took part in Sweden's sea battle with the Danish and Dutch navies off the island of Öland in 1676.

Built in Lübeck in 1669 with 72 guns and a gross tonnage of 1,400, it out-sized even the famous warship Vasa, which sank in 1628, and its 64 guns.

The Vasa ship has been on show in Stockholm since it was lifted from the capital's harbour in the 1960s. Its museum was recently voted best historic museum in the world by users of international travel site TripAdvisor.

But there are no plans to recover Solen, Lindström and Hansson told BLT.

"It will probably stay were it is," said Hansson.

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