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Record visitors drop anchor at this Stockholm museum

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Record visitors drop anchor at this Stockholm museum
The Vasa Museum. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
12:32 CET+01:00
One of Sweden's most popular attractions welcomed a record number of visitors in 2016.

A total of 1,341,676 people visited Stockholm's iconic Vasa warship last year, said the museum.

That is a rise of 2.2 percent on last year, and up by 40 percent from 2006.

"I am very happy that our visitor numbers are that good. It shows that the Vasa museum has an engaging story which continues to be interesting and exciting to people around the world," said museum head Lisa Månsson in a statement.

The majority of the visitors came from abroad, according to the museum. It houses the wreckage of the country's best known ship, which sunk on its maiden voyage in 1628 and was salvaged in the 1960s.

The world's most visited maritime museum, it only soared into the top-ten of the best museums on the planet, according to users of travelling review site Tripadvisor, for the first time in 2015.

As most of its reviews on Tripadvisor demonstrate, even people who usually start snoozing at the words 'maritime' and 'history' tend to find it a fascinating place. “Like looking through a time machine. Stunning look into ship life and shipbuilding from a ship disaster 400 years ago,” read one comment.

However despite the attraction's glowing reviews, there remains a hardcore group of tourists who cannot be converted to the concept of a museum about a sunken ship.

“Why design, build and invest a fortune in an old warship that was a failure?” mused one Tripdavisor reviewer, referring to the fact that it sank minutes into its maiden voyage.

"Didn't go in, but it seemed like a lot of money to see a ship museum. I read a book about the ship in the gift shop. Didn't see a need to wait in a long line to see the museum," posted another.

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