The Maritime Museum. Schooner Amphion.
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Fotografie panoramica de Vil Muhametshin EXPERT MAESTRO Fotografiat 07:13, 13/06/2009 - Views loading...

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The Maritime Museum. Schooner Amphion.

The World > Europe > Sweden

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The Maritime Museum is the central institution within SMM (Swedish National Maritime Museums), which also oversees its two sister museums, the Naval Museum and the Vasa Museum.

It is charged with the collection, conservation and exhibition of material relating to merchant shipping, shipbuilding and naval defence.  Exhibits include ships’ interiors, navigational instruments, weapons, figureheads, marlinspike
seamanship, and art.

It preserves the original cabin and sun-crowned stern of the schooner Amphion (which you see on panorama). It was King Gustav III’s pleasure and command vessel. The cabin and stern were preserved when the ship was broken up. With their gilded pilasters and ethereal paintings of hovering cherubs they have become a natural centre of the Maritime Museum.

Gustav III was inspired by the luxury of the French court in Versailles and asked the shipmaster builder Fredrik Henrik af Chapman to build him a schooner yacht. The schooner Amphion was launched in 1778 and was also used, despite its dubious seaworthiness, as a command vessel during the Russo-Swedish War 1788-1790, and participated in both of the Battles of Svensksund.

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Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.

The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.

Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".

Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.

Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.

In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. 

Text by Steve Smith.

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