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World's largest wooden sailing ship moors up in Barcelona
Monday, October 31, 2022 @ 9:15 PM

The Götheborg of Sweden - source: Commons Wikimedia

The largest wooden ocean-going sailing ship in the world - the Götheborg of Sweden - moored up in Barcelona on Thursday morning.

The Götheborg is a replica of a vessel built for the Swedish East India Company in the XVIII century, and which sank close to the Swedish city of the same name in 1745. Its stop in Barcelona is the 13th stop on its 2022/23 Asian Expedition.

The boat is open to visitors on October 31st and November 1st between 2pm and 8pm, and then on weekends only until March next year, when it will leave the Catalan port and continue its voyage.

The original ship made three journeys to China, but on 12th September 1745, it sank on its way into Gothenburg harbour. After 30 months at sea, and with only 900 m to go before the vessel reached its berth, it crashed into the Knipla Börö, a well known rock. The ship remained stranded on the rock while much of the cargo, consisting of tea, porcelain, spices and silk, was salvaged. The ship was clearly visible above the surface of the water for many years, but in time the remains sank to the bottom of the sea. All the crew members survived the sinking.

Work on building the replica began back in 1995. The new boat was built using traditional techniques, and was made as close to the original as possible. One small change was that the headroom of the deck was increased by 10 cm, since today's seamen are taller than their ancestors. While the exterior remains true to the original, the interior is highly modern. The ship has an electrical system and propellers powered by diesel engines. The engines were only intended for port navigation and emergency situations, but they have been used during unfavourable wind in order to keep the timetable for the journey to China. 



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