From the king’s pleasure vessel to quarantine ship to the scrap yard. Amphion met many different fates during her lifetime. Now only a part of the ship remains. You’ll find it at the Maritime Museum.
It’s hard to miss Amphion when you enter the Maritime Museum. Just look straight ahead from the entrance and you’ll see the opulent stern with its golden angel’s face radiating across the rotunda.
This part of the museum has been specially built for Amphion’s stern and cabin with its preserved interior. The rear of the ship is the only surviving part of what was once Gustav III’s pleasure vessel, inspired by the luxury of the French court at Versailles.
Hidden away in shed
Amphion was launched in 1778 and her century-long life would be a dramatic one. The schooner yacht, later celebrated in song by the Swedish bard Bellman, nearly sank on her maiden voyage.
Amphion was not just a pleasure vessel – she was also used in war. She served as a command ship in naval battles against Russia in 1788 and 1790, and narrowly escaped becoming a Russian trophy of war.
But her glory days were soon over. After the assassination of Gustav III in 1792, the ship was placed in a shed. There she remained until 1829, when she was repaired and refurbished.
A ship for cholera victims
But it was a brief moment of renewed glory. By the 1850s Amphion had been turned into a quarantine ship for cholera victims. And in 1875 she found herself converted into a barracks ship.
Ten years later, in 1885, Amphion was broken up. The stern was preserved and is now on display at the Maritime Museum in all its former glory.