Several years ago, the County Administrative Board of Blekinge came up with an initiative to create a dive park near the easily accessible shipwrecks outside Karlskrona. A site called Vrakkyrkogården (“the shipwreck graveyard”) is already planned to be part of the dive park. The park also intends to include other important landmarks and sea marks within what is now the World Heritage Site of the Naval Port of Karlskrona, once one of Sweden’s most important ports and shipyards.
“Wrecks spark the imagination, and we want to use drawings, maps, objects, places, buildings and people to tell stories about all the fascinating things hidden at the bottom of the sea,” says an enthusiastic Petra Stråkendal. Stråkendal is an antiquarian and a maritime archaeologist at the county administrative board, which has been involved ever since the idea of a dive park began to take shape.
The wrecks are many, and sometimes they’re just a pile of planks that require some creative interpretation.
“We want to bring both new and old stories to the surface, ones from both the land and the waters of the World Heritage Site. We’ll accomplish this through a website, brochure and signs that will be put up along the water’s edge for non-divers, and under the water for divers
The new dive park will have captivating stories to tell, like one about the very first warship that was built in Karlskrona – the Blekinge – which now lies at the bottom of the Naval Port. But because a diving ban is in force there, this story will instead be told in the first shipyard that is part of the World Heritage Site.
Boat trips and guide training are offerings that can hopefully be developed in the future. And with digital technology, the park can show and communicate more about the wrecks.
“This initiative is fully in line with our efforts that aim to preserve and develop cultural heritage. We also want to incorporate the perspective of children and people with accessibility needs,”