Shipwreck: F53.7 F53.7 Small Solen

Shipwreck: F53.7
Name: F53.7 Small Solen
Vessel: galleon
Construction period: after 1591 year
Depth of occurrence: 15
Discovered: 1969
Start of research: 1969

3D model animation

Shipwreck photos

Site description

The F53.7 wreck constitutes one of the two remains of the Swedish ship „Solen”, which sank during the Battle of Oliwa in 1627. The explored structure of the wreck was carried to a new site at the Bay of Gdańsk, off the coast of Gdynia Orłowo, and deposited at a depth of 15 meters. The larger part of the ship is marked as F53.6, whereas the smaller, located 60 meters to a north-west direction, as F53.7 covering the area of 30m² - 6.8 meters in length and 4 meters in width. The wreck constitutes a part of a sailing ship’s side. Five meters to the south of the object there is a part of oak stem of 4.5 meters in length and 60 cm in width. The structural elements comprise: 14 frames of 14 - 20 cm in width; 3 to 5cm-thick staves and two 5cm-thick staves of inner formwork. The structural elements were fixed together with treenails.

The „Solen” (Sun) was a galleon of over 30 meters in length and deadweight of ca. 150 Polish lasts, built under carvel technique (planks laid edge to edge) of oak wood. In the Battle of Oliwa the Swedish squadron comprising 6 warships clashed with the royal fleet of Sigismund III, comprising 10 warships. In the course of the battle, the „Solen” was attacked by the galleon „Wodnik” and the fluit „Biały Lew”. To prevent boarding, the Swedes blew the „Solen” up, by setting off the powder charge stored in the powder chamber. As a result of the battle, the fleet of the Polish King captured the Swedish ship „Tigeren”, and the other Swedish ships escaped, which consequently ended the blockage of Gdańsk.


Circumstances of the discovery

The wreck was discovered on 20 October 1969 by the Polish Ship Salvage Company.


The wreck is located ca. 3.5 nautical miles to the east of Gdynia Redłowo, at a depth of 15 metres. This is a wreck site with the remains of a ship’s structure, moved here in 1980, in the form of two archaeological sites defined as F53.6 (larger part of structure) and F53.7 (smaller part of structure).

Course of research

The archaeological works at the wreck were conducted between 1970 and 1980, excluding a break between 1972 and 1973, when the CMM archaeologists focused on examining the wreck W-5 „Miedziowiec”. In 1980, the explored wooden structure of the wreck was raised and carried to a safer location in the Bay of Gdańsk, off the coast of Gdynia Orłowo, where it is located in the form of two sites F53.6 and F53.7, at a distance of 60 meters away from each other.


The trees used to build the ship were cut down after 1591, which indicated that the "Solen" was built a year later at the earliest.


The „Solen” was purchased with 8 other ships in the United Provinces of the Netherlands for the Swedish Navy by Anton Monier. After reconstruction (repair) the ship was commissioned in 1624. The other vessels include: the galleons „Christina”, „Manen”, „Pelikanem”, „Regntagen”, „Tigern” and „Enhorningen” and pinnaces „Regnier" and „Papegojan". Six of them participated in the Battle of Oliwa as part of the Swedish squadron.

Artefacts from the shipwreck

In total, over 6 thousand artefacts were recovered from the wreck. The most valuable is the collection of 20 bronze cannons - 16 made in Sweden, two in the Republic of Poland and two cannons with Cyrillic inscriptions came from Ruthenia. The oldest cannon dates back to 1560, whereas the newest one was cast after 1611. Among others, numerous silver coins and square copper coins were recovered from the wreck – 1262 in total. The dates on the coins cover the period from 1591 to 1627.

    Research photos

    The "Gulf of Gdańsk Shipwreck Virtual Open-Air Museum" website ( has been created under the "Gulf of Gdańsk Shipwreck Virtual Open-Air Museum. Recording and Inventory of Underwater Archaeological Heritage" scientific research project, co-financed with the funds from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.