Five ancient shipwrecks found in central Stockholm

Five shipwrecks dating from the 1500s to the 1700s have been found during renovation work on a quay in central Stockholm, the Swedish Maritime Museum said on Monday.

"Five shipwrecks ... from the 1500s to 1700s have been found in connection with the renovation of Stroemkajen," the museum said.

The location is right outside the fashionable Grand Hotel, a popular destination for tourists visiting the Swedish capital.

"The discoveries shed light on the naval shipyard where among others the royal warship Vasa was built and on various periods of the city's history," the museum said.

The ships are in good condition, with several of them measuring 20 meters (66 feet) in length.

Archeologists were also delighted with other discoveries made near the ships.

"The findings, which include tools and household items, reveal how people lived in Stockholm in the 1500s and early 1600s," Andreas Olsson, in charge of archeology at the museum, told Swedish news agency TT.

It is not known why the ships sank.

Earlier this year, Sweden celebrated the 50th anniversary of the raising of the Vasa, a 17th century royal warship that was the jewel of the Swedish navy when it sank in a Stockholm harbour just minutes into its maiden voyage in 1628.

It is now housed in a Stockholm museum built especially for it, and is the biggest tourist attraction in Sweden.