A visit to Maritiman is a journey both forward and backward in time. From the time when King Gustav II Adolf founded Gothenburg in 1621, the port became a vibrant hub and an important gateway to the west. For several decades the cityscape was characterised by the large port cranes, and the people of Gothenburg could proudly look on as ship after ship left the slipways to sail all the world’s trading routes. When the shipping crisis struck in the 1970s, however, the inner port became empty and deserted, and in an attempt to recreate a vanished era from Gothenburg’s maritime past, a group of enthusiasts decided to try to rescue some ships of historical maritime interest from the scrap yard.
About the foundation
The Gothenburg Maritime Centre Foundation was established in 1985 with the aim of creating the world’s biggest and best maritime centre. The business concept was to bring together enough ships in one place to create an attraction. Many made a contribution: large and small companies, foundations, authorities, organisations and private individuals. Nevertheless, the first years were quite laborious with stretched finances. In the darkest hours the municipality came to the rescue and the Gothenburg Maritime Centre could finally open its gates to the public in summer 1987, at the time located at Lilla Bommen. The fleet of ships gradually grew and the operation moved to our current location on Packhuskajen, and on 20 August 1994 King Carl XVI Gustaf opened the new Gothenburg Maritime Centre. Today we have established the Maritiman brand – Gothenburg’s maritime experience centre, which comprises a unique collection of ships, boats and barges with both military and civilian ties. In addition to the standard museum operation, the Foundation also organises conferences and functions. The aim is to be an attractive experience centre and help develop Gothenburg as a tourist city.
Maritiman is run as a private foundation. In addition to the Foundation’s board, there is a board of trustees which is convened once a year. The operation is led by an employed Managing Director and comprises 9 permanent employees who work with sales, events and maintenance of the facilities. The regular personnel are supplemented with seasonal staff. Maritiman is also supported by voluntary ship associations, which are co-ordinated through the Gothenburg Maritime Centre Association.