Kronan, also called Stora Kronan, was a Swedish warship that served as the flagship of the Swedish Navy in the Baltic Sea in the 1670s. After four years of service, the ship foundered in rough weather at the Battle of Öland on 1 June 1676: while making a sharp turn under too much sail she capsized, and the gunpowder magazine ignited and blew off most of the bow. Kronan sank quickly, taking about 800 men and more than 100 guns with her, along with valuable military equipment, weapons, personal items, and large quantities of silver and gold coins.
Most of the guns that sank with Kronan were salvaged in the 1680s, but eventually the wreck fell into obscurity. Its exact position was rediscovered in 1980 by the amateur researcher Anders Franzén, who had also located the 17th-century warship Vasa in the 1950s. Yearly diving operations have since surveyed and excavated the wreck site and salvaged artifacts, and Kronan has become the most widely publicized shipwreck in the Baltic after Vasa. More than 30,000 artifacts have been recovered, some of which were displayed on this exhibit in Brussels in 2001.