Kronan's keel was laid on 27 October 1665 on Skeppsholmen, the Royal shipyard in Stockholm. Kronan's hull was launched on 31 July 1668. Due to shortages of funds, completion of the vessel was delayed until 1672. The ship was designed by the English shipwright Francis Sheldon as a ship of the line with three gun decks. Kronan for that time was one of the largest ships in the world. The structure was built entirely of oak.
Kronan's displacement has been calculated as 2 200 tonnes. Her dimensions were 178 1/2 ft at the waterline and 197 ft overall, with a 43 1/12 ft beam. The main mast measured some 197 feet from keel to truck. The crew consisted of 500 seamen and 300 soldiers. Kronan carried between 110-126 bronze guns (Vasa 64) on the three flush decks, quarter-deck, forecastle and poop; the cannon weighed in total ca. 330 ton (Vasa 72 ton). In 1675, Kronan had become the flagship of the Swedish navy.