The Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum

In the 9th-11th centuries the Danes, Swedes and Norwegians were called vikings. We sailed, settled, plundered and traded all over Europe and the North Atlantic Ocean from Istanbul to New England. We had a common Scandinavian language (old norse) and believed in the old norse gods.

The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde is a museum for ships, seafaring and boat building in that era. It opened in 1969 with the Viking Ship Hall where you can see five excavated ships.

There is also an island with a boatyard and lots of rebuilt models of the old ships.

The five Viking ships

The last years of the 11th century were tough and troubled. Roskilde was the capital of Denmark and to protect it from attacks from the sea a series of blockades in the fjord were made by sinking old ships.

The five ships displayed in the Viking Ship Hall were sunk to form a blockade near Skuldelev 20 km north of Roskilde. Therefore, they are known as the Skuldelev Ships.

The ships were raised from the seabed in 1962. The size of the Viking empire becomes clear from the origins of the ships as they were built in Ireland, Norway and Denmark.

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