In Denmark, you want nothing less of a Viking, and the most delightful way of going about is sailing into the world of Viking ship Museum. Viking ships were a marine vessel of unique design, built by the Vikings. They were designed to sail the rivers, fjords and coastal waters. Viking ship museum is the only place in the world where you would find the ruins of 1000 years old Viking ships and the five Skuldelev ships. Skuldelev ships are a term used for five original Viking ships recovered from the waters of Skuldelev. In the 60’s the remains of the submerged ships were excavated in the short course of four months at Roskilde. Roskilde was once the epicenter for a growing Viking kingdom later known as Denmark. The recovered pieces comprise five types of Viking ships that have been dated to the 11th century. All the ships were numbered 1 to 5 Skuldelev. These Skuldelev ships were allegedly blockshiped from the sea. (A blockship is a ship deliberately sunk to prevent a river, channel, from being used by a navy defending the waterway to prevent the ingress of attacking enemy forces).
Read about Kaupang: The forgotten Viking capital
So Viking ship museum in Roskilde officially became the place of origin for the reconstruction of the five Skuldelev ships. And since then museum is not only a place for ships on display but a marine historical centre with its own ships yard and harbour hosting many kinds of ships.
Keeping up the curiosity tacked let me now take you on a trip to the world of Vikings.
Plan your Journey
The Viking Ship Museum is open all year round.
Summer opening hours: 10:00AM – 17:00PM
Winter Opening Hours: 10:00AM – 16:00PM
(Entrance fees vary according to the time of year and level of activity.)
Cars: There’s parking facility just by the museum, a large free park for the private cars.
Trains: Most of the regional and inter- city trains stop at Roskilde station.(my Personal Choice)
Bus: Direct buses from the Roskilde train stations to the Museums
The Viking Ship -The Museum
The Museum Island contains the Harbour, the Boatyard and Tunet.
Harbour and the Hall: The Viking Ship Hall, is designed by Professor Erik Christian Sorensen, and is beautifully located on to Roskilde Fjord. This is where you witness the Viking ships found in Roskilde Fjord. The Museum Harbour stands tall and magnificent with the collection of traditional Nordic wooden boats and the reconstructed Viking ships, and 5 Skuldelev which were used by the locals for war, trading and fishing. It’s an overwhelming sight witnessing of how the original ships looked 1,000 years ago.
The Hall is beautifully placed on Roskilde Harbour, with a huge window and sweeping views over the fjord that are connecting the ships to the water. Interesting Part: The East Room at the Viking Ship Hall is a two -floor models of cargo and war ships. Best place for kids and parents to amuse themselves by wearing various costumes, hold a sword like a Viking and posing for pictures. Let your imagination set your limit. The experience is undisturbed and gives room for immersion and fantasy.
BoatYard: The Boatyard exhibits the craftsmanship and boat-building culture of the Viking Age. One can step into an active boatyard and follow the boat-builders up close. The permanent display constitutes the five Skuldelev ships and tells the history of the ships as well as the history of the Nordic maritime adventure during the Viking Age.
Tunet: The Tunet forms the basis for the summer activities and workshops. I went ahead and interacted with the craftsmen in open workshops. I tried my hand at the rope walk, carved my name in the runes, hit the nail on the head and made my own basket of willow. The workshops are suitable for adults and children from 8 years and older.
Lunch Break At The Viking Ship Museum
At the Viking Ship Museum, you can enjoy the amazing weather on the Museum Island and the views of the Roskilde Fjord both at a restaurant and in the open by the island.Take a grab of the freshly made sandwiches and salads, homemade cakes, ice cream, tea, coffee and organic soft drinks and beer at Café Knarr (opening 10:00- 16:00) or at the popular restaurant named Snekken(Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 )over Roskilde Fjord. The open kitchen shows a glimpse of the chefs at work and it serves fresh seasonal mains, weekend brunch, and an exclusive exhibition-inspired menu.
But I’m the ones who love being outdoors, soaking up the sun bring my own food and use the picnic tables on the Museum island and laze around, eating in the park opposite the Viking Ship Hall.
Viking Museum Shop
The museum shop has a wide range of books, jewellery and souvenirs for both adults and children.
The book section carries literature about the Viking Age and the ships. The books are available both in Danish and in English. The museum shop also has a range of replicating jewellery inspired by the style and materials of Scandinavia and the Viking era. While For the souvenir collectors and friends back home there are a huge collection of decorations inspired by the Viking Age, such as Frankish drinking glasses, Viking games, ceramics, bronze and plaster casts of Nordic gods and heroes.
Viking Guided tours and Rides
The Viking Ship Museum offers daily, free guided tours during the summer season and selected holidays. The guided tours are conducted by history and archaeology students. With an advance booking in hand enjoy the Viking ship rides with a guide will take you into the history of Viking Age.
Feel the presence of history when you stand before the original Viking ships that bear witness to war, trade and sea voyage to distant places.Denmark is home to many enriching attractions and culture and is one of Viking’s most desirable.
Image Credits: Visit Denmark