Viking Ship Museum

After our morning Tøyen parkrun, I took an afternoon trip out to the Viking Ship Museum, part of the Museum of Cultural History. The three ships here were ocean-going vessels before they were used on land in burial rituals for their wealthy owners. In the burial mounds, archeologists unearthed skeletons, beautiful wood carvings and other artifacts.

Oseberg was built around the year 820 and is richly decorated with detailed carvings. In 834 AD, the ship was used as a burial ship for two powerful women. On their final journey to the realm of the dead, the two women were given a rich collection of burial gifts; three elaborate sleighs, a wooden cart, five carved animal head posts, five beds and the skeletons of 15 horses, six dogs and two cows.
It took 21 years to restore the ship and its contents. The “restoration” work is very impressive, but having seen photographs of how the boats here looked when unearthed, I’m sceptical as to whether “restoration” is entirely appropriate – these are close to having been completely rebuild, guided by what was found underground.
the steerboard
one of the animal head posts from the Oseberg ship
a wooden cart from the Oseberg ship
one of the wooden sleighs
Gokstad was a fast ship, suitable for high sea voyages. It was built around the year 900 and some 10 years later became a burial ship for a powerful man, who had suffered cutting blows to both legs, indicating that he died in battle. 
Tune was built from oak around 910 AD and had room for 24 rowers. The strong mast and lack of cargo capacity indicate a warship. It was discovered in 1867.

An interesting visit and definitely recommended – there are several other elements of the larger museum in this part of Oslo, so it can be combined with other visits. The Fram is well worth visiting.

And so next morning it was time to move on the main part of the holiday, flying to Bodø for sailing on schooner Trinovante around the Lofoten islands.

Leave a Reply