Viking sites and museums in Norway

The Vikings were warriors, raiders, and explorers, and thanks to
advanced sailing and navigational skills, they succeeded in
becoming the first Europeans
to set foot on mainland North America — perhaps even 500 years
before Christopher Columbus landed in the Caribbean in 1492.
Originating in present-day Scandinavian countries, the Vikings
explored and often settled westward to Iceland,
Greenland,
and North America while spreading eastward to Central Asia, the
Mediterranean, and North Africa. And while the Age of the Vikings
has long since passed, their mark on history and on the country of
Norway,
in particular, is still strongly felt today. Here are seven
must-see sights around Norway to channel your inner Viking and
explore the ancient culture for yourself.

1. The Viking Ship Museum, Oslo

Old viking boats in Norway,

Photo:
Zimneva Natalia
/Shutterstock

Once ocean-going vessels, the artifacts on show at Oslo’s
Viking Ship Museum inside the
Museum of Cultural History
are some of the best-preserved
examples of Viking ships in the world. Here you’ll find the
remains of a handful of the Vikings’ famed vessels. Unearthed
from tombs in Gokstad, Oseberg, and Tune, each of the ships you see
today was hauled inland to be used in elaborate burial rituals.

The Oseberg ship was discovered by a farmer, and once excavated,
it took professionals over two decades to restore it to the way it
is now displayed in the museum. The significance of this burial is
that two women were buried along with the ship and numerous
artifacts to accompany them on their journey. In contrast, the
Gokstad ship contained the remains of a possible warrior, as cuts
on the man’s skeleton indicate that he died in battle. His ornate
burial aboard the ship indicates he was a man of great importance.
And finally, the Tune ship is the least preserved but still
significant in that only those ships of high ranking warranted a
burial as such.

2. Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim

Nidaros Cathedral located in Trondheim, Norway

Photo:
saiko3p
/Shutterstock

Legend has it that the Nidaros Cathedral was built
on the site of the burial location of the first king of Norway,
Olav Haraldsson. Haraldsson, who was killed in battle in 1030 at
Stiklestad. After his death in battle, the slain Viking king’s
body was transported to present day Trondheim where he was buried
near a spring. Legend has it that a year after his burial, the
grave was exhumed. Instead of a decaying corpse, the former king
appeared to be sleeping, and the aroma of roses wafted from the
grave. The Christian king was declared a martyr and given sainthood
by the Catholic Church.

Since 1032, pilgrims have followed the network of trails, known
as St. Olav Ways, to honor the slain Viking (and Christian) king
leading to the northernmost Gothic cathedral in Europe. Admission
to the cathedral is 100 Norwegian krone (about $11.50), but if
you’re a serious history buff, opt for the combined ticket. For
about 180 krone (about $20), you’ll also have access to the
nearby Archbishop Palace Museum and the crown regalia.

3. Viking Village of Njardarheimr, Gudvangen

Traditional wooden houses and people in viking village museum

Photo:
ruzanna
/Shutterstock

Here’s a stop for those craving a day in the Viking life. This

authentic Viking village
, about two and a half hours northeast
of Bergen, provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the daily
life of a Viking community. The region was once vital to trading,
and to this day Gudvangen is known as “the place of the gods.”
Sitting along Nærøyfjord, the living museum offers visitors a
chance to experience a village that was created utilizing materials
found throughout the fjord — hand forged hinges for doors are
crafted by the blacksmith and paint colors are derived from sources
based on historical evidence. Indulge in a meal prepared using
traditional recipes and ingredients available during the Viking
Age. Plus, you can take a piece of Viking lore home with you, as
all items available for sale in the village are handmade.

4. Lofotr Viking Museum, Borg, Lofoten Islands

Lofotr Viking Museum

Photo:
Lofotr Viking Museum
/Facebook

The Lofotr Viking Museum
is the site of the longest Viking longhouse to have ever been
discovered in Europe. At over 270 feet, this almost certainly would
have been the dwelling of a Viking chieftain dating back a thousand
years, and today, a fully reconstructed longhouse serves as a
living museum for guests. Visitors are transported back in time as
the smell of open fire greets them upon entering the longhouse,
which is adorned with beautiful Viking Age replicas. Embrace the
full living-museum experience with a Viking banquet where
traditional food and mead are served while being entertained with
ancient tales of a bygone era. Other activities, weather
permitting, include rowing a traditional Viking longship, axe
throwing, and archery. And, for five days every August, immerse
yourself in the Lofotr
Viking Festival
, which includes a market, concerts, games,
competitions, rowing, and of course, a multitude of Vikings.

5. Stiklestad Cultural Center

Historical timber buildings in Stiklestad National Cultural Center in Norway

Photo:
Alizada Studios
/Shutterstock

According to the account in the saga of Olav Haraldsson,
commonly known as Olaf II of Norway, this Viking legend declared
himself king of all of Norway in 1015. After being defeated in
battle in 1029, he went into exile before returning in 1030 only to
die in the famous Battle of Stiklestad. For almost a thousand
years, Stiklestad has held historical and cultural significance to
Norwegians. Created in 1995, the goal of the Cultural Center is to preserve
the heritage of St. Olav within Norwegian history. Guests have
access to exploring the medieval farm Stiklastadir, the Folk
Museum, The St. Olav Drama and Festival, and a market.

6. Viking Town of Kaupang, Larvik

Graveyard Cemetery at Kaupanger Stavkirke, Norway

Photo:
Maria Luisa Cianca
/Shutterstock

Built around 800 AD, the location of Kaupang was once significant as a
trading outpost. Excavation of the town began in the 19th century
and continues today, where it’s purpose is more historical than
practical. In addition to the archaeological site you can see,
there’s a traditional Viking house and a model of what the town
may have looked like based on existing evidence and its known role
in the trade industry. On family day, typically held on Wednesdays
in the summer, children can join in on an archaeological
excavation. For the entire family, a traditional meal, along with
soup and bread, is prepared.

7. Hike Like a Viking, Trondheim

While this isn’t a traditional historic site or museum,
Hike
Like A Viking
provides a unique opportunity to embrace the
Viking lifestyle, even if just for a few days. Starting in
Trondheim, participants will adorn authentic Viking apparel and
gear to begin their journey back in history. The four-day hike is
led by experienced guides and will have you navigating the
Norwegian mountain region, preparing and cooking meals over an open
fire, sleeping under the stars, and sharing traditional tales and
songs. If that’s not enough to whet your appetite for all things
Viking, cultural sites along the route date back to the most recent
ice age. Multiple hikes happen each year, and you must register in
advance.

The post The
ultimate Viking tour through Norway
appeared first on Matador Network.

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
Viking sites and museums in Norway