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The Vikings and their ships

July 4, 2013 – On 22 June the National Museum of Denmark opened its international special exhibition, VIKING, which presents a modern picture of the Vikings and displays a large number of unique finds from museums in 12 countries.

The biggest Viking ship of the world staged by the Atelier Brückner. Photo: National Museum of Denmark.

The biggest Viking ship of the world staged by the Atelier Brückner. Photo: National Museum of Denmark.

VIKING is the largest exhibition about the Vikings to take place in Denmark for many years. The National Museum wishes to use the exhibition to paint a modern picture of the Vikings, focusing upon their love of adventure, savagery and desire to conquer. At the same time, the exhibition places the Vikings in a European perspective.
The Viking Age was a time of upheaval, in which Scandinavia became a part of Europe and when Denmark emerged as a unified kingdom. Through trading and military expeditions the Danish and Nordic Vikings became part of the international world. This world inspired and influenced the Vikings on both a material and spiritual level.

Experiencing a Viking ship threatened by a storm. Photo: National Museum of Denmark.

Experiencing a Viking ship threatened by a storm. Photo: National Museum of Denmark.

The Danish Viking kings were not just harsh warlords. Research in recent years has also shown that they were ambitious political leaders, who understood about entering alliances, engaging in spin and playing the political power game like other European royal rulers. It is in this light that the many dramatic events of the Viking period should be seen.
The exhibition includes many splendid finds from museums in 12 European countries, a number of which have never been displayed before. They communicate information about the Vikings using four different themes: international contacts, power and aristocracy, war and warriors, as well as religion and rituals.
Central to the exhibition is the wreck of the longest Viking ship ever found. This 37 metre long warship, that was excavated at Roskilde in 1997, is being exhibited for the first time. It is supported by a steel frame, which was specially designed for the exhibition. The presentation of the ship involves digital projections and atmospheric visual effects, which bring the ship and its crew to life for the public, as well as sound recordings that tell visitors about legends and myths from the exhibition walls. The National Museum has developed an interactive digital game for the exhibition.
VIKING is the product of a collaboration with the British Museum in London and Museum für Vor und Frühgeschichte - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, at which the exhibition will be presented during 2014 and 2015.

If you want to know more about the exhibition, this is the website of the National Museum of Denmark.

This film at Youtube will take you along with a real Viking ship that was used sailing along the Lofoten.

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