After 95 years of operation, the ‘Viking Ship House’ in Oslo has closed its doors and will be resurrected in a completely new guise when it reopens as the ‘Viking Age Museum’ in 2026. Ever since the museum opened in 1926, the Viking Ship House has been a national symbol and gathering place for Norway’s most important cultural heritage: for almost 100 years, the Oseberg, Gokstad and Tune og Borre shipwrecks have taken in around 500.000 visitors per year, from all over the world. The new museum will ensure optimal conditions for the objects and at the same time give the public a unique encounter with the Viking Age: it proved absolutely essential to build a new museum to secure the three vessels for future generations. Of the three wooden ships, two date from the ninth century and the third from the tenth century, and are all at the mercy of temperature changes and humidity in the current museum. A team of engineers has begun work to ensure that the new museum being built nextdoor does not prove fatal: the vibrations caused by construction are a threat to ships so fragile that their weight alone is enough to cause them to crumble. The engineers are building steel girders around them to protect them during the upheaval. Although looters stole some of the artefacts from the three ships, named Oseberg, Gokstad and Tune after the places where they were found, much survived, including a wagon, textiles, sculptures of animal heads, three sleighs, and are now extremely fragile, and need to be moved slowly for safety. While the ships will be lifted in their protective metal casing, the sleighs are being moved on a rail track, centimetre by centimetre, to a chamber for their safety: it took 17 hours to move the first sleigh 70 metres. The new museum will open in 2026, a hundred years after the current museum was inaugurated, ultimately attracting ten times more visitors than it was designed for. Read more on