1000 years ago, the Vikings sailed along the shores of Europe, up rivers and across the open sea throughout the North Atlantic area. Ships are the essence of the Viking Age: with them, the Scandinavian countries were founded. The Viking Ship Museum is built around the five original Viking ships from Skuldelev. They are part of a global story about ships, people and things on voyages. The museum tells the story of how the Vikings changed the World with their ships: without ships, no Viking Age. The museum’s exhibitions are modern historical narratives about the Vikings and their ships. Traditional forms of museum dissemination in text and images are combined with sound, light, digital installations, engaging activities and artistic expressions keeping the maritime culture alive for young and adults. The audience are not brought back in time: the cultural history is brought into present day…
The five Viking ships – The Skuldelev Ships
During the late Viking Age, a system of barriers are established on Roskilde Fjord, making it possible to control the sea routes to one of Denmark’s great royal and ecclesiastical cities. Three worn-out ships are towed out to the narrowest point, just outside the village of Skuldelev. The ships are filled with stones and sunk in Peberrenden, the most direct route to Roskilde. the sailing channel. After twenty years, the barrier is reinforced with two more ships. An effective defence system is created. A thousand years later an iron cofferdam is driven into the seabed around the barrier: one of the most significant excavations in Denmark can begin… The five Viking ships, found in Roskilde Fjord, provide a unique perspective on Viking Age maritime culture: shipbuilding, seamanship, trade, defence, warfare and the ability to journey far and wide and explore new horizons. The Viking Ship Hall is oldest part of the Museum, and is constructed as a showcase around the five Viking ships found in Roskilde Fjord. A raw architectonic simplicity enhances the ship’s lines and aesthetic. A giant window with sweeping views over the fjord creates a background that connects the ships to the water, once again: the experience gives room for immersion and fantasy. What were the ships used for a thousand years ago? Which role did they play in the Viking Age society? And how was life on board?
Museum Shop in the Viking Ship Hall
The Museum Shop is located in the Viking Ship Hall’s foyer with a view of the 5 Skuldelev ships and Roskilde Fjord on one side and a beautiful glance through the park leading up to Roskilde Cathedral on the other side. In the Museum Shop one can find a wide selection of jewelry, textiles and crafts in Nordic design and with inspiration from the Viking Age. Good craftmanship and natural materials are emphasized. The shop also has games, toys, building sets and exciting literature for both children, adults and professionally interested. Books that tell stories and sagas from the Viking Age or provide professional knowledge of the Nordic maritime culture. The book department has a large selection of books for young and old: both popular and scientific books, fiction and children’s books with stories and sagas from the Viking Age, as well as a large selection about Nordic maritime culture and boatbuilding.
The shop also has many beautiful games made in exclusive natural materials, both chess and old games from the Viking Age. There are also wooden swords, shields and fine little Viking trinkets, keychains and ornaments. Drop by and experience our large selection of replica jewelry from antiquity to the Middle Ages. We also have a wide selection of modern jewelry inspired by the Viking Age style and Nordic materials. A beautiful selection of handicrafts is an exclusive mix of copies of finds from the Viking Age, such as Frankish drinking glasses, Viking games and ceramics, as well as modern handicrafts and arts with an emphasis on Nordic design. The shop also has many different kinds of garments, leather goods, wool knitwear and woven plaids from Denmark and other Nordic countries, as well as scarves and shawls in natural materials such as wool, linen and silk. A large selection of fine colonial goods and beverages, which we associate with Denmark and the Nordic countries in the Viking Age, are also available. Local producers supply mead, special beer and aquavit, and you will also find several exciting spices, mustard and cookbooks with the theme Viking Food.
Food and drinks at The Viking Ship Museum
At the Viking Ship Museum one can enjoy the active atmosphere on the Museum Island or the views of the Roskilde Fjord as you dine. Located at the museum’s island next to the Boat Yard, Café Knarr at the Museum Island offers lovely salads, sandwiches, delicious lunch dishes, homemade cakes, tea, coffee and organic soft drinks and beer. Located in the harbour, with views over Roskilde Fjord and its marina, Snekken Trattoria offers lunch, dinner as well as coffee and cake. Snekken also has facilities for parties, conferences, events and catering. Larger groups can round off the day in beautiful surroundings by the harbour with well-prepared food, either on the ground floor, which seats up to 170 guests, or in a separate function room on the first floor, with room for 70 people. Snekken.dk