From the 8th to 11th century AD, Denmark was known as a Viking nation. They were traders, raiders, and explorers of Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic territories, who used wooden longships with wide, shallow-draft hulls. With their great skill in shipbuilding and navigating, they conquered parts of France and the British Isles and settled in areas as far as Russia and North America.
The Viking Ship was the technology that gave the Vikings their real edge. In the late 1960’s five of these ancient ships dating back from the 11th century were excavated in the Roskilde Fjord. It was later discovered that these ships, including the majestic “Glendalough Sea Stallion” were deliberately sunk in a military effort to protect the city of Roskilde, which was the Danish capital at that time. Today, their well-preserved remains can be found in Roskilde’s Viking Ship Museum, which was built on the same area overlooking Roskilde Fjord.
In the late 1990’s, nine more ships were discovered in an excavation for the further expansion of the museum. This included that of the longest Viking warship ever discovered, measuring at 36 meters.
Aside from these historical relics, the Viking Ship Museum also has a Boatyard, where ancient shipbuilding techniques are used to reconstruct Viking Ships in full scale. Visitors can hop aboard and sail on these ships to feel what life was like during the Viking times.
Featured image: Photo by Art via arts-work.blogspot.com
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