The Viking Ship Museum – a top attraction in Oslo, Norway

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The Viking Ship Museum is a must when visiting Oslo. Not only does it contain some of the world biggest Viking ship, but all the little objects from the Viking era alongside a highly interesting photo exhibition give visitors the feeling of peering through a window into the past.

The Viking Ship Museum, ‘Vikingskipshuset’ is located on the peninsula Bygdøy in Oslo, Norway. The museum is part of the Museum of Cultural History of the University of Oslo, and houses archaeological important finds from Tune, Gokstad (Sandefjord), Oseberg (Tønsberg) and Borre.

The building itself is by architect Arnstein Arnsberg and was completed in 1957.
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Many fully or nearly fully intact Viking ships are on display. The museum is most famous for the completely whole Oseberg ship, excavated from the largest known ship burial in the world.

The Oseberg burial mound contained numerous grave goods and two female human skeletons. The ship’s interment into its burial mound dates from 834 AD, but parts of the ship date from around 800, and the ship itself is thought to be older. This ship is widely celebrated and has been called one of the finest finds to have survived the Viking Age.

This is the Gokstad ship, 24 meter long and 5 meter wide, manned by 32 vikings. The sail was 110 square meter and the ship was thought to have been able to travel in high speed.
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Detail of the Gokstad ship, presented in beautiful surroundings.
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This was the burial chamber from the Gokstad ship. It is an interesting find as it shows the Vikings build their log cabins in a quite a sophisticated technique.
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In the museum you’ll find everyday objects giving you a glimpse of what life must have been like in A.D.800.
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One of several sledges on display.
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Detail of the sledge. You can immerse yourself in the beautiful design! This is a animal head of some sort of mythology creature.
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Some textiles were on display, mostly silks from the far east. Sadly no picture of these as they were in a protected chamber. But these leather boots are made for walking!
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And if you think the Vikings lived sparsely, think again. This is the headboard from a Viking bed. No lack of attention to details there… I can just picture the bed with reindeer skin and the finest fabrics!
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The Vikings liked to surround themselves with elaborate decorative items and the design was often also influenced by the Norse mythology. It’s really interesting too see how the different objects display a personality!
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Look at this beauty! A carriage that used to be pulled by a horse – it must have looked quite majestic on the roads.
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This is the Oseberg Ship, one of three ships on display.
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A picture from above, of the Oseberg Ship.
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Alongside the ships, houses , boats, tools, jewellery and textiles that are on display there was also an interesting photo exhibition, ‘Gokstad in a new light’, help bringing the pieces to life. With a series of stills the photo exhibition highlights the rich history of tradesmen, travellers, warriors but it also paints a picture of a people who enjoyed the good things in life with quite a advanced society.
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Both girls love to discover the history about the Vikings – but some are not necessarily so excited about having their photo taken…
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We would recommend this a the top attraction in Oslo, for all ages. It is an amazing opportunity to see the ships and discover the true life of the Vikings, in much better way than what the history books can tell us.

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