The viking ship museum
Situated in the middle of Zealand directly at Roskilde Fjord you find the viking ship museum. Here you can see the "Skuldelev ships" named after the town "Skuldelev" where they where discovered. In the early 1960s the restauration was started.
The viking ship museum is situated in Roskilde, 30 km west of Copenhagen right at the fjord. It has an extrodinary collection of ships as well as replicas built exactly the way they were done originally. Even the tools are identical to the original. Visiting this indoor and outdoor museum is a travel in time.
The reconstruction of the ships has made it clear that they were built in Ireland approximately year 1042. These vessels were fast and could do a speed of up to 20 knots.
The viking ship museum then finally opened its first exhibition in 1969 based on these ships.. and ever since the museum has basically been working on keeping the old ships fit plus expanding the exhibition halls.
In 1997 they even finished building a shipyard in which reconstructions of the old viking boats are built. Thus the museum has entered modern age and created a whole new part of the museum - bringing many years of research to life. A brilliant idea gives life and actuality to these thousand years old ships.
Viking for a day
At the museum's own harbour they have a wide collection of reconstructed viking ships and daily cruises are offered where you get to sail with a "real" viking ship. You will be taking active part in the sailing under supervision from the captain and thus getting a first hand feeling for the aqua dynamics of the boat. Who said history is boring..?
The "Sea Stallion from Glendalough"
This is the largest reconstructed viking ship. In July 2007 an expedition started from Zealand and sailed the Stallion to Dublin (Ireland) where the original was built 920 years earlier.
This expedition was a chance to practically put it to the test whether the vessels from back then indeed could sail longer distances carrying so many men and goods, as historians have concluded. A return sailing voyage from Dublin to Roskilde is taking place from 29th June - 9th August 2008.
See this short video about the Stallion's trip to Ireland in 2007
Eventually it turned out to be a real challenge and at least in part, a dramatic crossing of The North Sea. Passing by Norway's southernmost coast line, continuing on via the Orkney Islands all the way to the Irish capital. At times having a lot more wind than "needed" and yet at other times putting the oars in use, rowing for hours - because the wind just decided to stop blowing.
With the revival of these old ships, we have come to understand much about what the world was like a thousand years ago - and even more about how the vikings operated and what kind of life they must have lead.
The viking ship museum in Roskilde is a unique opportunity to dive into another time and besides it's located at a gorgeous spot right at Roskilde Fjord. It's a perfect target for a day trip if you're staying in Copenhagen. You can reach it within less than an hour by car.
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