Over a thousand years ago Scandinavia was a place filled with some of histories best known warriors, people that were hardened to the cold and rough terrain, who cut out a life for themselves and thanked their mysterious gods for all that they may receive. These people were the Northmen, those that we now call Vikings. Vikings were a versatile and powerful race, they travelled all over the world, from the deserts of Asia, to the frozen North of America, they were masters of the seas, of combat and even of trade. It’s no wonder that we are still so fascinated by these people, they left pieces of their existence wherever they travelled. It is fitting then that one of the most impressive finds in Norway should be turned into a place in which we can learn all about these incredible people and how they lived their lives.
Amongst the Lofoten Islands in the relatively small village of Borg an amazing discovery was made in 1983, archaeologists discovered the remains of a Chieftain House. The home is believed to have dated back to around 500 CE and is the largest Viking building to have ever been uncovered in all of Norway. As well as the home, many unique objects were uncovered and studied, these are what lead to the belief that this was in fact the Chieftains place of residence. Since the discovery a replica of this longhouse has been built, measuring 83m long, this is now the home of the Lofotr Viking Museum where you can see for yourself just how the chieftain and his subjects may have lived.
On entering the house, you will immediately be met by the replicated scents of the time, whiffs of open fires and boiling tar will transport you to another age, but that’s just the start of it. The room is authentically decorated with oil lamps, hand crafted decorations, animal skins and ornate wood carvings. Actors portray Vikings, telling you all about the world around you and pulling you back in time. Next, you’ll be able to really feel like part of the time when you enjoy a traditional Viking feast where you can delight in the tastes of fish, meat, game, and a variety of homegrown veg, all topped off with a fine glass of mead and served to you by the Chieftain himself. Skoll!
Though the longhouse may be the highlight of the museum it’s not the only way to get hands on with the history of Borg, there are several ways to get involved in the Viking lifestyle for all the family here at Lofotr Viking Museum. You can take a trip on a Viking ship, either helping to sail the thing or even getting behind an oar and giving it your all, nobody said the life was easy after all. If you’re looking for an activity the kids can enjoy why not take them for a ride on the Nordland horses? Other activities include ace-throwing, archery and even having a go at being a blacksmith. There’s so much to do here that I’m certain nobody will be disappointed when they visit, so if you’re thinking of travelling to Norway make sure you stop at the Lofotr Viking Museum.