Famous for its stunning Fjords and Viking Heritage, the Norwegian territory of Northern Europe is a roller coaster ride for first-time visitors. While we were in Oslo, there was not a chance that we would have missed the Viking Museum. We had read plenty of Viking stories, and watched as many movies, but, we were still intrigued by what, the museum may hold within. At first glimpse, Viking Museum invites you to its simple space, weaved by the sounds of chirping birds and an abounding rose garden.
There is a large board at the entrance, narrating the entire history of the Viking culture. We took a guided tour, so, our guide went on to explain, the larger picture. Alongside we also noticed the statues on our right, paying a tribute to late Anne and Helge Ingstad. From inside, this 100-year old Viking Museum is a long and narrow resurrection centre; housing three burial Viking ships. (Along with, priceless artefacts and samples of marine engineering recovered with the ancient ship)
About a century ago, a bunch of archaeologists unveiled a burial ship at the Oseberg fjord. This Viking Ship, in particular, revealed the bodies of two mysterious women. One of the theories claims that these ladies were a Viking Queen and her assistant. Another theory explains how they both could be Shaman Spirits. Researchers, on the other hand, think the ‘make’ of the Ship implies it was built to bury affluent Viking Kings or Queens of the time. Back in, 800-1100 AD Viking age, these sleek rapid longships were the Royal vessels of a perfect sail. Built to sail a 20-inch water veneer, these ships, were a pivotal sign of advancement in ship technology.
It worked great for Vikings who later became, a dominant force of medieval warfare, politics, and trade. Either way, the excavations got further interesting when archaeologists began to dig out thousands of burial items and artefacts buried with the two skeletons. Amongst the finds, were the household utensils, a cart, and a few agricultural tools.
Tune, Gokstad, and Oseberg
Representing a significant part of Norway’s cultural history, the Viking Ship Museum is also where you get a glimpse of Tune, Gokstad, and Oseberg ship. Since, the entire museum is centred, around longships, the interior space also appears longer than it really, is. In all, we walked through three rooms, holding one ship each. Which, by the way, feature two 9th-century well-preserved Viking ships along with, the artefacts in separate glass compartments.
From small boats, sledges, tools, silver coins, to an ornamented cart, this museum is a beautiful showcase of a bygone era. The Oseberg Ship alone is 71 ft long and 17 ft wide.
The ticket to Viking Ship Museum also lets you visit the Norwegian ethnographic collection of the cultural history. Here, you get to take a note, of the Mummies and the medieval era artefacts. The only glitch is that you can avail this complimentary offer within 48 hours.