The three viking vessels

As I had already announced, I will start publishing some articles in the newsletter of the Sea Museum Promoters. This article was written for the June edition: it tells about the Vikingskipshuset museum in Oslo.

The Norwegian capital holds a true treasure of maritime cultural heritage: three Viking ceremonial ships, the Oseberg, the Gokstad, and the Tune, designed for funeral parades in honor of important dignitaries, in an exceptional state of preservation. Built in the 9th century, they were unearthed underground, just as Nordic tradition dictated since these boats were meant to ferry the dead to the afterlife.

The first one is the Oseberg, discovered in 1904 near a farm in Tønsberg. It is 21 meters long and 5 meters wide, made of inlaid and decorated oak. It accommodated the remains of two women: the first, older, is thought to have been Queen Asa, and the younger, a relative or a servant. Despite the looting of the jewelry it contained, many artifacts were found.

The Gokstad was found in 1880, near a farm in Sandefjord too. With it, three smaller boats, a tent, a sled, and the remains of some animals were found. It is 24 meters long and 5 meters wide and is cruder. Inside was a man who died in battle aged about forty, who unfortunately was not found with his belongings due to a raid.

The last of the three ships is the Tune, found in 1867, buried under a farm in Rolvsøy. Of the three it is the smallest, with a length of fewer than 19 meters and a width of 4.2. Only a few fragments can be admired, which still retain the charm of the Viking Age.
The current museum is closed, in preparation for the major new enhancement and exhibition project planned to open in 2026.

Here is the link to the website of Promotori dei Musei del Mare. At the bottom of the website screen, you will find the box to subscribe to the monthly newsletter.

Here is the link to the in-depth report on the project

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