The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo
The Viking Ship Museum offers to the visitors a glimpse into the life of the fearsome Vikings. It displays three incredible Viking ships, including the two best well-preserved Viking ships ever found, the Oseberg ship and the Gokstad ship. The three ships were used as graves. The ship burial was a common custom among the Viking Age Norsemen. The museum also displays the grave offerings found in the ships.
The museum is located on the Bygdøy Peninsula. Besides the Viking Ship Museum, there are other interesting museums in Bygdøy such as the Kon-Tiki Museum, the Fram Museum, the Norwegian Maritime Museum and the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.
The Bygdøy Peninsula is a quiet residential area. You can easily spend the whole day there, taking a pleasant walk around the neighborhood and visiting the museums. The best way to get there is by taking the shuttle boat that departs from the Oslo harbor every 30 minutes. For easier access the boat makes two stops:
1 – Dronningen: Closer to the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Folk Museum), Viking Ship Museum and Oscarshall.
2 – Bygdøynes: Closer to the Kon-Tiki Museum, Fram Museum, and Norwegian Maritime Museum.
For more information go to the Viking Ship Museum website.
The mysterious Oseberg ship was discovered in a large burial mound at the Oseberg farm. It is still unknown for whom the burial mound was made. Two female human skeletons were found inside the ship along with an incredible number of goods. The beautiful decoration of the ship and the number of burial gifts suggests that the two women had a very high status. Inside the ship were found tapestries, silk, clothes, shoes and combs, ship’s equipment, kitchen equipment, farm equipment, three ornate sleds and a working sled, a wagon, five carved animal heads, five beds, two tents, fifteen horses, six dogs and two small cows.
The Gokstad ship was found in a burial mound at the Gokstad farm. It was a warship built to carry a crew of 40 to 70 men. It was built during the reign of the King Harald Fairhair. A skeleton of an unknown male was found inside the ship. The ship was plundered, but the artifacts that survived are on display in this museum.
The Tune ship is the least preserved ship in the museum. It was found in the village of Tune. Most of the artifacts found inside the ship were either damaged or robbed. The ship itself was damaged greatly during the excavations. This ship is smaller than the other two and it could travel faster.