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22.11.2020

Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde

Viking Ship Museum in Roskill - National Museum of Ships, Navigation and Shipbuilding in Denmark in prehistoric and medieval periods.

The main focus of the museum is the permanent exhibition of five original Viking ships, excavated nearby in 1962. The Viking Ship Museum also conducts research and trains researchers in the field of maritime history, maritime archaeology and experimental archaeology. There are various scientific conferences, the museum has a scientific library.

Around 1070, five Viking ships were deliberately sunk in the Skuldelev area in the Roskille fjord to block the most important fairway and protect Roskille from enemy attack from the sea. These ships, later known as Skuldelev ships, were excavated in 1962. They turned out to be five different types of ships, from cargo ships to military ships.

The Viking Museum of Ships overlooking Roskille Fjord Bay was built in 1969 with the main purpose of exhibiting five recently discovered Skuldelev ships. In the late 1990s, during excavations during the expansion of the shipyard of the museum was discovered another 9 ships of the Viking Age and the early Middle Ages. This is the largest prehistoric ship discovery in Northern Europe and the longest Viking ship ever discovered; the Roskille 6 by 36 meters. Excavations are not yet complete.

Genuine Viking Skuldelev ships are the main object of museum's attention, but here you can also see a small exhibition about Roskill's ships and various temporary exhibitions of wider scale. 

The Viking Ship Museum has a long tradition of reconstructing Viking ships and building boats, and also collects interesting boats from all over Scandinavia. The collection of boats in the museum currently includes more than 40 ships, and the associated shipyard is constantly building new ships using original methods as part of the experimental process of studying archaeology. Here you can follow or participate in the process of building a ship. The shipyard is located on a small island known as Museumsøen (Museum Island), connected to the main exhibition buildings of the museum by a lifting bridge.

Every summer, several boats go down for long sea voyages to accumulate more knowledge about sailing techniques and Viking living conditions.

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