Throughout the Viking Age, Ribe Å river was a thoroughfare for broad-bowed trading ships and awe-inspiring longboats, as well as for small fishing and rowing boats. On the ship's bridge, the smells of tar and ropes mingle with the reek of sweaty sailors and the stench of fish offal.
A ship's anchor weighing 27.5 kg, along with many finds of rivets in the Vikings' market place, show that ships were also repaired there.
In collaboration with the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, the carpenters at Ribe VikingeCenter have reconstructed an authentic ship find done at Gislinge by Lammefjorden. The reconstructed Viking boat was given the name Gisla. It is not a warship, but a type of boat that was well suited to many purposes closer to shore.
This 7 m-long and 1.5 m-wide boat is clinker-built with radially split oaken planks built up around a T-shaped keel. It could be rowed by three men, each with a pair of oars, and was also fitted with a mast and sail. The same type of boat is still used today for fishing and transporting people in western and northern Norway. Form and build have remained pretty much unchanged since the days of the Vikings - a witness to the genius of Viking shipwrights.