Metal: sterling silver (925)
Weight: approx. 10 g (0,35 oz)
Drakkars were the largest warships and their construction became possible only after the establishment of the power of kings in the Scandinavian countries, when sufficient funds were concentrated in one hand. The largest drakkars were up to 36 metres long. There was a carved dragon's head on the prow (hence the name of the ship type) and shields on the sides. Not every ship with a dragon's head on the bow was a drakkar - the dragon's head symbolized the high status of the ship owner, and the ship itself could be anything. The dragon's head was removed when approaching a friendly land - according to the beliefs of the people of the North, it could scare or make angry the good spirits. If the Vikings wished peace, the leader displayed a shield on the prow of the drakkar, the inner side of which was painted white. Drakkars were propelled by oars and a rectangular sail. Steering was done by means of a steering oar with a short transverse tiller mounted on the starboard side. The larger ships had up to 35 pairs of oars ("Great Serpent", built for King Olaf Tryggvason in the winter of 999/1000) and reached speeds of up to 10-12 knots, which for ships of this class could be considered outstanding. But according to scholars, most of the drakkars used in the Viking Age - had 20-25 pairs of oars. Drakkars were notable for their multifunctionality - the ships were used for warfare, transportation, as well as for long sea voyages, which the construction of the ship allowed. In particular, the Vikings reached Iceland, Greenland and North America by drakkar.
Drakkars were larger counterparts to another type of Viking warship, the snekke. The snekkes were smaller and had a smaller crew (up to 60 men). They were also powered by a rectangular sail, had up to 25-30 pairs of oars, and in the open sea could reach speed of 15-20 knots. In practice, the Vikings used even smaller, slow-moving but much roomier knorrs for trade and travel because of their considerable draught. However, the knorrs could not sail in the shallow waters of the river.
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