Results 1-8of 8 Reviews
by Reina Lagios
Kineta, Attica, Greece
August 22, 2010
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
June 15, 2008
From journal Oslo's Famous Museums
by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
December 11, 2003
Take Bus #30 from central Oslo. It’ll drop you off right in front of the museum, where you’ll find a silver sculpture outside of what is a surprisingly small building. Upon entrance you’ll immediately be faced with the one of three Viking ships contained in the museum. These ships were excavated in the late 1800s, and I found the photographs of the actual excavations quite remarkable. That these ships were dug up and kept undamaged is really something. Two of the three ships are in excellent condition, while the other is missing some of the ornate carvings its museum partners still boast. For more specifics and history surrounding these sailing vessels, check out the Viking Ship Musuem website here.
Besides the main attractions, The Viking Ship Museum also houses various artifacts that were also recovered at the burial mound digs at Oseberg, Gokstad, and Tune. All of the items are in constant danger of deteriorating beyond the point of salvage, but the staff does an excellent job of preservation, evidenced by the closed wing where some finds are being worked on to stop them from eroding. Near one of the ships you’ll see a Viking burial chamber, and as you wrap your way around the museum, behind glass cases are combs made of horn, leather boots, weaving and hunting tools, the only known Viking chair, and a fully intact horse-drawn cart. Most of these items are accompanied by short descriptions.
Don’t miss the awesome photo exhibition on the second floor by Lill-Ann Chepstow-Lusty, who traveled around the world to visit places "in which people of the present live out their dreams by creating a Viking identity of their own." Her modern photography breathes a lot of life into the centuries old exhibits on the lower level, and hopefully it will find a permanent home here in this museum. For more information about the photographer and the exhibit, and to view the photo gallery, click here. My favorite is the photo of Marty Martinson, Captain of the Norseman.
As you exit and head out to the other museums in Bygdøy, stop by the gift shop and pick something up. Postcards of the ships and photo exhibit are reasonably priced. Plus, you’ll have proof that you visited a place that proves Vikings are more than a myth.
From journal Chocolate and Cheese in Oslo
July 20, 2001
The Oseberg ship is the largest and the most beautiful. It was also odd in that it belonged to a very powerful woman! It was built around year 815 with the wonderful carved ornamental braiding that was the precursor to the "Celtic designs" that were brought to Ireland by the Viking invaders.
This ship had 30 oar holes...so it could carry 60 men to row. When you go above the ship and look down into it; I would like you to try and imagine all of those bodies in one boat out on the open ocean????? There was one single deck which meant that no one got out of bad weather. So ice cold waves would wash right over you. The shape and style of the boat was designed for pure speed and access. The Vikings knew what kind of lunky boats their victims had. These boats could outdistance and sneak-up on larger boats quietly which is a great asset when one wants to rape and pillage.
Where would you sleep? Guess the answer would be "wherever you could" among the booty and provisions necessary for the trip and the travel trunks that served as the rowing seats that held the possessions of each man.
Were there woman rowers too??? I don't know.
The other two ships belonged to men as indicated by no ornamentation and a larger variety of weapons and shields found on them. The Gokstad boat was built around 890 and his grave had been robbed. This is the very ship used for the replica sailed to the World's Fair of 1893 held in Chicago Illinois. It was sailed across the ocean and through the Great Lakes to prove that Vikings discovered America first.
The third boat is in poor condition but shows the pyramidal shaped enclosure where the body was laid to rest among the sacrificed horses and slaves.
Read a book called the Orkney Saga's that was written by/about the Viking Earls of Orkney that gives you a bloody peek into life during this time period. The Vikings considered themselves first and foremost "farmers" who remained at home during planting and harvesting periods. In between they "went on vacation" to lower lands where raiding abbies and towns was a rewarding sport. Some towns even paid "homage" in gold and jewels just to be left alone. Was this the first recorded extortion?
The other exhibits at the museum concern items found within the boats...cups and combs...a highly carved wagon...plates and pith swords!
From journal God Morgen Oslo!
December 10, 2000
Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl built the balsa raft in 1947 with the help of other scientists and sailed it from Peru to Polynesia (about 4300 miles). In addition, he also headed other expeditions in similar vessels across the Atlantic.
The museum, directly across from the Polarship Fram and the Norwegian Folk Museum, is a recommended site for those familiar with the history of Heyerdahl and his voyages. The exhibits are well presented and the video makes good use of archival footage and interviews. The museum's central exhibit focuses on the original papyrus Ra II ship that Heyerdahl crossed the Atlantic with in 1970. It is very impressive, both in size and scope.
I must admit that my fellow travel companions were impressed, but not as enthusiastic about the museum as was I. But...they indulged me since I read the book Kon-Tiki in the 7th Grade.
I think the historical highlight of a trip to Oslo is a visit to the Bygdoy Peninsula and its three maritime related museums. To get to the Bygdoy Peninsula you can take a bus from the National Theater, but the most leisurely and scenic route is by ferry from the harbor front across from the city hall. These summer only ferries are very inexpensive (about 20 NOK = 3 USD one way) and run very frequently. The ferry also gives you a breathtaking view of the harbor and the city.
From journal Basking in the summertime sun of Oslo
The Viking Ship Museum (Vikingshiphuset) is a marvel of ancient maritime history. Inside are three fine examples of authentic Viking ships found near the Oslo area. Dating from the 9th century, these ships are remarkably preserved and tell a great story. Along with the three ships are other artifacts salvaged from the Viking times. All exhibits have English translations which are very helpful. Upstairs is a timeline of Viking history and photo essays. I suggest that you get to the Museum before it opens, since many tour buses stop each day. It will get very crowded...very quickly, because the museum is rather small...Plan ahead. Photos are allowed inside the museum!
Admission is approx. 30 NOK = 4 USD for adults. Enjoy!!
South Florida, Florida
November 18, 2000
From journal Olso - Museums, Water and Fun