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A living Viking town

A living history museum or open air museum as it is also called is no traditional museum as one is normally perceived. There are no glass display cases, no halls with marble floors, no descriptive signs and not even a traditional museum building. Instead you will find an entire late Viking Age town reconstructed using the materials and techniques of the time, as historically correct as you can get based on the archaeological and historical source materials that are available. The town is thus not made up of movie backdrops but of real, solid inhabitable houses.

In order for the town to be experienced as a living town as it might have been roughly a thousand years ago we have inhabited the town with volunteers with an interest in making the Viking Age come alive. The core of the town population is made up of members of the association SVEGs Byalag (Scandinavian Viking Explorer Group’s village community).

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Who were the Vikings?

The Viking age in European history was from about AD700 to 1100. During this period many Vikings left their homelands in Scandinavia and travelled by longboat to other countries, like Britain and Ireland.

When the people of Britain first saw the Viking longboats they came down to the shore to welcome them. However, the Vikings fought the local people, stealing from churches and burning buildings to the ground.

The people of Britain called the invaders ‘Danes’, but they came from Norway and Sweden as well as Denmark.

Were the Vikings all bad?

The name ‘Viking’ comes from a language called ‘Old Norse’ and means ‘a pirate raid’. People who went off raiding in ships were said to be ‘going Viking’. But not all the Vikings were bloodthirsty warriors.

Some came to fight, but others came peacefully, to settle. They were farmers, and kept animals and grew crops. They were skilful at crafting, and made beautiful metalwork and wooden carvings.

Vikings sailed the seas trading goods to buy silver, silks, spices, wine, jewellery, glass and pottery to bring back to their homes.

An Anglo-Saxon warrior fights a Viking warrior in armed combat.
Viking warriors fought using long swords and axes

Viking raiders from the north

The first Viking raid recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was around AD787. It was the start of a fierce struggle between the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings.

The Vikings were pagans, not Christians like most people living in Britain at the time. They did not think twice about raiding a monastery.

Christian monasteries in Britain were easy targets for the Vikings. The monks had no weapons and the buildings were filled with valuable treasures, like gold, jewels and books.

There was food, drink, cattle, clothes and tools too – all very tempting to a 
Viking raider.

The ‘great’ Viking invasion

In AD865 an army of Vikings sailed across the North Sea. This time they wanted to conquer land rather than just raid it.

Over several years the army battled through northern England, taking control of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Northumbria, East Anglia and most of Mercia.

By AD874, almost all the kingdoms had fallen to the Vikings. All except for Wessex, which was ruled by Alfred the Great. King Alfred beat the Viking army in battle but wasn’t able to drive the Vikings out of Britain.

After years of fighting the Vikings and Alfred made a peace agreement. But even after this agreement, fighting went on for many more years. An imaginary dividing line was agreed to run across England, from London in the south towards Chester in the north west.

The Anglo-Saxon lands were to the west and the Viking lands, known as the Danelaw, were roughly to the east.

A Viking raider leaping over the side of a longship
When the ‘great’ Viking army of AD865 sailed across the sea, they came to conquer rather than to raid

Life in the Danelaw

The Danelaw covered an area east of their line joining London and Chester. Everything to the east belonged to the Vikings.

There were three main areas where Vikings lived – Northumbria (which included modern-day Yorkshire), East Anglia, and the Five Boroughs. A borough was a town and the five towns were Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Stamford and Lincoln.

Viking families came to settle on these lands. Good farmland was scarce in the Vikings’ own countries, and they were looking for a better life.

The most important city in the Danelaw was the city of York, or ‘Jorvik’ (pronounced ‘your-vick’), as the Vikings knew it. Over 10,000 people lived there and it was an important place to trade goods.

Many towns and cities in Britain that were founded by the Vikings can still be spotted today. Places that end in -by, -thorpe or -ay were almost certainly Viking 

An illustrated Viking scene with a warrior and a longship
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Posted by VikingDragons on Oct 24, 2018


Viking hairstyles are edgy, rugged and cool. Inspired by historic Nordic warriors, the Viking haircut encompasses many different modern men’s cuts and styles, including braids, ponytails, shaved back and sides, a mohawk, undercut, and epic beard. In fact, Viking style haircuts are similar to many of top today trends. Let’s begin our journey through the male viking hairstyle:


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Posted by VikingDragons on Sep 19, 2018

Narastają waśnie między synami Ragnara Lodbroka, a wikingowie nadal zagrażają Anglii. Kiedy Wielka Armia rusza na York, a król Aethelwulf i jego rodzina wciąż się ukrywają, biskup-wojownik Heahmund musi zebrać Sasów, by bronić królestwa. 


Wikingowie budują warownię w Yorku, a Ivar chce poprowadzić Wielką Armię. W Kattegat Lagertha błędnie ocenia króla Haralda i płaci za to ciężką cenę. Floki przybywa do tajemniczej krainy. 


Świętowanie po bitwie o York nie trwa długo. Synowie Ragnara Lodbroka stają naprzeciw siebie, napięcie sięga zenitu i każdy musi się opowiedzieć po czyjejś stronie. 


Sasi pod wodzą biskupa Heahmunda przygotowują plan walki. Ivar bez Kości obmyśla własną strategię. Bjorn Żelaznoboki znajduje się na nowym terytorium i musi przekonać lokalnego dowódcę, że jest kupcem, a nie bandytą. 


Ivar znajduje w biskupie Heahmundzie godnego rywala, Floki wraca do Kattegat, a Bjorna witają gorąco w Afryce Północnej. 


Lagertha zostaje zdradzona, a Bjorn musi wymyślić, jak wesprzeć królową. Floki i jego koloniści docierają do nowej ziemi, która jednak nie spełnia ich oczekiwań. 


Bjorn powraca do Kattegat i dowiaduje się, że podczas następnej pełni księżyca ma nastąpić atak. Ivar musi zdecydować, czy może zaufać dawnemu wrogowi. 


Rozpoczyna się bitwa o Kattegat. Kiedy obie strony szykują się do walki, bracia Lodbrok muszą wybrać między prośbą o pokój a wojną totalną. Koloniści buntują się przeciwko Flokiemu. 


Dowódcy wojskowi rozważają możliwe posunięcia po bitwie. W wyniku tragedii w obozie Flokiego rozwiewają się wszelkie nadzieje na zacieśnienie więzów.


W następstwie rozlewu krwi nad Kattegat zawisa widmo zagłady. Kiedy pokonana armia ucieka przed zwycięzcami, do domu wraca legendarny wojownik.