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Exploring the history of the Vikings in Scandinavia, Part 2 – Stockholm & Copenhagen

Aidan Cross

Thursday, 11 April 2024

In the second part of their article, Aidan, a final year Hispanic Studies & History student with a love for all things Anglo-Saxon and Viking, shares the best places to explore the incredible history of the Vikings in Stockholm and Copenhagen.

After spending a couple of days in Oslo, we made a brief stop in Gothenburg before travelling to Stockholm. If you’re ever in the city, you have to visit the Historiska Museet. My brother and I spent hours lost in there. Genuinely, we had planned to visit another two museums that day and instead spent more than two hours in just the first exhibition. My favourite was, of course, The Viking World, an exhibition which you are guided around by the roots of the world tree, Yggdrasil. It contains more than 2500 objects – all of which can be accessed digitally![1] – covering all aspects of Viking society from religion and mythology to daily life, trade, and warfare through displays of incredible archaeological finds.

 

If museums aren’t your thing, a short bus journey out of Stockholm takes you to Runriket, “The Rune Kingdom”, a trail of runestones around Vallentunasjön. Scandinavia is famous for its Viking runestones that date from the 9th to 12th centuries, from the height of the Viking Age to post-Christianisation, the majority of which can be found in Sweden, particularly in the region of Uppland, just north of Stockholm. These runestones were once brightly coloured memorials to the dead and their inscriptions tell us so much about the peoples and places that erected them, fusing traditional interlace and runic inscriptions with Christian imagery and depictions of Norse mythology. Did my brother and I do a 5-hour hike around a lake to look at some runestones? Yes. Have my knees ever been the same? No. I did get a new badge on my Fitbit though, for doing 35k steps in one day – and it was definitely worth it.

 

Still recovering from that hike, we travelled to the last city of our trip: Copenhagen. However, my last recommendation is actually a train ride away in Roskilde, where there is the incredible Viking Ship Museum.[2] Its permanent exhibition features the five stunningly preserved 1000-year-old Viking ships that were excavated in 1962 at Skuldelev in Roskilde Fjord, where they had been purposefully sunk during the late Viking Age to form a defence system, to control the sea route into Roskilde. These ships, with their surviving fragments mounted onto metal frames that show their former force and majesty, bring to life the maritime culture of the Vikings – a culture of craftmanship, trade, travel, and warfare. The exhibition explores the importance of shipbuilding and the sea to Viking society and highlights the difficulties of excavating and preserving these incredible finds.

 

Now go forth and explore the fascinating history of the Vikings in Scandinavia!

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Exploring the history of the Vikings in Scandinavia, Part 2 – Stockholm & Copenhagen

Aidan Cross

[1] https://vikingar.historiska.se/index.php?l=en

[2] https://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/en/


Images provided by Aidan Cross.


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Barbara Dawson

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Lovely tasty dish. Try it you won’t be disappointed.

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Aunty Liz

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Very tasty and cheap. I often have this for tea!

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BETTS

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Being a bilingual family (French mother and British father,) living in France I thought your article was extremely interesting . Have you research on bilingualism ? It seems that when the mother is British and the father French and they both live in France their children seem to be more bilingual than when the mother is French and the father is British . This is what we called mother tongue , isn't it ?

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Niamh

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Such an interesting article!

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