Meet the craftsmen

Throughout the school summer holidays, we focus on the various crafts of the Viking Age, where children and adults can experience the ancient crafts being brought to life.

Craft is the art of making something with hands. To shape and create something that can be used by others to build, sail or conquer. We have chosen to focus on the crafts that surround the Viking ships, and which were absolutely indispensable for the sailors of the Viking Age.

Depending on which days you visit the Viking Ship Museum, you can go to warrior training, meet the blacksmith, the rebel, the weaver or hear about the food in the Viking Age.

» Look in the calendar to see which craftsman you can meet on the day you come - or buy a season ticket so you can experience all the skilled craftsmen.

Boat building at the yard

In the middle of the museum lake is the boatyard. Here the boat builders build reconstructions of Viking ships and other traditional wooden boats.

The smell of fresh wood tar fills the air and the sound of the boat builder's ax against the oak tree echoes rhythmically across the yard. The experienced boat builders are working on a new Viking ship.

They use the same materials and techniques that the Vikings used 1000 years ago and build with copies of the tools found from the Viking Age. You can follow the work very closely, and the boat builders show the special techniques and are happy to tell you about the work of building Viking ships by hand.

War, battle and sharp weapons

Had you survived in the Viking Age? The Viking warrior shows off his impressive weapons and shows how to use them. Most Viking warriors were equipped with axes and shields, while the great man could have expensive weapons, such as swords, helmets and chain mail. Martial arts have been a craft that one has learned and trained to become the best warrior and thus could hope to return home to the family after the expedition.

Ropemaker days

When building a large longship like the Sea Stallion, you need 2 kilometers of handmade rope and the rebel layman had an important role to play when the Vikings had to equip their ships. The rope-maker makes ropes of sealskin, wool and horsehair for the museum's boats.

Blacksmith days

Provides a special insight into the difficult art of handling the red-hot iron. You can get up close and personal with the complicated - and mysterious - forging technique when the blacksmith shapes the unimaginably many ship nails needed to build a Viking ship. Maybe you can help with the bellows while you have a talk about the exciting process of forging iron for nails and tools.

The weaver

Without ships - no Viking Age. And without sails - no Viking ships!
The large, square sails of the viking ships are often called the 'Dragon's Wing', because it was the sail that drove the ornate longships across the oceans.
Not many people know that it takes at least as long time to make a sail as it takes to build the ship it is to be put on - and even fewer know that the sails of the Viking ships were made of wool.

Cooking in the Viking Age

What did the Vikings eat on the long expeditions, and what did they eat at home. There is no doubt that the food has been very important to the sailors on board the ships, so that they could withstand the cold and wind without getting exhausted. But the Vikings did not have access to the same raw materials that we have today. So what raw materials were there in the Nordic countries in the Viking Age, how was the food prepared over a campfire, and how did the Vikings keep the food on the long voyages?
The cook - or foodie, as he was called on board the longships - really had to know his craft so that there would be no hunger or disease on board.