With a series of small films produced during the construction of the exhibition, we take a look behind the scenes and show glimpses of how the new special exhibition was created. Special emphasis is placed on the exhibition finds - the maritime archeological finds from Fehmarn Belt and the cultural-historical ship models - and the work of selecting, transporting and placing them in the narrative.
The Viking Ship Museum takes over a church ship - a model of STORE CHRISTIANUS QUINTUS - from Skt. Jørgensbjerg Church in Roskilde. The ship model will be part of this year's special exhibition 'In Smoke and Flames - The Battle of the Fehmarn Belt 1644'.
The models of the man-of-war CHRISTIANUS QUINTUS built for Christian V (King of Denmark 1670-1699) was donated to Skt. Jørgensbjerg Church in 1963. It was built by carpenter Poul Erik Thomsen, who had spent a full 7,000 on the impressive ship model.
In 2018, the church's parish council decided to dismantle the ship and hand it over to a suitable recipient, and on January 7. 2021, it was collected by the Viking Ship Museum.
The ship is part of the special exhibition, which tells the story of a naval battle between hereditary enemies and the three sunken ships, which the Viking Ship Museum's marine archaeologists examined in 2012 and 2020.
Read more about the ship model in the online finds-catalogue.
Working on the museum's new special exhibition ‘In Smoke and Flames - The Battle of the Fehmarn Belt 1644’, we have once again allied ourselves with the design company Yoke ApS. And they have conjured gun smoke, explosions and men jumping off ship into an old painting of the naval battle.
The photo of Jan van de Velde's IV painting from the 17th century is kindly on loan from the Maritime Museum in Stockholm, which has allowed us to bring to life the intense battles in Fehmarn Belt between a Danish fleet of 17 ships and a superior Swedish-Dutch enemy. Van de Velde has painted together several of the - for the Danes - decisive losses of ships in the same scene, even though the battle lasted throughout the day of October 13. 1644.
The challenge for Yoke has been to bring these decisive moments to life, and give the museum visitor an experience of the entire naval battle, hour by hour.
Here you only get a small bite. The full animation can be experienced in the exhibition, where you can also see how LINDORMEN, SWARTE ARENT and DELMENHORST ended their days at the bottom of Fehmarn Belt.
In the current special exhibition ‘In Smoke and Flames - The Battle of the Fehmarn Belt 1644’, the museum visitors can experience a 1:20 model of Christian IV’s man-of-war FIDES.
Few ships from Christian IV’s fleet are as well documented as the warship, FIDES. The original and highly detailed building contract from 1613, which was worked out between the King and the Dutch master shipwright, Peter Michelsen, still exists and the vessel is depicted several times within the document.
Using the building contract as a starting point, maritime historian Niels M. Probst managed to successfully create drawings of FIDES in 1993 – and it is these drawings Køge Maritime Modelbyggerlaug used when building the model. It took five years to build the ship model, which has …. Rope and hand-cast bronze cannons.
It was therefore with great awe that the museum's staff, in collaboration with the model builders, balanced the large ship model into the Viking Ship Museum and down to its place in the exhibition.
The ship model is now placed centrally in the exhibition, and seems to have just sailed out of the animated painting in the background. Museum guests with sharp eyes will appreciate the many small and carefully reconstructed details of the ship's large rig or notice the sailors on the latrine in the bow.
FIDES is kindly on loan from Køge Maritime Modelbyggerlaug and can be experienced in the exhibition until March 1, 2022.
In the museum's current special exhibition ‘In Smoke and Flames - The Battle of Fehmarn Belt 1644’ there is a display case with fragments from guns, found on the Danish man-of-war DELMENHORST and LINDORMEN in Fehmarn Belt.
The gun fragments, hidden on the seabed since 1644, were unpacked from boxes and with white gloves carefully placed in the display case by maritime archaeologist Morten Johansen and curator Louise K. Henriksen.
At the bottom of the display case is a line drawing of a gun, which gives museum visitors an idea of where on the gun the individual fragments sat before it was blown to pieces.
One of the fragments is a so-called cascable from the rear of a gun. It is intact, but marked by fire and heat, and has melting holes on the surface. The maritime archaeologists also found a hinged touch-pan cover that protects the hole from which the gun is ignited, a piece of the bronze gun's barrel and a so-called 'dolphin', which is one of the two lifting handles at the top of the gun.
In addition to the finds from DELMENHORST, which belong to the Viking Ship Museum, there are also finds from the Dutch vessel SWARTE ARENT from the National Museum and from Landesmuseum Schleswig-Holstein, which has the finds from the Danish man-of-war LINDORMEN.
The finds from the three ships that sunk during the naval battle in the Fehmarn Belt can be seen in the exhibition until 1 March 2022.
Wednesday 28 April - the day before the opening of the special exhibition ‘In Smoke and Flames - The Battle of the Fehmarn Belt 1644’ - a truck with a crane arrived at the Viking Ship Hall carrying two black cast iron guns from 1644. The guns were found by the museum's maritime archaeologists when diving in Fehmarn Belt in 2012. And since they were salvaged, they have been lying at the National Museum for preservation.
With a sure hand, the freighter carefully hoisted one of the heavy guns, over the stairs to the Viking Ship Hall and got it in place in a holder built for the purpose by the museum's technicians. The gun weighs 1.2 tons, and the holder is built based on careful measurements of the gun, an assessment of its center of gravity and with inspiration from drawings of gun rappers at the time.
The event attracted both staff from the museum and passers-by at the harbor.
The gun was found in the Dutch vessel Swarte Arent, which fought on the side of the Swedes in the battle of Fehmarn Belt. Now it is exhibited at the entrance to the Viking Ship Museum and the visitor’s first meeting with the special exhibition 'In Smoke and Flames'.
The gun is owned by Femern A/S and can be seen at the entrance of the Museum until March 1. 2022.