Bloodshed 2005 - 2006

After Charlemagne’s death in 814 AD, the political and economic situation in the Frankish Empire was marked by uncertainty and the country’s defences were greatly weakened. The Vikings knew of the country’s great riches through established trade contacts between Scandinavia and the Frankish Empire.
In the middle of the 7th century, the Vikings began widespread looting of the area, which emcompassed modern-day France, he Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Northern Italy.

...The northmen came to Frisland with 252 ships, and after receiving in taxes as they decided, they went to other regions
Annales Bertiniani 852

With the special exhibition. 'Bloodshed', the Viking Ship Museum gave an insight into Viking depredations in the Rhineland and the tragic situation that became a reality for their victims. Written sources and archaeological finds from the plundering of the town of Zutphen in the Netherlands, bear witness to the brutality of Viking agression. However, the exhibition also explored the political background of the Viking devastation and the events leading up to those acts, as well as revealing the fate of the attackers when the Frankish Empire armed themselves for combat.

The exhibition was created in co-operation with:

  • Museums in Malmö, Sweden
  • Centrall Museum Utrecht
  • Rheinisches LandesMuseum Bonn
  • Rheinisches Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

 The exhibition was supported by:

  • Nordea Danmark
  • Augustinus Foundation