Exhibitions at the Viking Ship Museum
The museum's exhibitions are modern historical narratives about the Vikings and their ships. Traditional forms of museum dissemination in text and images are combined with sound, light, digital installations, engaging activities and artistic expressions keeping the maritime culture alive for young and adults.
The audience are not brought back in time - the cultural history is brought into present day...
The five Viking ships - The Skuldelev Ships
During the late Viking Age, a system of barriers are established on Roskilde Fjord, making it possible to control the sea routes to one of Denmark's great royal and ecclesiastical cities.
Three worn-out ships are towed out to the narrowest point, just outside the village of Skuldelev. The ships are filled with stones and sunk in Peberrenden, the most direct route to Roskilde. the sailing channel. After twenty years, the barrier is reinforced with two more ships. An effective defence system is created.
A thousand years later an iron cofferdam is driven into the seabed around the barrier. One of the most significant excavations in Denmark can begin...
Experience the five Viking ships, found in Roskilde Fjord. Together, they provide a unique perspective on Viking Age maritime culture: shipbuilding, seamanship, trade, defence and warfare - and the ability to journey far and wide and explore new horizons.
Read more about the five original Viking ships
Special exhibition: In the Wake of the Vikings
In 1962, the remains of five Viking ships emerged from the mud at Roskilde Fjord.
The find turned out knowledge of Nordic maritime culture upside down and opened the door to the Viking Age world.
The special exhibition In the Wake of the Vikings is the story about how the five Skuldelev ships have shaped the museum to what it is today: how the remarkable find has been of crucial importance for maritime archaeology in Denmark and been the driving force behind far-reaching archaeological experiments within reconstruction and sailing.
For more than 20 years, the trading ship and warship moored at the Museum's indoor jetty have provided the backdrop for teaching, play and fantasies of ships returned from distant shores. Now the mooring lines have been cast away and the ships will finally set sail.
Climb Aboard, the exhibition at the Viking Ship Museum, is a story of voyaging across open sea. All that you see, hear, feel and sense with and within your body, while the day goes from clear, bright morning to an all-encompassing darkness. Changes in weather from blinding sunshine and calm breeze, to storms, thunder and high seas. How the atmosphere shifts from boredom-induced stupor to one of dramatic energy.
The five reconstructions
The five Skuldelev ships were built and used by people who left innumerable traces in the vessels: The forms of the ships reveal their function, the waters they were built to sail, and the boatbuilders' wishes for sailing capabilities. The wood fibre structure tell us how certain parts of the tree were used to build specific ship parts. And tool marks tell us how the boatbuilder used axes, planes and drills.
The Viking Ship Museum's reconstructions are lying in the Museum Harbour, side by side with the traditional wooden boats. The harbour environment and the associated exhibitions and activities underline the direct connection between the Skuldelev ships in the Viking Ship hall and the successors - building a bridge between history and tradition.
Visit the Virtual Museum
When The Viking Ship Museum is closed for visitors, it is actually still possible for you to take a walk among the world-famous Viking ships.
Not a physical tour, but a virtual tour.
We look forward to seeing you inside the Viking Ship Museum.
Until then, be careful and remember that the Viking Ship Museum's website is full of exciting stories about the Viking Age, Viking ships, boatbuilding, navigation and maritime crafts.
In the Boatyard the boat builders buil Viking ships and other nordic boats using the tools and techinques of the Viking Age.
Step into an active boatyard and follow the boat-builders at close quarters.
Next to the boatyard you will find an activity area where you can immerse yourself ind outdoor exhibitions about ships and crafts.
The recreated ships and the boat collection
The Viking Ship Museum's boatyard has recreated all five Viking ships so you can get an impression of what the original ships looked like 1000 years ago. The recreated ships - the reconstructions of the Viking ships - can be experienced in the museum harbor throughout the sailing season and on land in winter.
The large collection of traditional Nordic wooden boats and reconstructed Viking ships gives an idea of what the original ships looked like a 1000 years ago. In the collection, the Viking Age's boat building traditions can be traced - from the reconstructed Viking ship to the fishing dinghy from Frederikssund built a 1000 years later.
Along the harbour there are signs telling you about each ship, so you can explore the many Nordic boat types on your own.