Lofotr Viking Museum

Vestvågøy, Norway

The Lofotr Viking Museum is a historical museum based on a reconstruction and archaeological excavation of a Viking chieftain's village on the island of Vestvågøya. In 1983, archaeologists uncovered the Chieftain House at Borg, a large Viking Era building believed to have been already established around the year 500 AD. A joint Scandinavian research project was conducted at Borg from 1986 until 1989. Excavations revealed the largest building ever to be found from the Viking period in Norway. The foundation of the Chieftain House at Borg measured 83 metres long and 9 metres high. The seat at Borg is estimated to have been abandoned around AD 950.

After the excavation ended, the remains of what had once been the long-house remained visible. The long-house has been reconstructed slightly to the north of the excavation site. In 1995, the Lofotr Viking Museum was opened. The museum includes a full reconstruction of the 83-metre long chieftain's house, a blacksmith's forge, two ships (replicas of the Gokstad ship, one in full scale size) and their boathouses, and various reenactments intended to immerse the visitor in life at the time of the Vikings. The main building was designed by Norwegian architect, Gisle Jakhelln.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 500 - 950 AD
Category: Museums in Norway

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

Interesting Sites Nearby

User Reviews

David Oliveira (8 months ago)
Really cool place with a nice representation of the viking house. I went in May so low season, and walk all the way down the path to find out the ship was stored, would like to have know that before walking that much.
Shadow of Antioch (10 months ago)
A wonderful experience! The main section of the museum is your standard museum experience, with interesting films and trinkets—but the longhouse is where this place truly shines. The interior is breathtaking, and full with actors dressed in traditional clothing and occasionally treating you to traditional-style songs. Even with reduced staff numbers due to Covid, they showed up how to make a traditional pitta bread with our own hands over an open fire—at no extra cost! I'll definitely come back after Covid for one of the big events.
Jafnir Aseng (11 months ago)
A fantastic place to visit and so interesting and enjoyable a great experience. Go back in time and meet the Vikings
Márcia Vagos (2 years ago)
Very interesting museum with showing various findings of the Viking age. The artifact exhibition itself is not very large, but the reconstructed Viking house and Viking ships are the highlight of the visit. When I was there in the summer, there were also some fun outdoors activities such as arrow and axe throwing.
Márcia Vagos (2 years ago)
Very interesting museum with showing various findings of the Viking age. The artifact exhibition itself is not very large, but the reconstructed Viking house and Viking ships are the highlight of the visit. When I was there in the summer, there were also some fun outdoors activities such as arrow and axe throwing.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.