Kaupang was a Norse term for market-place. Today, it is generally used as a name of the first town-like market-place in Norway, the Kaupang in Skiringssal, which is located in Tjølling near Larvik. Kaupang was an important merchant and craft center during the Viking period and as yet the first known Norwegian trading outpost.
Kaupang was founded in the 780s and abandoned for unknown reasons in the early 10th century. It was situated on a beach by Viksfjord in Larvik municipality. Documentary sources indicate that the area was an important royal seat in the 700s and 800s.
Archaeological evidence indicates that the site might have been the first proto-urban settlement of some significance in Norway. The excavations which have been conducted at Kaupang have found evidence for a handicraft and commercial center, with around 1,000 inhabitants. The settlement had diverse craft production and extensive trade with foreign countries. Commodities traded included iron, soapstone and perhaps fish.
In 1867 Nicolay Nicolaysen conducted the first excavations of the area, mapping one of the grave-fields around the settlement and excavating 79 grave mounds. He also uncovered a cremation cemetery, largely dated to the 10th century. Charlotte Blindheim started excavating in 1947 and completed her last publication in 1999, and Dagfinn Skre and his associates undertook a new program of work at Kaupang in 1997.
In the summer of 2000 the Institute for Archaeology, Conservation and Historical Studies at the University of Oslo began a new excavation program at Kaupang, under the direction of Dagfinn Skre, which ran until 2002, and a smaller excavation was conducted in Kaupang's harbour area in 2003. In total, four possible houses were uncovered, as were a number of hearths, pits and postholes. Following the excavations, scholars worked on analysing both artefacts and environmental samples from the excavations.
The results from the post-excavation work has been published in a series of three books, the first of which became available in 2007, the last being published in 2011. Many of the approximately 100,000 finds from excavations have been on display at the University of Oslo, including Arab silver coins, gold coin from Dorestad, hundreds of glass beads, jewelry of gold and bronze, pottery, weapons and tools.References:
Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.
The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.
The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.