Roskilde, in Denmark, is not only famous for its magnificent cathedral. Many tourists go to Roskilde to visit its museum on Viking boats, located on the banks of the fjord.
As I mentioned in my last story, I visited Roskilde seven years ago on my first trip to Denmark, during which trip I visited the cathedral. But I had not visited the museum, in fact, I had not even seen the fjord. That’s why I decided to go back to this small town last week.
So, after visiting the cathedral, I headed north, towards the fjord. The Viking Ship Museum (Vikingeskibsmuseet) is located less than one kilometre from the cathedral, to which it is connected by a walking trail.
The museum is made up of a few buildings, its main housing the wrecks of five Viking ships that were deliberately sunk into the fjord in 1070 to protect Roskilde from an enemy attack. Discovered in the 1960s, the wrecks represented five different types of boats (merchant ship, warship, etc.). The museum was built to house and study them further.
The five wrecks that are nearly a thousand years old are therefore used to explain the history and maritime techniques of the Vikings. A great opportunity to learn more about these explorers who traveled to Greenland and Newfoundland …
But in my opinion, the interesting part of the museum is its shipyard. In order to understand how the Vikings were able to build such boats, the museum’s craftsmen try to build replicas using the techniques of the time. In the shipyard, the museum explain what kind of wood the Vikings used, their tools, techniques and you can see the progress made on the boats under construction.
In the summer, it is also possible to go on the fjord in a replica of one of the Viking boats exhibited in the museum. Unfortunately for me, it is December, and the boats have been stored until next May. I will have to come back another time …