Viking sites in Norway are among the oldest in the world. As we see viking history trickle back into pop culture, more and more people are gaining interest in the Viking Age. And they should! Vikings were incredible farmers, artists, craftsmen, seafarers, storytellers and warriors of legend.
They were responsible for settling coastlines from Great Britain to America and various areas throughout Scandinavia and Europe. And with the History Channel’s fourth season of the hit history-based drama series, Vikings on its way, many have fallen in love with the intrepid age of shield maidens and warriors.
“At some point you realize that there’s a lot more to the mythology and history. It’s about a philosophy as much as anything else,” says Peersen. “You start discovering the nuances and appreciating the things that are more … subtle. The beautiful things.”
-Ivar Peersen, co-founder and guitarist in the Norwegian “Viking metal” band Enslaved.
Norway the Destination
Move Norway to the top of your bucket list. There is no other place on earth like it. Once visit this eco-friendly country and you’ll understand why Norse legends were grown here. Breathtaking landscapes and otherworldly vistas will capture your memory for a lifetime.
There’s something for every bit of traveler in you in Norway. Whether it’s dining, shopping, exploring nature or cruising along incredible fjords. Norway is a place where everyone leaves happy. Here are some incredible Viking heritage sites in Norway for you to add to your bucket list of adventures.
Viking Sites in Norway
1. Lofotr Museum in the Lofoten Islands
In the Iron Age, 10-15 Chieftans held seats in northern Norway. One of these seats was at Borg in Lofoten and is the only place where the Chieftan’s home was actually found. In the History Channel’s series, Vikings you can see this type of home (longhouse) realized as Ragnar Lothbrok’s home. Just like Ragnar’s home, there are several rooms consisting of living quarters, guildhall (dining hall) and an animal stable which has been transformed into an exhibition room sharing Norse Mythology noted as the Viking’s belief system.
2. Stiklestad Cultural Center, outside Trondheim
It is here where Norway’s most historic battle, the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030, took place and became the most important marker as the country’s transition from paganism to Christianity. At the end of July you can experience “St. Olav Days at Stiklestad” with its concerts, plays, guided tours, lectures, excursions and activities for the whole family. During St. Olav Days is the St. Olav Drama which depicts the events before and after the historic battle.
3. Trondenes Historical Center, Harstad
Located in a heritage rich landscape echoing the Viking era, Middle Ages and World War II, the Trondenes Historical Center offers an exhibition of multimedia, featuring vision, music, light and smell.
4. Viking Swords Monument, Stavanger
Commanding the attention of most everyone at Hafrsfjord is the Three Swords in Stone monument. This towering monument commemorates the legendary Battle of Hafrsfjord in 872, after which Viking King Harald Fair Hair united the three districts of Norway into one kingdom. Of all the Viking sites this is one you’d want to visit in the afternoon. Fewer people and better photos.
5. Historical Borre at Borrehaugene, Horten
This is the largest Viking graveyard of Scandinavia with significant discoveries from ancient times. The Midgard Canter has information on the barrows and graves. Local folklore tells that early in the mornings you can hear the elves play on “The Fiddler’s Mound” on the vicarage field.
6. Viking Ship Museum, Oslo
The Viking Ship Museum presents Viking ship discoveries from Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune as well as other finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord. It houses an incredible collection of artifacts and information on the Viking Age. It also displays the world’s two best-preserved Viking long ships from the 9th Century. This is probably one of the most popular Viking sites in Norway.
7. The Viking City Kaupang, Larvik
The first city in Norway was located at Kaupang and was established around the year 800. Many skilled craftsmen did business here with visitors from near and far.
8. Bronseplassen, Lillesand
This Viking site is a reconstructed settlement from the Viking Bronze Age. It’s known for its fertility labyrinth, archery and story-telling.
9. Avaldsnes, Haugesund
Once the seat of the highest Viking Kings of Norway, Avaldsnes is a pristine Viking settlement surrounded by a breathtaking landscape that even in the bitter cold remains green. Perhaps it’s Thor, said to have walked along the shores here, which keeps this place so magical. This site is just a 10-minute walk from the historic St. Olav’s Church.
Here you can see just how the Vikings lived from day today. In the Norwegian History Center, there is an incredible permanent show on Vikings and their ancestors, inclusive of their beliefs which we now know as Norse Mythology. Of all the Viking sites I’ve explored this is one of my favourites.
A replica of King Fairhair and his Queen Gyda. The unification of Norway is thought to have been founded on their love story as she refused him until he was “King over all of Norway”. He took a vow not to cut or comb his hair until it was so. He succeeded and is known as the 1st King of Norway!
10. Kvernes Kirkeomrade, Averoy
This museum and ancient burial ground span 4,000 years of Norwegian history. The church and cemetery here are still in use.
The Viking Age left more than legends in its wake. With more and more discoveries of Viking artifacts, we continue to understand how they lived. And with an incredible drama series like the History Channel’s Vikings, we are able to realize this dramatic era more than ever before. Add Viking sites to your bucket list of epic adventures to be had, it’s one you won’t regret.
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