Norway the 4th happiest country in the world beckons travelers to come and find happiness and much more. Travelers to Norway continue to find inspiration in its combination of gorgeous, harsh landscape, myths, and legends.
For many people when they think of Norway they think of the Vikings, and it’s colorful images of horned helmets, berserkers, longships, Valhalla, the one-eyed god Odin and men dying sword in hand or drinking out of skulls. The intrigue of the Vikings calls them to come and see their ancient world.
And they will find that Viking sites in Norway are among the oldest in the world. And it’s amazing that Viking history is still alive in pop culture since more and more people are gaining interest in the Viking Age.
As Ivar Peersen, co-founder and guitarist in the Norwegian “Viking metal” band Enslaved says, “At some point, you realize that there’s a lot more to the mythology and history. It’s about philosophy as much as anything else,” says Peersen. “You start discovering the nuances and appreciating the things that are more … subtle. The beautiful things.”
For the traveler longing to visit Norway’s Viking Sites here are some must-see sites.
Lofotr Museum in the Lofoten Islands
In the Iron Age, 10-15 Chieftains held seats in northern Norway. One of these seats was at Borg in Lofoten and is the only original Chieftan’s home. The Lofotr museum consists of several rooms such as living quarters, guildhall (dining hall), and an animal stable. The stable is also an exhibition room.
Stiklestad Cultural Center, outside Trondheim
The location for Norway’s most historic battle, the Battle of Stiklestad. The battle occurred in 1030, and it became the most important marker as the country’s transition from paganism to Christianity. At the end of July, visitors can experience “St. Olav Days at Stiklestad” with concerts, plays, guided tours, lectures, excursions, and activities.
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.
Viking Swords Monument, Stavagner
Commanding visitors’ attention 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.
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.
Viking Ship Museum, Oslo
The most popular Viking site in Norway is The Viking Ship Museum, which presents Viking ship discoveries from Gokstad, Oseberg, and Tune and other finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord. Things to see in the museum are an incredible collection of artifacts and information on the world’s two best-preserved Viking longships from the 9th Century.
The Viking City Kaupang, Larvik
Kaupang, the first city in Norway, was established around year 800. It became a center for skilled craftsmen and did business with visitors from near and far.
This Viking site is a reconstructed settlement from the Viking Bronze Age. It’s known for its fertility labyrinth, archery, and story telling.
Avaldsnes, once the seat of the highest Viking Kings of Norway, is a pristine Viking settlement surrounded by breathtaking landscape. This site is just a 10-minute walk from the historic St. Olav’s Church. To see how the Vikings lived from day to day, Norwegian History Center offers an incredible permanent show on Vikings and their ancestors, inclusive of their beliefs, which are the Norse Mythology.
Kvernes Kirkeomrade, Averoy
This site consists of a museum and ancient burial ground that span 4,000 years of Norwegian history. There’s also a church and cemetery that’s still in use.
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