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This museum is not distinguished by the size or richness of the collection. But for every Norwegian, deep down in the Viking's soul, it is important to contemplate the ancient ships of their ancestors, who crossed the ocean four centuries before Columbus.
The museum opened in 1926. The exposition has three dragrakars (ships), whose age exceeds one thousand years. All ships were found in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Thanks to the clay bottom off the coast of southern Norway, two wooden vessels are well preserved. Each of the ships is worthy of the closest attention.
Oseberg ship - found in one of the cemeteries, researchers believe that this vessel was used for coastal voyages back in the 9th century. Two women of noble origin were buried with this Norwegian boat. One of them (according to the results of genetic examination) of Asian origin (presumably from Persia). On board the ship, which was supposed to take the souls of the dead to the world of harsh gods, were found the remains of expensive oriental fabrics, several figurines of semiprecious stones, as well as peacock bones. All these findings indicate that brave Norwegians from the early Middle Ages went sailing along the rivers of Russia until the Persian kingdom.
Gokstad ship - ship for ocean navigation. Entirely made of oak planks, decorated with intricate carvings filled with symbols and magic runes.
This ship served as a model for creating a modern copy of the ship.
On this new ship, a group of young and ambitious Norwegian students traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and triumphantly finished in Chicago. This journey vividly proved that the Vikings could and did make distant ocean trips.
Together with the Gokstad ship, sleighs, graceful canes with carved knobs, and other objects of Viking worship were discovered.
Thun ship - only partially preserved, but its historical value is no less. For the manufacture of this vessel was used different wood. The carving is fragmented and much simpler than on the Gokstad ship.
In addition to the three main exhibits of the museum, visitors have the opportunity to see a small exhibition of objects found in burials.
You can get to the museum either by bus number 30 from the city center, or by boat on the sea. Traveling by boat takes more time, but gives you the opportunity to enjoy unforgettable sea views.
Visitors can view the museum from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (from October to April from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
Admission is NOK 80. Students enjoy a 50% discount.