Who were the Vikings?

The Vikings were the most important cultural icons of ancient Norway, and the Viking Museum and its exhibits are one of the most popular visits in Oslo. But who were the Vikings really? Let's look at some of the most important features of these fascinating explorers and the time they lived. 

Conquerors of the sea

The Viking era covered in Scandinavia from approx. the year 800 to 1050 (DC). The period is named after a population, the Vikings, who sailed in large areas of Europe fighting, exploring and trading. The attack of the Vikings to the Lindisfarne cloister in 793 is usually mentioned as the prelude to this period, in line with the idea that the Vikings' trips to other lands were quite brutal.

 The devastation of the Vikings left huge traces in the parts of Europe attacked. It took more than 1000 years until someone outside Scandinavia valued the Viking culture as more than barbaric. Over the last two centuries, a more nuanced image of the Vikings has been formed: this unquestionable warrior period of Scandinavian history was also characterized by impressive knowledge, technological progress and fundamental changes in society. 

Great navigators and skilled craftsmen

Behind the maritime success obtained by the Vikings is a deep knowledge of shipbuilding and navigation. The construction of solid ships suitable for navigation, combined with the knowledge of how to navigate better, led them eastward, cross Russia to the fantastic Bysants, and reach America, 500 years before Columbus.

 The craftsmen who made the ships, weapons and other provisions were very important for the Viking life to have a high status. Solid craftsmanship is another distinctive feature of this era. Working wood and iron produced objects of exceptional quality, which they often decorated with plant motifs. From a modern point of view, the decorations of these objects of use, such as weapons, coins, and cars make them a unique type of art in this period. 

Oslo founders

Although during this period many left the country, many others stayed in Norway. Part of the development they achieved was achieved thanks to the stimuli that the Vikings obtained from their travels. There was a remarkable technological development in agriculture, and trade systems were improved. Christendom was introduced as an alternative to ancient mythology, and its first kings reigned in Norway.

 During this period the first cities of Norway were developed: permanent settlements in which the main functions of society met: religious, administrative, military, etc., Oslo is one of the cities that owes its origin to the Viking era: In The excavations have found remains of an original urban structure of approx. 1000 DC 

 Although the Vikings left a long time ago, it can be exciting to imagine that they were passing through the same places that make up the city of Oslo today. In addition to a historical environment, there are several places in Oslo where you can learn a lot about the Vikings and the Viking era.

 

 


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