Lofotr - the Viking museum at Borg

Finds from the excavations at Viking museum at Borg

THOUSAND YEARS AGO one of the biggest houses of the Viking Age stood on the «Wuthering Heights» of Borg on the Lofoten islands. Here the mistress of the household and the chieftain held sway.

Little did the Borg farmer realise the consequences when he discovered some pieces of pottery in his plough furrows in 1981. This find was the start of Lofotr - the Viking Museum at Borg. Archaeologists from the whole of Northern Europe came flocking to Lofoten, where the farm of one of the mightiest North-Norwegian chieftains was found. The 83-metre long chieftain's house, which has been reconstructed to its full size, is one the main attractions at the museum, which was opened in 1995.

Lofotr is based around the excavations at the largest Viking age house ever uncovered. A vibrant Viking Museum built around the 83 metre longhouse. Exhibition, reconstructions, Viking ship and Viking activities give the visitor a unique hist. experience. A taste of the viking age – special arr. for groups with guide and banquet. Viking festival second week in August.

In the area there are also vestiges of boat houses for long-boats, circular tunnel systems, barrows, and vestiges of other long-houses. Added together, these remains indicate that there was a concentration of power in the area during the Iron Age.

In Northern Norway during the Iron-age, there were about 10-15 Chiefdoms, one of which was at Borg in Lofoten. This is the only place where a Chieftains farm is found. Excavations shows that it was established around 500 AD. Experience the reconstructed longhouse, craftsmen at work, join in the activities, row the Viking ship, see the smithy, an exhibition of original artefacts, animals of ancient breed, café and museum shop. Maybe even a Viking will appear?

The museum at Borg is very special. When you enter the chieftain's house, you are transported back to the Iron Age. Light flickers from the hearths and gleams from cod-liver-oil lamps, the smell of wood tar fills your nostrils, the humming from cooking activities rises the 9 metres up to the roof. You can watch handicraft demonstrations using authentic Viking methods.

Borg was a centre of power in the Iron Age and had extensive contact with the rest of Europe. Several factors coin-cide to indicate that Borg was the seat of a chieftain. There are several burial grounds nearby, with some very big burial mounds and large boathouse tofts, where the chieftain could have kept a ship the size of the Gokstad ship.

Finds from the excavations, such as gold foil fertility figures, Frankish pottery and Rhineland glass, add to the picture. The museum houses a permanent exhibition, showing unique exhibits from the excavations. Outside the chieftain's house you will find some domestic animals - just as you would have done 1000 years ago. Horses, sheep and hens all thrive in the fertile landscape around Borg. After the excavation ended, the remains of what had once been the long-house were visible in the grounds. Slightly to the north, the long-house has been reconstructed.

It is worth your while to walk down to the boathouse, where there is a full-size reconstruction of the Gokstad ship. If the weather is good, you can go for a trip on it. On the way down to the boathouse you will pass a reconstructed Iron-Age smithy.

A day at the Viking Museum at Borg is an unforgettable experience.

Lofotr is open every Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. prior to the commencement of the season. During the season (20. May.-3. Sept.), the museum will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Prestegårdsveien 59, 8360 Bøstad.
TEL. +47 76 08 49 00,
FAX +47 76 08 49 10,
E-MAIL: vikingmuseet@lofotr.no,
Internet: www.lofotr.no
Lofotr - the Viking museum at Borg - North Norway Tourism and Vacation

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