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Naeröy Kulturhistoriske Anlegg AS (NO)
The Gudvangen Valley is situated at a 2 hours drive from Bergen, 5 hours form Oslo. Here, between the fjord and the mountains the Naeroy Fjord was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 2006, and has been described by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Since 2003, the annual Viking Market and Summer Games have attracted re-enactors and public from all parts of the world for a three‐day celebration of Viking life, culture, sports and . This usually takes place on the third weekend in July, including short courses in crafts and sports. It attracts up to 500 Vikings from all over the world.
”Wouldn’t it be nice to have a time machine? You could travel back in time and see how it really was!”. This is one of the most frequent suggestions archaeologists get. At Gudvangen, they had a dream to create an authentic Viking experience – a forgotten valley.
Gudvangen Viking Town is now under for the next couple of years. It will represent a typical Northern European town as it might have looked in around 850‐950 AD. It will not be a replica of any single town, but will draw on evidence from archaeological excavations in England, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Russia and the Norwegian trading centre of Kaupang (Sciringsal). As such, the project aims to show a composite picture of Northern European culture and life in an urban Viking‐age society. Every summer from 2011 onwards, re‐enactors from all over Europe will recreate Viking life in 30 workshops and live exhibitions. As well as the town, the project will contain a reconstructed grave yard, a royal farm with a long hall, a blacksmith’s shop, a pagan temple, a stave , a Viking age harbour with ships, and a visitor centre with exhibitions, cinema, conference centre, café, bookshop and gift shop. It will also include domestic animals typical of the period. The activities are guided by evidence and ongoing consultation and archaeological and historical studies. All you see is Viking age, fjord and mountains. You will see the town houses being built with authentic recreated tools based on archaeological evidence. Life will be lived by people dressed and looking so real that you actually will understand what it means to be travelling in time.
The town is placed behind earth banks and wooden palisades. Added to the merchant town with its workshops you will find a royal farm, Viking places of worship and a Viking playground with miniature Viking houses where the children can play while mum and dad do their own thing.
The large full scale experience lays a few years in the future before ready, but already every Summer you may have an authentic Viking experience: row a Viking , taste from the cauldron, try archery, watch the Vikings fight and play Viking games.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.