Thursday, September 23, 2010

Viking Construction

I was going to title this "Land of the Vikings," since that was where I was when I took the pictures, but this is mostly about their ships, so "land" doesn't quite work. Anyway.

Unlike that first trip where I saw only conference rooms, I was determined to actually see something of the country this time. Sunday afternoon, I was able to visit the city's medieval fortress, and late Friday, after a week of conference rooms, my colleague took me to see the Viking Ship Museum. Very cool stuff.

The Oseberg ship dates from before 800. The picture above is courtesy of Wikipedia, because I didn't manage to get a photo of the whole thing.

It's amazing that this thousand year old wooden ship was found intact.


Oar storage. You can see the holes at the edge of the ship where they would have been inserted. I can't remember how many oars it had, but the Gokstad ship, on the other side of the museum, was set up for 32 oarsmen.

We also stopped by the neighboring folk museum, where a stave church from 1212 had been moved and preserved. In case you are like me and have no idea what a stave church is, wikipedia reports that it's "a wooden medieval church with a post and beam construction related to timber framing."

My colleague said that one could still arrange to have a wedding there. I'm not sure how the logistics would work, because it's *really* dark inside, and it's not like they're going to encourage you to bring candles inside one of the few all-wood structures that has survived into the 21st century. Maybe it'd be considered "romantically" lit.


Bob said...

The first photo of the ship showed such a striking geometric architecture and it's so streamlined too.
Looked like a computer designed ship that went through fluid dynamic tests.

The stave church seem to have gone through fluid dynamic tests (snow fall tests) too. Awesome constructions.

mayberry said...

Love the lines on that boat--it's really beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I'm always surprised by how very SMALL old ships were. Especially considering how far they sailed. I am clearly accustomed to having more space.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I was so sad to miss the church and other folk museum stuff. Come by my office and see my Viking ship poster.

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