Our cultural heritage

Their arrival was sudden and violent, those Vikings. They terrified well-established communities that were probably no strangers to warfare, but were simply not ready for the surprise tactics employed by the Vikings. In Norway, they mostly embarked on their voyages from western Norway. Many Vikings became filthy rich from plundered goods.

Conquests often occurred in stages. The Vikings might settle in one place, and remain there for some years, perhaps a generation, before continuing to pursue their conquests elsewhere in the world. Many believe the reason for this could have been a lack of cultivable land. In Norway, they mostly embarked on their voyages from western Norway. Many Vikings became filthy rich from plundered goods.

Great honour was brought home to Norway as a result of daring battles with other Vikings or the armies of other countries. This carried as much weight as goods or gold. The Vikings had tremendous physical strength and mental fortitude. Their dauntless courage, their desire for victory, their technical giftedness and the ability to organise themselves wherever they put down roots. There was a flip-side to the coin, however. They became blood-thirsty when they went ashore from their ships with their dragon heads, and blood flowed wherever they went.

The housewife on the farm was a powerful individual. She was in charge while her husband was away on his travels. The woman’s work and social standing was associated above all with her family and farm. We have found symbols of this in the key to the farm that was buried with her.
We know very little about Viking recipes, but we know a bit about the ingredients the Vikings had, thanks to archaeological excavations. “Leftovers” of food have been found in cooking vessels and dumps. Some are also mentioned in writings from Viking times. As everyday fare, the Vikings often ate porridge and soups/stews. Meat was for festive occasions.

There are numerous finds and tourist sights relating to the Vikings and earlier settlements along the North Sea Trail. Here are some highlights.

Featured Attractions

Erling Skjalgsson monument
Grave finds in Bokn
Haraldshaugen - Norway's national monument
Nordsjøvegen History center
Olav's Church at Avaldsnes - the mighty monument to greatness
The battle of Hafrsfjord
The Penne stone carvings - Lista
The Viking festival
Utstein Monastery
Viking for a day
Viking Settlement at Avaldsnes - a feeling of being back in the Viking Age