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The new exhibitions

The Museum of the Viking Age has the world's foremost collection of objects from the Viking Age, including the best preserved Viking ships in the world. This is a story about the Norsemen and their world - in a time of great change.

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The Museum of the Viking Age will be world’s most important conveyor of knowledge about the Viking Age. It will be a new type of research museum, where visitors can immerse themselves in the Viking Age or enjoy an outstanding aesthetic experience, or both. The museum will surprise and challenge visitors by providing new knowledge, new perspectives and new discoveries.

The artefacts will play a key part in experiences and learning at the museum. They have a central and active role to play in the narratives about people of the past, and provide a link between the past and the present. The artefacts displayed in the Museum of the Viking Age are genuine artefacts from the Viking Age. They generate fascination by themselves and motivate visitors to explore their stories and to look for insights into the research process, which provides us with knowledge. However, some artefacts are also pieces of art and their aesthetic value is an experience in itself. More than 4,000 selected objects will be exhibited, and together with modern facilities and audience experiences, you will get a unique insight into the Vikings' lives and society. In comparison, the current museum has exhibited around 300 objects.

Eight different experience areas are currently being planned.

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Welcome and introduction to the Vikings

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This introduction to the Viking Age includes a spectacular exhibition about where and when the world of the Vikings took place, as well as an introduction to research as a premise for the knowledge we develop about the Viking Age. This section also spans the entire foyer area and the lecture hall.

Around the year 800 – A different world    

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The Oseberg discovery forms the basis for narratives about a society with a world view framed by Norse mythology. It is about people living in a different world, stories which will awaken the visitor’s curiosity and open for reflection.

Around the year 900 – The long journey

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The Gokstad burial forms the basis for narratives about how different regions fought for honour and resources, the central position held by ships in society and Viking encounters with the outside world.

Around the year 1000 – A new order

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The final part of the exhibition looks at stories about how the three Scandinavian countries emerged, how new towns were established and how Christianity gained a foothold and the church rose to power in society. Major changes took place during this period of upheaval, greatly affecting the lives of ordinary people. Visitors are challenged to reflect on why the Viking Age came to an end and how knowledge about history influences our views on the present and the future.

Research workshop & Cinema

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Laboratories and research workshops where visitors can get close to the research and participate in the work to better understand the Viking Age.

Temporary exhibition area

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Special exhibitions play an important role in addressing contemporary topics, contributing a voice to ongoing social debates, capturing new exhibition trends and/or themes in popular culture. 

Education and activity area

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This area is intended for use in museum education for children and teenagers. Here young visitors can experience immersive multimedia presentations and take part in craft and hands-on activities.

Outdoor areas and park

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The outdoor areas is divided in two main activity zones. The museum park is open and free to the public, and offers an open and playful approach to the Viking universe. The inner courtyard is an approx. 620 square meter area in the heart of the building where visitors can “get close” to the world of archaeology and archaeological methods, such as excavations and experimental archaeology.

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The narrative and design of the fragile Oseberg textiles animated on the wall.
Illustration: Atelier Brückner

Documents

Eilif Holte's non-profit fund has very generously donated NOK 200 million to the University of Oslo. The funds will be earmarked for visitor experiences, and are absolutely crucial for realizing the ambitious exhibition plans for the Museum of the Viking Age.