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  • Writer's pictureHelen Avaient

Viking exhibition at Fremantle Maritime Museum

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

In collaboration with the National Museum Demark, the Fremantle Maritime Museum is hosting the Vikings exhibit, subtitled Warriors of the North, Giants of the Sea until 16 May 2021. The Maritime Museum has hosted some amazing exhibitions and this one did not disappoint. Over 140 authentic artefacts are on display here. If all you know about Vikings is that they plundered and pillaged, the information here will educate and inform in an easy format.

The displays are well set out. There are interactive video games to play, videos to watch, items under cases to observe, and clothing and weapons to touch.

As you enter the first room, there is a Gokstad boat. "In Gokstad, Norway, a ship from the Viking Age was used as a grave chamber that contained, among other objects, three smaller boats. This is a reconstruction of one of those three boats…The reconstruction comes from the boatyard of the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Norway….. All materials chosen follow those of the original boat. “

Dating between 750 and 1100CE there are almost three centuries of items here. I loved the jewellery and the intricate artwork involved. These were not just practical pieces, they were adornments.

The videos are like looking through a window back into time. Getting to know more about their everyday life and customs helps you to see them as real people, not just stories in books.

Dress up in Viking clothing and have your photo taken against a village backdrop. Then you can send it straight away to an email address to be shared on social media and with friends.

You can feel how heavy the chain mail armour was, and try lifting one of the heavy swords. Imagine how difficult it must have been fighting whilst wearing these?

Signage throughout the exhibit was well done. It was large and readable as well as informative.

The largest item is at the end of the exhibit. It is a three sided replica of the Jelling stones which are massive carved runestones from the tenth century found at the town of Jelling in Denmark. King Harald Bluetooth (yes, the radio communication standard was named after this king. The king united Scandinavia, just like the unity between the PC and cellular industries with a short-range wireless link.)

“Often called Denmark’s birth certificate the inscription proclaims King Harald’s baptism and the establishment of Christianity as the official religion of Denmark”. It is surprisingly large and ornately decorated.

On the way out, take the quiz to see what you learnt. I scored 7/8.

The exhibit will take about an hour to walk around if you read and look at most of the items there. It is well worth attending.

Happy Travels!

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