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Millennium-old Viking ships shored up for Oslo move

Engineers began work at Oslo’s Viking Ship Museum in order to ensure that three vessels that have been around since the beginning of the millennium are not lost.

It is vital to protect the wooden ships, two of which date back to the ninth century and the third from the tenth century. They are susceptible to humidity and temperature fluctuations in the museum’s current climate.


Ships that are too fragile to withstand vibrations during construction could be at risk of collapsing due to their weight. Engineers have created steel girders to protect ships from this upheaval.

“If they are displayed as they are today, they will be broken,” Haakon Gloerstad, director of the Museum of Cultural History and owner of the Viking Ship Museum, said.

Looters took some of the artifacts from the three ships and named them Oseberg Gokstad Tune and Gokstad after their locations. However, many items survived including textiles, animal head sculptures, and three unique sleighs.

Gloerstad said that the Viking ships were very similar to Tutankhamen’s grave and the pyramids in Egypt.

The ships will then be placed in their metal containers, while the sleighs are moved on a track that is centimetre by centimetre until they reach a safety chamber. In 17 hours, the first sleigh moved 70m (230ft).


David Hauer, chief engineer, stated that the wood is extremely fragile. You could only make tiny crumbs from it, but it would crumble between your fingers.” After years of planning, he is now overseeing the move.

The new museum will be open in 2026, 100 years after its current home. It will eventually attract ten-times more visitors than it was originally intended.

It was visited by approximately 500,000 people annually, but it was shut down in September 2013 to make room for the move.

Oslo’s tourists are still disappointed despite this.

Shalin Patel, an American tourist, stated that she had heard lots about the area and was eager to see it.

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