June 22. 2019 a new museum opens in Bodøsjøen, Bodø. A traditional Norwegian cargo vessel, jekt Anna Karoline, is the main attraction in the new museum.
Anna Karoline was build in 1876, and is the last remaining specimen of a vessel of great importance for the region. The Jekt Trade Museum is build literarily around the jekt where she was put ashore in the 1950s.
The history of the jekt
A jekt is a big, open cargo vessel with square sail and roots back to the Viking era boatbuilding traditions. The museum exhibition tells the story of how this humble ship was carrying goods for the global markets from far north to the exporting cities in southern parts of Norway. For over 400 years the jekt trade provided Bergen and Trondheim with goods for export. Before the oil-era, the jekt trade with stockfish, klipfish and train oil was Norways most important export.
In the days over 200 jekts was trafficking along the long Norwegian coastline every year, arriving in Bergen harbor in hundreds for the annual stockfish-markets in the summer. Over 600 miles each way, the jekts sailed from Nordland to Bergen loaded with train-oil and fish. In return a life-important supply of grain and flour, salt and hemp to the northern communities. But also, coffee, silk scarfs, silver cups and haberdashery came to Nordland with the jekt trade. The long journey could last from a week to several months, and the crew risked their life. When bad weather struck, both ship, cargo and crew was often in great danger.
Today nearly no remains of these important ships are preserved. Only three original jekts still exist. One in Nordfjord, Sogn og Fjordane, a sailing traditional jekt in Trøndelag, and Anna Karoline in Bodø are the last representatives of this proud vessel. Jekt Anna Karoline is an important cultural heritage, and the museum is proud to be able to preserve her as a documentation of the jekt trade history, and present her in a new, modern museum building.
Jekt Trade Museum
The exhibition in the Jekt Trade Museum invites our guests to reflect and learn about the history of jekt trade. Through activities and active senses the visitor is invited to immerse in the historic landscape of natures risks and richness, the investments made and profits to be won. You will learn of life onboard a stockfish jekt, about the knowledge and skills of the crew. In the jekt-hall the smell of tar and stockfish will accompany the visitor as one walks along the huge ship. The landscape of steep mountains and deep fjords outside the windows sets the scene. The exhibitions displays trade goods from different times, from Viking age glass beads, medieval silver cups and 18th century silk garments. The museums big maritime collection is also present, and the surrounding outdoor museum completes the story. In the outdoor museum you can enjoy and explore authentic traditional buildings, see a collection of traditional boats, and enjoy the beautiful landscape and ever changing Nordland weather. The new museum building includes two exhibition halls and a reception building with a restaurant, museum shop and auditorium. The restaurant serves both local and trade-inspired dishes based on local produce and above all fish, both fresh and dried. A snack or lunch here, with the fjord-view outside, is highly recommended. We can offer unique experiences, combining history, storytelling and food culture. We believe than by feeling, smelling and tasting the history, our guests will never forget the Nordland feeling. Come to the Jekt Trade Museum and immerse in a extiting history of wind, arctic oceans, trade and livelihood north of the arctic circle.
From June 24th the Jekt Trade Museum is open daily 11-17. From September 1st the opening hours is 12-16 on weekdays and 11-17 in weekends.