The Vikings are back – through new, awesome technology. Participate in a rousing Viking show at The Viking Planet in Oslo and experience the dramatic Battle of Hafrsfjord at Viking House in Stavanger.
You are sitting in a longship, surrounded by sweaty Vikings. The ship is shaking vigorously. Out of nowhere, a whale appears on the surface, but the Vikings don’t seem to care at all. Suddenly, an arrow strikes your oarmate, and he rolls over – dead.
The Viking Planet, a newly opened entertainment centre in Oslo, uses groundbreaking VR technology, 4D chairs, and cinematic sound to place you in the middle of the twelve-minute film “The Ambush”, directed by Erik Gustavson. And you might feel the urge to hold on to anything available when you, through your VR headset, see attacking Viking warriors wherever you turn your head.
To offer new ways of experiencing the Viking Period, the centre has also implemented several other digital tools, such as a 270-degree cinema, interactive screens, and holograms.
Historian Kim Hjardar was responsible for ensuring that all the details in the films are historically accurate, from clothing and buildings to the food, and, not least, the hairstyles. And yes, they might seem somehow familiar.
“The hipster look, with long, full beards and close-cropped necklines, is as taken straight out of the Viking Period. Bowl cuts and middle partings were also popular a thousand years ago”, Hjardar says.
He also denies the resilient myth that Viking helmets had horns.
Globally, the interest in Vikings and the Viking Period has exploded in recent years, many thanks to international tv series such as “Vikings” and the Norwegian show “Norsemen”. But according to Kim Hjardar, new generations are constantly fascinated by the Vikings.
“The Viking Period has been part of the popular culture since Wagner’s ‘Die Walküre’ was first performed in the mid-1800s”, he says.
It’s not only in Oslo that the Vikings have returned from the dead. In 2020, The Viking Planet will open in Bergen and Haugesund. And in the brand new Viking House in Stavanger, you can put on a VR headset, board a virtual Viking ship and relive the Battle of Hafrsfjord, a naval battle that was fought in the Hafrsfjord in 872 and resulted in the unification of Norway.
“With new VR technology, the story of the Viking king Harald Fairhair’s way to victory comes alive in a whole new way”, Tine Murphy, general manager of Viking House, says enthusiastically.
Other places in Norway, you can board a Viking ship replica or see the beautiful originals. Read more to find Norway’s top Viking sites.
A Viking was a tradesman, farmer, or sea warrior from the Nordic countries during the Viking era, which lasted from approximately year 800 to 1050. They participated in expeditions and raids in Western and Eastern Europe to trade with other people, settle in new countries, plunder, and bring goods back home.
The Brits were fascinated by the Vikings’ style and copied both their hairstyles and their clothes.
Many Vikings had tattoos, and they also made furrows in their teeth, which they probably filled with dye.
The Vikings loved beautiful jewellery, which they often used as gifts. The gift exchange system tied the Viking community together – the chieftains distributed the gifts down the hierarchy to buy loyalty.
Hospitality was important for the Vikings, and when they had guests, they replaced the everyday sour milk with the party drink mead.
Source: Viking historian Kim Hjardar
Visit historical sites, take a sea voyage in a Viking ship, or go all the way and be a Viking for a day.