Roskilde Viking Ship Museum
An easy journey west from Copenhagen, the Viking Ship Museum is partly built on an island of reclaimed land by the fjord at Roskilde, an attractive, historic old town and the burial place of the Danish Royal Family. Step into Museum Island’s workshop to see reconstruction work on the 12th-century cargo ship Roskilde 4. Next door a courtyard forms a hive of traditional Viking activity; try coin minting, wood planning, and painting, or watch the blacksmith heat his fire with bellows. In the working boatyard, craftsmen reconstruct Viking and medieval designs using traditional methods. From the harbor, take a 50-minute trip around Roskilde Fjord on a square-sailed longboat–if there is no wind you get to row! The wonderfully designed, light-filled Viking Ship Hall has massive glass walls overlooking the fjord. This houses five reconstructed Viking longboats, the highlights of the museum. They were scuttled in the 11th century near Skuldelev, north of Roskilde, to provide a defence barrier against rival Viking raids. The boats lay undiscovered until they were excavated in 1962 in thousands of pieces. Now they lurk in eerie splendor against the majestic backdrop of the fjord.