A new exhibition in Stockholm called the Viking World boasts of being the world’s largest. Opening its doors in June, the jury is still out. But the preview seems impressive.
Did the Vikings wear horned helmets? Were they violent raiders? Or clever tradesmen? Furthermore, when did the Viking World take off? These are only some of the questions to which a visitor to Stockholm this summer might get an answer. Tentative, perhaps, and yet, archaeologists and historians have been gathering new evidence for years. At Stockholm this summer, the intention is to present more than 1500 objects witnessing to the World of the Vikings and the results of the extensive research project on the Viking Phenomenon, which have been carried out at Uppsala since 2016.
All this new and exciting knowledge will be shared with the visitors to a new permanent exhibition, which opens its doors in June 2021 at the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm.
At the centre of the exhibition stands Yggdrasil, the World Tree, which was at the heart of the Vikings’ mythology and their way of seeing the world. The roots of the tree weave around the exhibition, leading the visitor through 10 different themes. From the social structure, the different roles people played in society, travel and cultural exchange with far-off countries – via handicraft, trade, seafaring and plundering – on to the relationship between the living and the dead and the growth of Christianity.
The exhibition will cover an area of over one thousand square metres. It will contain original objects, digital interactive environments, three-dimensional copies to investigate, and physical interactive exhibits for all the senses. Together with a multitude of exciting stories, all this means THE VIKING WORLD will place the traditional image of the Vikings in a new, dramatic light.
The myth of the violent, plundering Vikings from Nordic countries, with their horned helmets, might have been circulating the world for a long time. However, what do we really know about life in the Nordic countries a thousand years ago? Perhaps, the place to start this summer will be in Stockholm.