Valley of Vikings in Norway

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Valley of Vikings in Norway

Each summer in Gudvangen a week long market festival congregates to celebrate the Vikings. On the area, a permanent Viking Village is soon to be established. The construction work started in August 2016, and phase one will be open for business already in May 2017.

The name Gudvangen means “God’s place by the water” and in the Viking era it was an important market place and communication center, and there have been several places of worship. The Gudvangen village is situated at the end of The Nærøy Fjord, Sogn og Fjordane, Aurland Kommune, Norway. The Kjelfossen waterfall, one of the highest in Norway, is located just to the southeast of Gudvangen.

Valley of Vikings in Norway
Viking market

Back in 1994, a customer mentioned to Georg Olafr Reydarsson Hansen that he looked like a Viking. He took it literally and started his quest to become one. 22 years ago he moved from Oslo to the tiny village of Gudvangen where he has worked hard to fulfil his dream of creating an authentic Viking merchant town and to teach visitors about the life of Scandinavian Vikings.

Valley of Vikings in Norway
Georg Olafr Reydarsson Hansen, a real Viking? Photo: Visit Norway/Kyrre Lien

The village will be called “NJARDARHEIMR” (which means “the home dedicated to the Norse God Njord”) The Viking Valley as a concept will be an historical, living and working Viking settlement, where the Viking age and their exciting history will be brought to life. Members of the public will be able to interact and step back into time to experience and engulf the Viking age for themselves. You may even have the chance to take to the water in a replica Viking boat.

Valley of Vikings in Norway
Chieftain’s longhouse, Njardarheimr

Many various activities and experiences are arranged for children and adults. A special day is dedicated to the children’s market, and the visitors are involved into the world of Vikings during all the Festival, experiencing fighting, archery, theatre, concerts, Viking ship, fire shows, storytelling, historical ballgames, Viking wrestling and other animations. The market offers handicrafts, and a combination of tastes and flavors of the traditional food.

The Viking Market, held 18–23 July, is the camp’s only event while the main village is under planning. It is recognized as one of the biggest Viking markets in Europe, with over 3,000 visitors every year. Some 500 re-enactors, traders, warriors and craftswomen and -men, from over 20 nations, travel to the little village to form a bustling and diverse market – just like in the olden days.

Valley of Vikings in Norway
“Viking Wedding” Photo: Paul Edmundson

“Viking Wedding” is published by kind permission of Paul Edmundson. Watch more of the photographer’s images here. From his gallery in the heart of the Norwegian fjords, you can enjoy the power of nature on an epic scale by warching his exclusive collection of photography. 

Viking Valley will become an educational park dedicated to forging memories through learning and interacting with the inhabitants of the Viking village. All will be in accordance with archaeological evidence but still in a fun and entertaining way.

Valley of Vikings in Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg

Related:

Open Air Viking Festival in Norway

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