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Mølen - Ice Age Monument at the edge of the sea

Magical and Mysterious

MØLEN

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If you’d like to experience one of the most historic and fascinating natural areas in Scandinavia, you can travel to the majestic pebble beach of Mølen, as far south you can get in Vestfold county, Norway.

Mølen is a part of the Ra Moraine, a large end moraine that extends around the whole of Scandinavia. End moraines are ridges of unsorted material including stones, sand, gravel and clay, which were deposited by a glacier. The Ra Moraine was formed during the last Ice Age. The Ice Age was at its coldest about 20,000 years ago. Then, the ice sheet covered the entire Scandinavian Peninsula, and the ice front extended all the way down into Denmark and Germany.


The weight of the ice depressed the land way down. Fortunately, the climate became warmer, and the ice melted back. The Ra morain is the result after the ice standing more or less still in a period of 300 years. Mølen was formed in the edge of the ice sheet between 12,650 to 12,350 years ago. A large pile of different rocks, boulders, sand and clay was deposited and later reworked by sea and wave action.



The mysterious burial mounds


One of the attractions of Mølen is the unique area of burial mounds. Each cairn, small and large, is secretive and mysterious because many puzzles remain to be solved for us to see the full picture of why they were built and what they contain.

Magical Mølen. Mølen is powerful and dramatic, with powerful waves and foam spray that kicks in from the wide open sea, towards the large pebble beach that has the greatest fate for pebbles in Norway. Mølen is also mysterious with all its mysterious burial mounds and the ship-shaped mounds from the Iron Age and the Bronze Age.

A part of the world’s largest natural monuments from the last ice age

Mølen is the name of a part of the stunning coastline between Helgeroa and Nevlunghavn. It has spectacular burial mounds, exciting rocks landscape, the country's largest pebble beach, and a wonderful walking area including coastal path that winds through the area.

"Is it your opinion, Winston, that

the past has real existence?

GEORGE ORWELL

Norway’s most spectacular gravesite

Around 1500 BC, the custom of burying individuals in large burial mounds arose. The cairns were placed on the tops of the countryside, close to the sky and overlooking the ocean or waterway.


The boulder moraine on Mølen by Nevlunghavn was the perfect place for our ancestors to build tombs: Good views of the dead and plenty of building material.

Burial mounds located on the surfaces of individual beach ridges formed during periods of extreme onshore wind uplift during the last Ice Age. Because of the uplift, the lowermost burial mounds may not be older than a few thousand years. But the oldest farthest might as well come from the Bronze Age, 1800-500 BC. Little is known about the mounds; however it is not difficult to understand that in pagan times the tombs were placed right here - the place where the moraine disappearing into Skagerrak is kind of a natural place for the last earthly journey.

"Time is us."

AUGUSTIN (354 - 430)

The vast burial ground contains 230 artificial stone cairns. The largest has a diameter of 35 meters. The minimum is two to three feet in diameter. Most are round, some are rectangular and one is the shape of a ship.

You won't believe it until you've
seen it yourself

Professor of Nordic archeology, Sverre Marstrander (University of Oslo) found around 70 ship nails and large amounts of iron chips after dissolved nails in the oval, ship-shaped rock mill "Mølenskipet" in the early 70's. Here he also found charcoal, which he dated with the help of so-called C14 samples.


On the basis of this analysis, he concluded that the smoke originated from the old Iron Age. This date was immediately welcomed by the archaeologist Trond Løken, which pointed out, among other things, that the ship's shape primarily characterizes the younger Iron Age, and that iron clinking of boats did not become common until the 400's after Christ.

"For the history and landscape, or rather the

landscape and history, are intricately linked"

ERLING JOHANSEN

Yngling’s family grave?

Perhaps Mølen was the burial place of a branch of the mighty Ynglings?


"Along the Norwegian coast from Båhuslen to Bodø, the hills and islets, islands, and headlands lay round stone mounds, often many in the crowd, all thrown together. They continue on along lakes and rivers in Götaland and over to the coasts and islands in Finland and Estonia. They form a chain of thousands; we do not know how many thousand only in the present-day Norway. "


This is how the archaeologist A.W. Brogger starts his article in the

booklet Mølen in Brunlanes, published by Norwegian archaeological company in 1938.

"What are they?" he asks and notes that it has to do with tombs from the Bronze Age

people of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Estonia.

Of all the thousands of burial monuments in Norway is Mølen the most remarkable, according

to Brogger, primarily because of its excellent location.


He describes the site as such:

"This mighty glacial reason, filled with endless masses of coarse, round, little stones, forming

a beach overlooking the ocean, and it ends in a spit, it's like a small continent

ends - here ends Vestfold. Broad and powerful it grows out of rocks west of Nevlunghavn, a powerful

open beach where the sea touches. And the highest edge was crowned by the great old mounds

as majestic and silhouettes its profile against the sky. "


Archaeologist Trond Løken was also one of the first to present

the hypothesis Mølen as a cemetery for a branch of the mighty Ynglings.


In the Bronze Age, it was common to bury the dead in the monumental burial mounds upon the heights of the landscape. The dead were to be seen - so the view of the sea and transport were the determining reasons of where and how the mounds should be. Burial mounds were erected over the grave of the most powerful people in the area. The burial caskets, built of stone slabs, were usually directly on the mountain in the middle of the mound.


"There comes a time when those

who remembered me are forgotten"

PETER WESSEL ZAPPFE

A Mysterious Riddle


What have our ancestors symbolized on Mølen, or tried to signal to the outside world and perhaps the universe gods on Mølen? Experts are not quite sure what traditions were related to Mølen, and it remains an enigma and a mystery what burial mounds include, but archaeologists and experts are in no doubt that this is the burial mounds for a large family.


These graves have a strategic location with expansive views of the countryside and the major works that sea and landmarks. You do not get such monumental tombs without basis in wealth and power. The smaller mounds are perhaps symbols of warriors who fell in sea battles or shipwrecked along with their chiefs.


"Every mood, yes, every moment is of infinite

value, because it contains in itself an eternity."

JOHANN WOLFGANG GOETHE

Nearly all mounds have one or more grooves, which possibly show earlier pirate-like grave robberies, looting, or so-called mound breaches. Mound breaches involve performing a ritual removal of the dead, but researchers are uncertain of the reason. It may also be that the mounds are built with an emphasis on purpose, but they are, so no one has a natural explanation for it.


The youngest mounds probably originated from this era, but cairns located higher up on the beach may be older. Maybe the site has been used as a burial place for two thousand years.


Image below: Night Mood from the pebble beach at Mølen.

Mølen is Scandinavia’s first Geopark


In June 2008, the Nordic region's first UNESCO European Geopark on Mølen opened. In addition, it is important to state that Mølen is listed twice - in 1939 for the spectacular grave monuments and in 1970 because of the abundant bird life on the peninsula and the waters around it. The name Mølen, mentioned in the saga year 1207, derived from the Old Norse mol, which means rock beat or stone embankment.



Rocks on Mølen


Mølen and Raet contain rocks of many different geological ages and origins as the glacier brought here from many places in Southern Norway. Among pebbles on Mølen you can find at least 100 different types of rock. Many of them we recognize, and we know where the glacier picked them up. Some typical types are:

•Quarzite from Telemark

•Gneiss from Kongsberg and Meheia

•Limestone from Grenland

•Sandstone from Ringerike

•Granite from Drammen

•Rhomb porphyry from Vestfold


Sounds and site you will never forget

Mølen is a majestic place in all weather and all seasons and perhaps it is even the most impressive being here on a day of extremely windy weather. Storm, sun, and rain interchanging provide fantastic lighting. It is never quiet in Mølen. With Skagerrak right outside, there is always wind in the air and always waves crashing against the shore.

During the day, the swells turn sharply and you can hear the powerful water rumble. The fascinating sound is the rolling of the boulders under the water pulled by the currents. It is impressive that such a powerful sound comes from under the sea and can still be heard from the beach. You won’t ever forget the visual and sound impression from Mølen.

“Time is like a river made up of the events

which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon

as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another

comes in its place, and this will be carried away too.”

MARCUS AURELIUS

SALTSTEIN

Permian
volcanic
rocks

If you leave the boulders at the shore and head along the blue marked coast trail northeastwards, you will see black rock formations, some of them with white spots. These are Permian volcanic rocks, once flowing out from large volcanoes. The ultramafic, for the most lava flows where formed while the Oslo Rift opened up. 301 million years ago. These rocks are rare on a global basis, since they are the result of partial melting of metasomatized lithospheric mantle.The white minerals are mainly albite, sometimes calcite.










BIRD LIFE

The Birds’ Main Airport


Mølen is one of the most important bird migration sites in spring and autumn. Mølen Ornithology station was established in 1976 by amateur ornithologists in Vestfold to monitor bird migration at one of the most interesting localities along the Norwegian coast. Ornithologists monitor bird drawing, recording, and ring marking birds. Mølen has every right to be called the birds' main airport. No other Norwegian station has registered as many different bird species.


Mølen bird conservation area

MØLEN bird conservation area was up created by conservation law by Royal Decree of the 2nd of October 1981. The purpose of protection is to protect the rich and interesting bird life and preserve an important migration and wintering area for waterfowl, particularly for the sake of diving species (diving ducks, loons, etc.).

The area includes the following provisions:

 

Bird life, including nests and eggs, are protected against any kind of damage, destruction and unnecessary disturbance. Windsurfing, surfing, kite surfing (kite) and other water sports are considered unnecessary disturbance.

Boating rights etc. that were established at the time of preservation are allowed to continue, as long as it is for the purpose of the birds.

2. Hunting, trapping, and the use of firearms is prohibited.

3. Dogs are not allowed in the protected area

Locating Mølen

It is easy to identify Mølen, located midway between Nevlunghavn and Helgeroa. Along the main road (road 51), signs are well posted to get you along on your drive to Mølen. You’ll find a large parking lot for Mølen visitors. From the parking lot, you’ll be a 5 minute walk away from where this wonderful landscape opens.


Sources and references:
A.W. Brøgger sin artikkel i heftet Mølen i Brunlanes, utgitt av Norsk arkeologisk selskap i 1938."Hvad er de?""En saga i stein" - UNIFORUM Nettavis for Universitetet i OsloKulturmiljøet Mølen – bruk av fjernmåling i endringsanalyserAnneli Nesbakken og Ole Risbøl
Professor i arkeologi Sverre Marstrander
Mølen i Vestfold - gravsted for ynglingekongen Øystein Fret
Kulturhistorisk Museum
Universitetet i Oslo
Vestfold Fylkeskommune
GEO Norvegica Geopark
Einar Nord - Gunnar Christie Wasberg: "Magiske Mølen"
Bratberg, Erling (red.). 1976. Fiskeribiologiske undersøkelser i Langesundsområdet, august 1974 – oktober 1975.
Fiske og Havet. Rapporter og meldinger fra Fiskeridirektoratets Havorskningsinstitutt, Bergen
.Brøgger, A.W. 1916. Borrefundet og Vestfoldkongernes graver.
Videnskapsselskapet i Kristiania, Skrifter II, Hist.-Filos.Klass 1916 no. 1.
BrøggerMølen i Brunlanes
. Norske fortidsminder I. Oslo.Bugge, Alexander. 1915. Skiringssal. Lorens Berg (red.),
Tjølling. En bygdebok,
s. 29–47. Kristiania. Grieg, Sigurd. 1920. Smedverktøy i norske gravlund.
Oldtiden IX.
Oslo. Hagen, Anders. 1967.
Norges Oldtid.
J.W. Cappelens Forlag. Oslo. Heggstad, Leiv. 1963.
Gamalnorsk Ordbok.
Det Norske Samlaget. Oslo.
Heggstad, Ragnar. 2011. Skiensvassdraget. (2012-02-05) i
Store norske leksikon.
Hentet ra http://snl.no/Skiensvassdraget.
Johansen, Erling. 1976. Ynglingekongen på Raets brodd.
Wiwar hete 10, 1976/2
, s. 16–21. Sarpsborg. Johnsen, O.A. 1925. Ynglingeætten i Vestold og Norges samling til et rike.
Vestoldminne 1.
Johnsen, O.A. 1928. Hvor blev ynglingekongen Eystein Halvdansson hauglagt?
Festskrift til Finnur
Jónsson, 29 Maj
1928, s. 121–139. København. Johnsen, O.A. 1931. Hvor ble ynglingekongen Eystein Halvdansson hauglagt?
Vestoldminne 2. Konsekvensutredning or utvidelse, utdyping og utretting av Brevikstrømmen.
Kystverket Sørøst 12.juni 2005. Krag, Claus. 1991a.
Ynglingatal og Ynglingasaga. En studie i historiske kilder
.
Oslo.Krag, Claus. 1991b. Ynglingekongene og Vestold.
Vestoldminne 1991,
s. 3–11. Tønsberg.Lie, Ragnar Orten. 2012. Fugleangst på kysten. Ressursutnytting i jernalder og middelalder.
Norsk Maritimt Museum, Årbok 2011
, s. 45–74. Oslo.
Løken, Trond. 1977. Mølen – et arkeologisk dateringsproblem og en historisk identifikasjonsmulighet.
Universitetets
Oldsaksamling Årbok 1975/1976
.Marstrander, Sverre 1976. Gravrøysene på Mølen.
Viking bd. XXIX (1975),
s.11–56.Myhre, Bjørn. 1992. Kronologispørsmålet. I: Arne Emil Christensen, Anne Stine Ingstad og Bjørn Myhre (red.),
Ose-bergdronningens
grav. Oslo.Nicholls, Morten. 1982. Vannbruksplanlegging – Telemark.
Vann 1–82
. Telemark. Skre, Dagfinn. 2007a. e Dating o Ynglingatal. I: Dagfinn Skre (red.),
Kaupang in Skiringssal.
Kaupang Excavation Project Publication Series, Vol. 1. Norske Oldunn XXII. Århus/Oslo.
Skre, Dagfinn. 2007b. e Emergence o a Central Place: Skiringssal in the 8th Century. I: Dagfinn Skre (red.),
Kaupang
in Skiringssal.
Kaupang Excavation Project Publication Series, Vol.1. Norske Oldunn XXII. Århus/Oslo.Skre, Dagfinn. 2007c. Towns and Markets, Kings and Central Places in South-western
Scandinavia c. AD 800-950. I: Dagfinn Skre (red.),
Kaupang in Skiringssal.
Kaupang Excavation Project Publication
Series, Vol.1. Norske Oldunn XXII. Århus/Oslo.Snorre Sturluson. 1997. Ynglinge-soga. (Heimskringla),
Snorres kongesoger
. Det Norske Samlaget, 4.utg., 3.opplag.Solli, Brit. 2002.
Seid. Myter, sjamanisme og kjønn i vikingenes tid

Viking Ship found buried in Norway.

The Vikings were a seafaring people who came from their homelands in Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland). Their ability to build large, reliable seafaring ships and their advanced naval skills allowed them to travel long distances and expand their territory. They established a name for themselves from the late 8th to early 11th centuries as traders, explorers and warriors. They reached the northern coasts of the American continent long before Columbus. While they are often described as savages raiding the more civilised nations for treasure and slaves, the art and culture of the Viking people are of considerable sophistication.

Archaeologists armed with a motorized

high resolution georadar have found a Viking ship

and a large number of burial mounds and

longhouses in Østfold County in Norway.

Archaeologists armed with a motorized

high resolution georadar have found a Viking ship

and a large number of burial mounds and

longhouses in Østfold County in Norway.

SENSATIONAL

DISCOVERY

Archaeologists armed with a motorized high resolution georadar have found a Viking ship and a large number of burial mounds and longhouses in Østfold County in Norway. The discoveries were made by archaeologists from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) with technology developed by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology (LBI ArchPro). The Viking ship find is just below the topsoil, at a depth of approximately 50 cm initially buried in a burial mound. The digital data visualizations reveal a large and well-defined 20 m long ship-shaped structure. The data indicate that the lower part of the ship is still preserved. Further non-invasive investigations are planned to digitally map the unique find and the wider landscape.

MORE INFO

Viking History

VESTFOLD

Most spectacular viking finds and burial fields

The history of the Vikings fascinates people of all ages. They were adventurers, seamen, artists, craftsmen, traders, politicians – and warriors. No other place has just as rich memories from the Viking time as here in Vestfold. The traces of our ancestors can be found all over Vestfold and leads to both exciting experiences and knowledge.

VIKINGS

Vikings were people from the area that we nowadays call Scandinavia. The name itself was used to describe Nordic traders or sea warrior that took part in trade or plundering missions throughout countries in Western and Eastern Europe.

MASTERS OF THE SEA! Water was essential to the Vikings' lives, and they were among the most skilled shipbuilders, sailors and navigators in the western world of the early Middle Ages; they were masters of the sea. Photographer this image: Asmus Kofoed

Viking attacks on Europe's coastal areas

The Viking era lasted from about 790 – 1100 after Christ., and the first known Viking attack was towards the Lindisfarne chapel in England in 793. During the next two centuries, many stories all over Europe´s coast tell us about different Viking attacks. Small and larger fleets plundered and went back to sea before anyone was able to gather troops to fight back. The Vikings sailed far up the rivers of Germany and France, and conquered large parts of Ireland and England.

Europe, Russia, Middle East, and America

There are also stories about attacks in Spain and Italy, and Nordic settlers settled down along the large Russian rivers. The viking´s missions went as east as the Caspian sea. The Viking believed so strongly in their own progress that Vikings with base in Kiev tried to conquer Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire.

Most of the stories about the Vikings are about the plundering missions, but the Vikings were more than that. Many of them were traders, while others travelled to settle as famers or craftsmen. On the islands north of Scotland, Iceland and Greenland, the Vikings had villages, while Dublin (Ireland) and York (England) were important trading cities.

Much of the history of the Vikings barbaric warriors has become a myth and cliché, both right and wrong.

Sigurd was the first European king who went on a crusade to the Holy Land. Not a single battle was lost on the crusade.

VISIT SCANDINAVIA

But is is the traditional and bloody Viking missions that most of Norwegians and people abroad associate with Vikings. The frightening stories of the barbaric savages from the north that conquered new land by slaughtering any resistance they met, they stole valuable items from shocked societies all over Europe and the western part of Asia. The conquests often happened in different stages. So when the Vikings settled in one place, some years or a generation passed before they kept conquering.

The Viking Ships

all want to see

Iconic cultural treasures

CLICK ME

Were the Vikings all bad?

That so many around the world knows about the horrible attacks of the Vikings in the years from 790-1100 has to do with the unforgettable impression you´re left with after hearing about the rampages.Many parts of the viking´s history has turned into myths and clichés both in the rights and the wrongs. It is a fact that the Vikings attacked and plundered all over Europe, but one often forget about their skilled seamanship, architectural skills, crafting traditions, and that they were not only warriors, but also skilled traders.

Some came to fight, but others came peacefully, to settle. They were farmers, and kept animals and grew crops.

Vikings sailed the seas trading goods to buy silver, silks, spices, wine, jewellery, glass and pottery to bring back to their homes.

Even today, the reputation of the Vikings exists as barbarian fighters as the strongest association people around the world have about the Vikings. Increased knowledge and understanding has given us insight that the life of the Vikings was not only so united. The Vikings were skilled traders, craftsmen, and the art of construction they showed up with the ships, and good seamen is what we admire the most for now.

The Norwegian Crusade

The fact that the Vikings at the end of their era was travelling the world to make other cultures Christian is not something everyone knows.

The Norwegian crusade lasted from 1107 to 1111 after the First Crusade lead by the Norwegian King, Sugurd I Jorsalfare. Sigurd was the first European king that went on a crusade to the Holy Land.

Not one battle was lost during the crusade. The Norwegian crusade reminded a lot about previous Viking missions, but the objective was a lot older this time, seen from the Christian point of view.

Sigurd Jorsalfare and his men left for his famous Viking mission in 1108 (many think Sigurd Jorsalfare left Norway in 1107).

The fleet that left in 1108 consisted of 60 ships, according to the sagas. The number was confirmed by a French author at the time, Fulcher from Chartres. The total manpower may have been around 5000 men.

A painting shows the Christian clergy preaching to a Norse settlement. By Tom Lovell. Tom Lovell (1909 – 1997) was an American illustrator and painter.He produced illustrations for National Geographic magazine and many others, and painted many historical Western subjects.The image may not be downloaded or otherwise copied or used. © Visit Scandinavia has purchased a license for this image file.

Horned helmet

Apart from two-three cases of ritual helmets that had protruding horns or snakes, no illustrations or excavations of Viking Helmets have suggested that they had horns. In fact, such helmets would have caused their fighting method, which was close combat, to be more problematic to implement.

The general misconception that Vikings had helmets with horns are probably derived from the Gothic federation in Sweden, founded in 1811 for the purpose of promoting Norse mythology as a religion of high artistic perception.

The myth has probably been amplified through nationalism, and through the Viking era has been merged with the Nordic Bronze Age, which was 2000 years earlier. From the Bronze Age, helmets with horn have been found, through archaeological finds and rock carvings, helmets that have probably been used in ceremonies.

The Viking Age

The Viking Age in the Nordic Region is a term of the period from 800 years after Christ to about 1050 years after Christ.

During this period, Vikings from Norway, Denmark and Sweden were on a number of plundering and trade journeys in much of Europe.

The Northern Boats' shipbuilding art was the only prerequisite for the Vikings becoming successful both as traders and as robbers.

A special feature of the Viking ships was that the kettle was very shallow, so the ships were not dependent on ports but could be pulled up on the beaches.

A number of Vikings also settled down and established smaller communities where they traveled, such as in Orkøyene, Shetland, Hebrews, Man, Faroe Islands and Iceland.

In 840, Vikings founded Dublin, which was headed by a Viking Kingdom, whose glory dates from 920-970 years after Christ.

The end of the Viking era is characterized by the introduction of Christianity, the creation of cities and the first national coin.

FIGHT!

Tactic and stratagem on the battlefield

A battle could begin in different ways. It could be a planned battle where they prepared and made plans before hand, but a battle could also happen by two groups “bumping into each other”.

The Vikings used stratagem on the battlefields. They often split the army in half before they met the enemy. One half were hiding while the others appeared to be weakened. When the fight started, the hidden part attacked the opponents from behind. No matter how much you practiced, a status as a warrior had to be earned on the battlefield.

THE BERSERKS

The viking´s ravages were feared all over the world.The berserks are referred to as horrible enemies to run into. Is is said that they were so high on the desire to fight that they bit their shields, attacked rocks and trees, and they even killed each other waiting for the battles to begin.

VIKING AGE IN VESTFOLD

The culture heritage is brought forward. A meeting of modern Vikings at the Gokstad mound by Sandefjord.

Vestfold was a central area in the Viking age. Here, queens, chieftains and big traders have built streets and established trading venues. Among the most famous discoveries from the Viking era are the Oseberg ship from Tønsberg, the Gokstad ship from Sandefjord and Borrehaugene outside Horten.

Vestfold is the county in Norway boasting the most tracesof our proud Viking heritage. The region between Mølen in the south and Borre in the north has many places worth visiting. Over a distance of about 60 kilometres (40miles) you will discover large, significant burial mounds,remains of Norway´s first town and where the most important finds from the Viking Age were made. Vestfold even has its own Viking ships, both original and replicas.

The finds show that Borre was more than a burial place, but a true royal power center in Viking times. This location was an important center for power already before the Viking Age. A magnificent lush landscape in the vicinity of the fjord probably made the choice of Borre as the head of the Vikings for a natural and strategic choice of living space.

I Midgards rike

Borre Mounds - Borre Park - Midgard Viking Center - Gildehallen

What a great nature and location!

Almost right between Horten and Åsgårdstrand is Borre, the viking´s favorite area. It is not hard to understand why the Vikings chose this area as their home when you look at the beautiful nature going down to the Oslo fjord and the fertile soil everywhere you go.

Midgard Viking Center and the Borre Park

At Borre in Horten county is Midgard historic center, which can offer experiences and activites for all ages. Inside, you can visit exhibitions with original items from the Viking era in Vestfold, as well as see relevant, international exhibitions.

We recommend visiting the Midgard´s Viking playground. This is where the young ones can play archeologists and excavate treasures from the ground, or practice their balance through a obstacle run. The older ones can test their bow and arrow skills, or try throwing axes. The whole family can play a log game, how about the children vs. adults? If you want to challenge your tactical skills, we recommend playing the viking´s own board game, Hefnatafl.

The center has a café with a panorama view of the Borre mounds. You can enjoy vaffles or other temptations in the café or on the outside terrace.

Midgard Vikingsenter. At Midgard, they emphasize a combination of experience and solid research to convey knowledge about the Viking era. You learn better if you can not only read, but also try out what you learn about. They are therefore seeking to bring the Viking Age to the lives of visitors.

The exhibitions in

the museum

Midgard Vikingsenter aims to create and convey knowledge about the Viking era. Here you will experience a mix of good knowledge based on research, mixed with experiences. Here you can feel that you go back in time, not just reading the theory about the Vikings. Here you can see and experience some of the time the Vikings lived, how the swords looked, what food they ate and what they were wearing.

At Midgard you will experience different exhibits with exciting themes for reflection. How was living 1000 years ago? How does our older history affect the present Norwegian society? How much has man and society really changed over the centuries?

On April 28, 2018, Midgard Viking Center's new exhibition opened Hauger, halls, sea. This is Midgard's biggest exhibition initiative since the center opened in 2000, where you can experience the Viking history of Vestfold and Borre, and learn about the people who lived here through a variety of multimedia films and animations. The exhibition also presents a number of the finest artefacts on Borre, as well as other findings from Vestfold.

Only one of the big hills on Borrefeltet is completely excavated, it occurred in 1852, and it is from this pile that Borre's well-known finds come from. A number of these items are exhibited at Midgard and can be seen in the exhibition "Borre i viken, Borre i verden". Midgard also shows the history of the Iron Age in the exhibition "Hauglagt - the vikings burial at Gulli" and "There are no borders from space".

Midgard Viking Center

Immerse yourself in the Viking history. Midgard Vikingsenter conveys the history and culture of the Vikings.

Outside the lawn, a series of wooden sculptures lead you to Midgard's Viking Square. Play was important also in the Viking age, and served as a way to train important skills you needed as an adult. One had to learn to master different weapons, have good fitness, precision and balance.

A ticket to the centre includes access to the playground – and the other way round. Combined with the majestic mounds in the Park and the sandy beach below them, everything is ready for wonderful adventures – so allow for plenty of time when you are visiting Borre – there’s a lot to do here!

The playground is open on weekends during school summer holidays, even though June 20th until August 16th.

Borre - the mounds and the park

Midgard is connected to the Borre park which has North Europe´s largest collection og large mounds from the young iron age (Viking era). The park has seven large mounds, around 40 smaller mounds, three rockeries and two star shaped mounds (“treodder”).

It was believed to be all of one family, the Yngling family, that was buried in the mounds, but new research based on DNA analytics, suggests that large grave yards like these usually contains remains from different families. But there are no doubt that there are some very important people of the Viking era buried at Borre.

Just one of the large mounds at Borre is completely excavated, which happened in 1853, and this is where the valuable findings at Borre were found. Many of the items found at Midgard can be seen in the exhibition “Borre in the bay, Borre in the world”. Midgard also exhibits great findings from the iron age in the exhibition “Mounded – the viking´s burials at Gulli” and “There are no borders from space”.

The Borre park is a favored hiking area for the locals, and is great of picnics and trips in summer time. Maybe a little swim is tempting if the weather is hot? Only a short walk between the park from Midgard is between you and the beautiful Borre beach with a view of the Oslo fjord´s outlet!