On the traces of the Vikings at the SchleiThe Hedeby Viking Museum
Vikings at the Schlei
The history of the northmen
They were so much more than the media wants to make us believe, much more than pirates with horned helmets, which, by the way, is a misconception.
The truth is, between the 8th and 11th century, the Vikings, which freely translated means "sea warriors", lived in Northern Europe and used Hedeby as a trading centre. Most of them were fishermen, farmers, craftsmen and traders near the water.
One of the most important settlements and trading centres was Hedeby at the west end of the Schlei near Schleswig. This port town was the trading centre of the Northmen for over two and a half centuries. Here, in the middle of the North Sea and Baltic Sea, merchants from everywhere under the sun met to trade. Later, after the destruction of Hedeby in the year 1000, they settled over to Schleswig.
The hedeby viking museum
The Hedeby Viking Museum is not only interesting in an architecturally aspect but also is a real cultural institution in Schleswig-Holstein. Visitors immerge into the Viking's history. Runestones, jewellery, coins and even a Viking ship – once the fastest in the Baltic Sea – are shown here well preserved in exhibition rooms. You can almost feel the spirit of the Vikings in these rooms.
Craftsmanship with a history
The Hedeby Viking houses
Within walking distance of the museum, you can find a reconstructed Viking village with seven true to original houses which revive the architecture of the Viking era. Between April and October, true Vikings await you in and around these houses to present to you the life of the Vikings quite vividly. If you don't want to go by yourself, take along an elaborated audio guide covering the museum and its exterior from the hill fort to the landing stage in the Viking village.
With the audio guide, you not only learn about the exhibits and the trading venue in Hedeby but also about a lot of interesting facts about Vikings. It also covers their gods and the erstwhile diverse flora which can be gazed at in the Hedeby museum garden.
Events in the Hedeby Viking Museum
Discover Vikings upclose
Next to the cultural treasures of the Viking era, Hedeby offers a versatile event programme with presentations of old craftsmanship for the visitor's delight. In the course of these events, a Viking ship was built in the ancient way and then launched and archaeologists also have visitors peek over their shoulders during their work.
According to the season, Viking markets regularly take place with many Viking friends from all over Germany and Denmark who come to Hedeby to revive the former Viking culture.
From April to October 2017, a comprehensive programme will take place to invite visitors to watch and take part in activities around the Viking topic. As a special attraction, you can watch the process of archaeological excavation in the historic area.
Due to restoration work, the exhibits in the museum cannot be seen until spring 2018.