Iceland, a remote island nation in the North Atlantic, has an intriguing history that spans over one thousand years. One particularly significant period was Iceland’s Viking Age era when Norse explorers settled here. Nowadays, visitors to Iceland can explore this remarkable past through various attractions and landmarks. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Iceland’s Viking past and why it should be visited by anyone interested in Viking culture.
The Viking Age in Iceland began around the 9th century, when Norse explorers settled the island. These early settlers became known as “Icelandic Vikings” and established a flourishing community on the island. These skilled sailors and navigators utilized their knowledge of the sea to discover new lands and establish trading routes.
Visitors to Iceland can delve into Iceland’s Viking past by visiting settlement sites established by early settlers. These landmarks include Reykjavik, which was settled in the 9th century, and Thingvellir – home to Iceland’s first parliament.
The Saga Age
The Saga Age in Icelandic history dates from the 10th to 13th centuries. During this time, Icelandic Vikings recorded their stories (known as sagas) as a record of their lives and culture – these tales remain widely studied and celebrated today in Iceland.
Visitors to Iceland can explore the Saga Age through visiting sites like the Saga Museum in Reykjavik. Here, visitors are immersed in exhibits that bring the stories alive, such as animatronic figures and multimedia displays.
Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Iceland’s most significant historic locations. It was the site of Iceland’s first parliament, the Althing, which was established in the 10th century. At this gathering of Icelandic chieftains annually, they would discuss legal and political matters.
Visitors to Thingvellir National Park can explore Iceland’s historic site and gain an understanding of the Viking Age. Attractions such as Law Rock, where chieftains would meet to discuss legal matters, and Assembly Fields, where politicians gathered, provide visitors with a glimpse into life during that era.
The Settlement Exhibition
For anyone interested in Viking history, the Settlement Exhibition in Reykjavik is a must-visit destination. Displays showcase artifacts from the Viking Age in Iceland such as tools, weapons and household items from that era. Visitors can also learn more about Iceland’s settlement and how the early Vikings built an active community there.
One of the attractions at this exhibition is a 10-thousand year-old Viking longhouse that has been faithfully recreated on-site. Visitors can explore this remarkable structure and get an up-close view of how early Viking settlers lived.
Viking World Museum
For those fascinated by Viking history and culture, the Viking World Museum in Reykjanesbaer should not be missed. Here you’ll find a replica Viking ship as well as many artifacts related to this legendary race.
One of the highlights of the museum is Viking Voyage exhibit, which takes visitors on a virtual journey through Viking history. This immersive display includes multimedia displays and interactive elements to bring Viking history to life.
Iceland is an essential destination for anyone interested in Viking history. With its diverse heritage and captivating attractions like Thingvellir National Park, Settlement Exhibition and Viking World Museum, visitors can explore Iceland’s Viking past with a greater understanding of this period of culture and life.
Furthermore, reading Icelandic sagas provides unique insights into Viking life and culture that are must-reads for anyone passionate about this period of history. By immersing themselves into Iceland’s Viking past, visitors will gain a better appreciation for early Viking settlers’ contributions and impact on society today.