The University of Oslo’s Viking Ship Museum is closing for a major refurbishment and expansion project, before reopening as the Museum of the Viking Age in 2025 or 2026.
The Viking Ship Museum exhibits three of the world’s oldest surviving Viking ships – the Oseberg, Gokstad and Tune ships. It also showcases artefacts from the Oseberg, Gokstad, Tune and Borre burial sites.
The Viking Ship Museum, which opened in Oslo in 1926, will reopen as Norway’s first museum dedicated to the Viking Age. It will be three times the size of the current institution.
The Museum of the Viking Age, an expansion of the existing facilities rather than a new build, will also include a restaurant, lecture hall, shop, park and research centre.
Reopening as Museum of the Viking Age
“Now we say thank you and goodbye to the old Viking Ship Museum as we have known it for a long time,” said Professor Jan Bill, curator at the Viking Ship Museum.
“We are not building a new museum just because we can, but because we have to,” he added. “The ships and the other objects in here need a better place to stay in the future.”
“However, when we are going to do it now, I can promise that we are going to do it very well. Both for the ships, for you in the audience, and for us who work here,” Bill said.
World’s oldest surviving Viking ships
Upon completion, the Museum of the Viking Age will be the first cultural institution in Norway that is devoted to the Viking Age, as well as a space for the Oseberg, Gokstad and Tune ships.
The Museum of the Viking Age will showcase more than 4,000 objects, offering immersive experiences that explore the history the Vikings. The current museum has exhibited around 300 objects.
During construction, the public can enjoy objects from the Viking Age at the Historical Museum in Oslo, the Viking Ship Museum’s sister attraction.
Images: Viking Ship Museum/AART architects