Thyra Dane

Author of Romance. Blogs about Scandinavia, Vikings and books.

I`m still on vacation and just came back to Denmark from a nice trip to Poland where we visited Poznan (don`t go there) and Gdansk (a very beautiful city).

But what do you know – Mama Lovis sent me a picture of a Viking festival taking place very close to our cabin. Of course, I had to go. And like all annoying people who`ve been to places, I will share my pictures. The quality is rotten because all the pictures are taken with my iPhone 🙁

The place is called Trelleborg and it`s an old Viking fortress which was escavated in the 1930s and 1940s. It was mainly used for soldiers and wasn`t a “normal” city as such and it wasn`t used for very long either. But it`s an interesting place because they found little bits of wood from the longhouses which made it possible for them to see exactly how the houses were set up.

You can read more about Trelleborg here. 


Usually this is just a place to see the fortress walls and a copy of a longhouse but this week “Vikings” from near and far came to the place, set up Viking tents, dressed up themselves and their children and lived a Viking life, selling things, making things and going into the odd battle. When we were there Harald Bluetooth was fighting his son Svend Forkbeard.

Here are the pictures. I hope you find them interesting.

Here are some pictures of the tents with the people who`d been living there for a week. Some of them just lived there and some of them were showing their crafts or selling things. Yes, I drooled over the helmet but it cost 2000 Danish kroners which is pretty close to $400US. There are also pictures of the longhouse copy they`ve made and from the battle.

Here is a model of Trelleborg. The houses inside the fortress were for living in and the houses between the fortress and the outer wall were the ones they used to work in.

Here you can see how the longhouses were set up and with the fortress walls in the background.

They made a copy of one of the longhouses back in the 40s but they`ve later found out that the copy was wrong. The poles my children (aren`t they cute? 🙂  ) are leaning on were supposed to support the house itself – not an extra roof going out from the house.

Viking warriors waiting for battle inside the fortress. And yes, they included quite a few shieldmaidens in the battle too 🙂

I`ll upload a film or two as soon as I can get YouTube to cooperate with me.

I hope you`re all having a great summer. I know I am!

17 thoughts on “Thyra in Heaven – or Viking festival, as it were

  1. ReefChic7 says:

    These are beautiful!! I loved looking at them, thank you so much for sharing! The inside of the longhouse is exactly what I pictured from Shieldmaiden (which reminds me I still need to fix that darn banner…). It sounds like you are have an amazing time!

    As for me, I am just writing and trying not to melt in the heat. It’s about 107 degrees F here and I am meeeelting. 😉

  2. thyra10 says:

    It was great to be there and I just cursed myself for not bringing my good camera (actually, it turned out I had brought it – when I left the place I found it at the bottom of my purse *rolls eyes at self*).

    It`s always great to see the places one writes from. I`ve seen this longhouse before and sort of used it when I wrote but I gave them their own beds and not just these long beds going all along the wall.

    Oh, please send us some heat. Today was the best day in over a week and we had 20 degrees Celsius. At least there was no rain and they promised a bit higher temperatures later on.

    1. ReefChic7 says:

      Of course!! Isn’t that how it always happens? I do that all the time with my car keys and my cell phone. 99% of the time they are in my hand when I am looking in my purse.

      I will happily send you our heat. If I did the converter right, it looks like that would be about 41.67 C. I am sorry it is so chilly where you are! Snuggle with the hubs! 😉 XO

      1. thyra10 says:

        I keep looking for my sunglasses and they`re on my nose….

        It is chilly. But in two weeks I`ll be on Malta and you and I will have the same temperatures 😀

      2. ReefChic7 says:

        Mine are usually on my head. LOL Sounds like we were separated at birth! 😉 I have never heard of Malta, must google it.

      3. ReefChic7 says:

        OMG. Just googled it. Can I Fed-ex myself to you and come with?

      4. thyra10 says:

        Malta is a tiny country/island just north of Tunisia/south of Italy. A lot of history – not Vikings, though. It was a fortress for crusaders.

  3. fffbone says:

    That looks like fun. I would want to buy alot of things. Is that your daughter with the really long hair? I’m soooo jealous. Tell her never ever to cut it please.

    1. thyra10 says:

      It was a lot of fun! I wanted to be in the battle and not just watching from the sidelines, though 🙂

      Her hair is not only really long but it has all kinds of amazing colors in it. Each strand of hair is a different color. So I tell her not only to never cut it but also to never dye it. Of course, she`ll probably do both in a couple of years – and I`ll end up crying.

  4. fffbone says:

    BTW, I love looking at pictures. I like how they made chairs.

  5. fffbone says:

    Your daughter has beautiful hair, I’ll cry too if she dyes it and cuts it. Your pictures came out great btw.

    1. thyra10 says:

      I just wish I had a flash and a better zoom … like on the camera I had in my purse but thought I`d forgotten to bring *rolls eyes* and didn`t find until we left the place.

  6. Alison Griffiths says:

    I’ve come back to look at this time and time again, because the arrangement of the long houses fascinates me. I didn’t imagine they’d be placed so close together that way, would this have been considered a large settlement? In the picture of the hjelm I noticed some beads, as a glass worker and bead maker myself I’d be interested in learning more about how beads were made and used in the Viking Age, can you recommend anything. (In English though, I’m afraid!)

    1. thyra10 says:

      Ups, wrote my reply by pressing the “post comment” button and not the “reply” button which means you probably won`t get a notice about the reply. So here is the notice 😉

  7. thyra10 says:

    I found a place where they sell Viking beads made the old way – and there`s a picture of it. It doesn`t make a whole lot of sense to me what they are doing inside the little “hut” but I`m assuming it`s where they heat the glass. You probably know more 🙂
    It`s not in English, unfortunately, and with no descriptions of how the beads were made, but you can see examples of the finished beads (replica) and that might give you some ideas?

    No, this settlement wasn`t extremely large and it also didn`t last very long. They aren`t sure why but they think it might have been constructed for some war purposes and then abandoned afterwards. But there were settlements that were larger and where the houses were closer together.

  8. Liliput says:

    I am truly fascinated by the Viking era. I live in Canada, and a few years ago, I went on a field trip with my son’s grade 5 class to a re-creation of a Wendat (Huron) village here in Ontario. I was surprised how much their long houses reminded me of the early Viking long houses!! They also had a central firepit with a chimney for smoke, and the same long shelves on either side of the house that served as bed for the clan, or extended family that lived there. I find it so interesting that cultures that were separated by a rather large ocean built homes that were so very similar in construction & design!!
    Incidentally, the Wendat were a matriarchal people. The men were in charge of war or protection of the village, but the decisions were made by the women.

    1. thyra10 says:

      That sounds really interesting!
      I studied dialects for a while and it`s really fascinating how dialects would often be alike on different sides of an ocean, but different between people living just 20 or 30 miles from each other with land between them. Water was much easier to travel over than land so people would see each other more if they could travel by boat than if they had to walk or use horses. I suppose it`s the same with larger waters – like the Atlantic. Connections that sound incredible today because we know what kind of small vessels they traveled on, were actually not that incredible.
      And, of course, they seemed to accept that a certain number of people would never make it. I read somewhere that 1 out of 10 never made it on trips between Scandinavia and Iceland back in the Viking age. Considering how many people made that trip, that really makes you think.

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