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The Viking garden

Image may contain: Sculpture, Tree, Botany, Art, Environmental art.
Photo: Karsten Sund

The Viking garden is an artistically designed part of the Botanical Garden. It was opened  
in 2014. You find it in the flat area below the Rock Garden. Within this 33 m long, grounded Viking ship, you can study plants, rocks and animal products which were commonly used iby the Vikings.

The garden was created  in cooperation with our sister museum, the Cultural History Museum (which also belongs to the University of Oslo, and includes the famous Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy). 

Image may contain: Person, Hair, Nature, Community, Botany.
Photo: Dag Inge Danielsen

The Viking Garden is a little time machine, bringing you back to the Viking era (793-­1066 AD) – an important era in the Scandinavian cultural heritage. Intercultural  exchange is nothing new: already a thousand years ago, the Vikings brought souvenirs from both the plant and the animal kingdoms back from their extensive travels. Their forays covered all of Europe and considerable distances into Russia and other countries east of the Mediterranean. Some plants were imported whole, others as seeds, including seeds inadvertently imported in the stabilizing ballast of the ships. Valuable Norwegian export products at that time included soap stone and grinding stones.

In August every year, the Botanical Garden organizes the Viking Day, with demonstrations of Viking cooking, wool dyeing, carving cooking pots from soap stone –   and many other activities showing the importance of nature and natural resources at the time of  the Vikings.