With the newly acquired acreage (4.5 hectares, or 11.1 acres) at our disposal, we can now improve accessability, expand our teaching facilities and make the museum an even better place for an outing.
On Thursday, August 31, the town council of the Municipality of Kerteminde decided to purchase 4.5 hectares (11.1 acres) around the Viking Museum at Ladby. With a fine field sloping down to the fjord added to the museum grounds, we can now get started with new developments to benefit the many museum guests.
“We are incredibly happy about this decision, and are eager to get to work on the project,” says Claus Frederik Sørensen, who is the museum’s department head. “There is massive interest in the Viking period, both here and in other countries. With more space, we can make the Viking Museum at Ladby even more attractive as a destination.”
In the last 10 years, the number of visitors at the museum has almost quadrupled, and an expansion has long been high on the museum’s wish list. In later years, the lack of space has put a limit on the number of guests who could come to the museum, and has been a hindrance to accessibility for the walking-impaired and the handicapped.
Right away in spring, 2018, we plan to be able to receive visitors and tourists with several new initiatives at the museum: a living historical landscape down towards the fjord, improved accessibility in the form of more parking spaces, better paths, increased information, especially at the reconstructed Viking ship, as well as several new events and activities.
The Vikings’ historical landscape
With our new acreage, we plan to establish grazing on a coastal common with scattered undergrowth. The new acreage has, until now, been planted with grass, and can, with few changes, be turned into an easily accessible, recreative area.
- New paths will be created through the landscape.
- New trees and bushes will be planted, such as fruit, berry and nut bushes and trees, based on the Vikings’ historical landscape.
- The area aaround the burial mound will be made more open by removing some of the older plantings, hedges and thickets.
- New recreative areas will be established, where visitors can have picnics, play games, test their agility on an obstacle course, but also enjoy peace and contemplation. In addition, campfire pits will be built and people can learn about the food and drink of the Vikings.
The following initiatives are considered necessary to make accessibility optimal:
- The temporary parking lot will be improved through the spreading of wood chips (as it is now, it is muddy and slippery both for cars and for pedestrians), and the parking lot will be fenced in.
- Handicap parking will be established close to the museum.
- A parking area will be created for busses and camper vans.
- Hard-surface walkways will be built through the parking lot for wheelchair-users and electric scooters.
- There will be a special area close to the burial mound so handicapped and walking-impaired visitors, with permission, can drive closer to the Ladby Ship.
Among the Viking Museum at Ladby’s absolutely biggest attractions is the reconstruction of the Ladby king’s burial ship, the Ladby Dragon. In order for the ship to become accessible in the colder months, when it’s not in the water, a covered space for the ship will be built. In the warmer months, this space will be used as a workshop. Another part of the story is the museum’s Faroe Islands boat (which will be launched in the middle of September, 2017), that also has a need for winter shelter.
In addition, there will be an all-weather exhibition about the ships for the many guests.
With the new space, the museum can increase the number and scope of activities, in the form of events:
- Viking animal shows, with participation by local residents as well as by Viking groups, who tell about the animals of the Viking period, for example, horses and dogs.
- Weekends where museum volunteers demonstrate and explain their handcrafts, their costumes and about sailing in the Viking period. In the future, agriculture and cooking, among other things, could be added.
- The annual launching of the ships could include music, cooking, campfires and games.
For the events, experts in various aspects of Viking life could be brought in. We are thinking very broadly, both in terms of traditional Viking history (history, archaeology, runology, osteology, etc.) and also about other kinds of knowledge with their roots in the Viking period, like brewing, making mead, wild herbs, cooking, horseback riding, jewellery-making and fighting.