Tuesday, October 19

New Viking exhibition in Historiska

This is something I’ve been waiting for a couple of years! A few months before the pandemic occurred, the Swedish History Museum (The historical museum) closed his Viking exhibit for renovations and an update … promising to open bigger and better in 2020. Well, we all know what happened in 2020. So, I was excited when the museum reopened this spring, after being closed for the pandemic , knowing that the new Viking exhibition would also be open.

It did not disappoint! In fact, I think it is one of the best historical exhibits I have seen in recent years. Extensive and interesting artifacts, well laid out, excellent information and state-of-the-art technology. The exhibition, The viking world, is touted as the largest Viking exhibition in the world, and I see nothing to make me doubt his claim. With more than 1,000 square meters and 2,500 original objects, it is very impressive.

The sheer number of artifacts – everything from weapons to jewelry to human remains – is of course impressive, but what I really found astonishing was how informative, easy to understand, and well designed the exhibit was. Each display case has a corresponding computer tablet and the information on the tablet is in Swedish and English. First you have a page that describes the screen. The next page shows the objects on the screen, where you can click on each object to get more information about that object. You can also zoom in on the object with your fingers to study the detail. A wonderful feature, especially when you’re looking at something like an incredibly detailed miniature brooch. More information at the end of this post.

Runestone with illuminated details

The exhibition addresses the different aspects of the Vikings and their world … everyday life, trade, mythology, war / raids, burials and much more. I also enjoyed how they used technology to bring one of their huge runestones to life. Using light and projectors, the exhibition allows you to study in detail the different parts of the runestone. Interspersed throughout the exhibition were many displays and games for children. Several displays also had additional touch information for the visually impaired. Nice.

Braille touch screen for the visually impaired.

We easily spent two hours in this exhibit, using each of the computer tablets to explore and read more about the artifacts on display. What makes this exhibition even more enjoyable is that there is no admission charge. In fact, the entire museum has free admission … and they have many more exhibitions in addition to the Viking world, so you can learn everything about Swedish history, including the years before and after the Viking era. Of special interest is the golden room, which displays an incredible number of gold and silver artifacts from the Viking age and earlier, found in buried treasures throughout Sweden.

If you are especially interested in Vikings, don’t miss a visit (during the summer months) to Birka, the ancient Viking trading city where many of the artifacts on display in the museum were found. Stream offers great day trips to this UNESCO World Heritage site. The Swedish History Museum is located in the Östermalm district and the easiest way to get there from Hotel Rival It is by metro (red line to Karlaplan stop).

Here’s a more detailed look at how the tablets work:

Display with artifacts …

… tablet showing the various artifacts …

… which you can click to learn more about each item.

Objects can be zoomed in to get more detail up close.


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