The Norse people, known for their remarkable ships and savage brutality, dominated the oceans for nearly 500 years using precise navigation systems that allowed them to sail safely over vast distances.
Their maritime secret? The Viking Dragon – an emblem of terror and devastation – left the shores of Scandinavia for the rest of Europe and beyond.
The story begins in Scandinavia in the year 750 AD, in the small farms and villages along the coasts and waterways. Although the people involved were often blond Scandinavians, the term ‘Viking’ is not an ethnic term and should not be taken for any national identity. There were also Slavic Vikings and Irish Vikings.
‘Viking’ is rather a term for an activity by this diverse group of people living in Northern Europe at the time.
The Vikings’ Southern routes included the Norwegian Sea and Baltic Sea. The Normans were descended from Vikings who were given feudal overlordship of areas in Northern France—the Duchy of Normandy—in the 10th century. In that respect, descendants of the Vikings continued to influence Northern Europe. Likewise, King Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, had Danish ancestors.
Two Vikings even ascended the throne of England, with Sweyn Forkbeard claiming the English throne in 1013–1014 and his son Cnut the Great becoming King of England 1016–1035.
The Viking Dragon Ship
Ships were an integral part of Viking culture. They facilitated everyday transportation across seas and waterways, exploration of new lands, raids, conquests, and trade with neighbouring cultures.
The Vikings had a boat-building tradition going back centuries, when craftsmen designed ships that would forever change the face of history.
Construction spanned months. Men would build the hull and women would weave sails that once completed, would offer the ships extraordinary power.
But how immense was this power? Is the Viking legacy fact or fiction? Were the stories left to us embellished by artistic freedom?
Modern boat-builders and maritime archaeologists have puzzled over the depicted rigs of the Viking ships for decades.
Today, however, the mystery is finally unlocked. Discover how a real Dragon Ship would fare on the open seas.
Exploration, Colonization and Raids
Using detailed replicas, Viking Voyages: Wings of the Dragon takes us on a journey to further our understanding of Vikings at sea.
Through archaeological excavations, archaeologists and historians, we map where The Vikings ventured in their explorations. Reaching Northern Africa, the inlet river systems of Russia, Iceland, Greenland and even America (Vinland) and many other places, The Vikings raided and colonized new areas.
- Release date2002
- Full runtime
- Director(s)Bo Landin
- Production companySky Vision