Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Viking ship to retrace route


April 11, 2007

Copenhagen - An 11th century Viking longship that has been entirely restored to its original condition will cross the North Sea this summer powered only by its sails, a Danish Viking ship museum said on Tuesday.

The ship will leave Roskilde, Denmark, where the museum is located, on July 1 and is expected to arrive in Dublin on August 14, project leader Preben Rather Soerensen said.

"This is a new challenge. We used the tools the Vikings used to rebuild the Havhingsten fra Glendalough and now we are going to test the ship's resistance," he said.

Sixty-five sailors will man the 30m vessel, which will have no engine and will rely entirely on its typically square Viking sail. The oars will only be used in ports for delicate manoeuvres.

The ship is the biggest Viking ship ever rebuilt.

The ship's hull was found at the bottom of the Roskilde fjord in 1962. The renovation work began in 2000.

Four years later, the Havhingsten fra Glendalough was first tested in the water, and has since sailed several short journeys.

"The ship was built in 1042 in Dublin and now we going to return her to the waters she was meant to sail in," Soerensen said.

The longship took part in clashes between the Anglo-Saxons and Normans in 1050-1060, a period when many Danish Vikings lived in Ireland. The ship was taking part in a raid on the Danish coast when it was sunk by the Danes themselves off of Roskilde.


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