A millennium ago, the Danish town Roskilde was not famous for having huge rock concerts there but instead as a commercial center for the Danish Viking Age Empire. Roskilde was an important center of power and commerce during almost 200 years. Today however, thousands of Danes joined up together at the big farewell party for the newly re-constructed Viking ship that is going to sail from Roskilde in Denmark to Dublin, Ireland. The Irish EU-minister was also present. “Please don’t burn down the place”, was his last words before the Danes headed for the Irish shores. =)
The ship is expected to sail into the Dublin harbor the 14th of August.
Nothing is as symbolic of the Vikings as the longship or “drakar” (dragons). Also called a dragon ship by its enemies, the drakar was really a warship designed to carry fearless Viking warriors on their raids across Europe over a millennium ago. Longships are often pictured with shields hanging from the gunwales. These shields were held in place by racks or ropes. The shields protected the warriors against arrows and spears during sea battles. They also protected raiding parties as the ships neared shore.