Viking Village At L’Anse aux Meadows

Just up the road from our campground is a replica of a viking village.  Native people have been in this exact area over 5000 years ago.  The Vikings landed over 1000 years ago.  That’s a lot of history in this one little area.

There’s a National Historic Site and across the street, so to speak, is a replica village.  In the village there are actors that dress is period clothing and “live the life” of a viking.

No plundering here.  Just surviving on the land.

The women in that era made all the food, clothing and such.  The men did the manly man things around the village.  The blacksmith was interesting.  He said the vikings figured out that the material, the muck, found in the bogs can be made into iron.  How they figured that out I don’t know.  But it’s pretty interesting that you can take muck, that looks completely useless, add fire and quite a bit of elbow grease, and get iron.  A metal that they made nails and pots out of.

Viking Village At L’Anse aux Meadows

Viking Village At L’Anse aux Meadows, Iceberg In The Background.

And the various farm animal they happened to bring along.  This pig, named Willie, was one happy pig.  Back in the viking day, I’m not so sure this would be the case.  He’s got one easy going life here.

The dwellings were made into the earth with sod roofs.  No windows per say, but they had cut holes in the roofs for ventilation and lighting.  Ventilation because they had fires in the middle of the floors for heating and cooking.  Black lung was a big problem back then.

Viking Village At L’Anse aux Meadows.

Willie The Pig At The Viking Village

The construction inside these buildings is beautiful.  The timber is all hand cut, obviously.  But with the most primitive axes.  They did not use nails in the construction of their buildings because they were too difficult and time consuming to make.  So they used wooden dowels.  Makes sense.  Trees were plentiful.

The Women At The Viking Village Make Food And Knit Clothes

The Blacksmith Makes Iron Out Of The Materials Found In The Bog

They saved the nails for their ship construction.  If the vikings are known for anything, other than the Capital One commercials (What’s In Your Wallet?), it’s their ship making skills.  They made some amazing ships.

One Of The Buildings At The Viking Village

The Church At The Viking Village

Inside One Of The Dwellings

A Viking Boat Replica

Inside One Of The Dwellings

Speaking of ships.  There is a non-profit corporation called the The New Vinland Foundation.  They were created to educate the public on the Norse sailors.  A few years ago they built a replica viking ship, the Knarr, and sailed it the exact path the vikings used and by only using the gear and food the vikings used.  This was to commemorate the 1000th year the vikings landed in Newfoundland.

After that voyage they donated the replica ship to the viking village.  It sits in the boat house today for all to visit.

The Ship Inside The Boat House

The Ship Inside The Boat House

It is an awesome site to see how the vikings constructed these ships.  It’s also amazing to realize they made it all the way from Greenland on a ship like this.

The whole village is made out of necessity and not luxury.  Let’s face it.  Their really isn’t any luxury when you’re a viking in a strange land.  You’re just trying to survive.