Vikings were the people from Scandinavia, currently Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. During the 8th to 11th centuries, they left their mark of being raiders and traders. The rise of the Viking age had proved to be beneficial for technology, military, and cultural advancements. One of the popular aspects of their history is the houses they lived in, known as Viking longhouses. These houses were made up of timber frames, wattle, and daub walls, and thatched roofs. They are evidence of the beautiful yet smart architecture of that period. Today, it is a site of amusement for tourists and a chance to experience the life of Vikings in real. We will be discussing more the longhouses in this article. Let’s dive into the world of Vikings and their everyday life to get a detailed idea about their lifestyle.
# Longhouse Design
The longhouse has a unique and impressive design with varying sizes. The width of the Viking longhouses was around 5-7 meters in the middle and 15-75 meters long. The sizes may be different, but the basic construction remained the same. The houses were given the shape of a boat as the walls were made a bow.
Usually, there were no windows for light to enter, so; it would come through the vent designed to let out the smoke.
# Peek inside the Longhouse
The houses were divided into sections to carry out different work in different sections. Inside the house, along the wall, were wooden benches used to sit or sleep. One can say that the Viking longhouse was very structured and well planned. Generally, one section of the house was reserved for animals in winter as there were no separate buildings for them. Longhouses can literally take you back in time with their aesthetic and authentic vibe.
# Source of light in the Longhouse
Can you imagine a house without light? Well, it can become very scary and dim. The longhouse did not have any windows, but the light would still enter from vents and gaps. Reconstruction can be a viable option to upgrade the house with more light entering the house. Lamps and fires would provide the light for most of the time.
Perhaps, you can have your longhouse just like the longhouse Viking. You can give the modern touch to it and still feel its history. It is quite fascinating to imagine living in these historical houses with a captivating atmosphere.
# Living in a Longhouse
Each longhouse could accommodate large families, sometimes more than one. The longhouse will remind you of the agricultural lifestyle of the era when people would sleep early and wake up early in the morning. With the busy lifestyle that they led, they couldn’t find peace. On the contrary, they would also remain fit and live longer as they worked hard. Can you imagine living in a house full of people and doing all that work? Today, it may not be possible for us to live the life of Viking longhouse.
# Tales of the Longhouse
The tales and theories suggest that the Vikings believed that there is a deep unknown connection between the human body and the house they lived in because the Vikings cremated the houses while creating the owner of the house. They would call it a formal send-off.
There are not many sites left; the archaeologists could only find the remains such as stone hearths, weapons, and tools. Although the longhouses are rare to find, we have still found a way of not losing this part of history. The Viking longhouses that are available today are the best reconstruction made from the information given in the sagas.
# Longhouse in today’s world
The best thing about the longhouses is that they are Eco-friendly, which is what we need in present times, but the only disadvantage is that the wood and earth both rots away. The longhouses can still be created and successfully maintained with the natural resources that Vikings had access to. Longhouse can help prevent environmental pollution and hazards, along with nurturing our history.
# Visiting a Longhouse
There are various reconstructions that people can visit to find the essence of Viking life. The Lofoten Viking Museum in Lofoten is a great example of a reconstruction of a chieftain’s longhouse. You can also find a Viking longhouse in Norway, the Avaldsnes Viking village. There are many other such places where you can find different reconstructions of longhouses.
It is always interesting to keep exploring as there is so much hidden and undiscovered. The world’s history has numerous takes and sagas about the events that took place; it is thrilling to experience it for real.
In our daily life, we come across so many things but fail to see their significance. Have you ever thought while watching an object that how did it come into this world? Everything in our surroundings has a tremendous story behind it, which we don’t know yet. Longhouse is part of one of the most powerful people’s life. This is also an example of how the people have preserved their history by reconstructing the ancestral monuments and keeping it alive even today.
It is unnecessary to be born in an era to experience their lifestyle; you can recreate it at any point in time. There is a different feel of living a life with nature, away from technology and find a different peace. Feel free to visit once in a lifetime to a longhouse and spend some time. You may get the actual feel of the Viking age and how people lived.
Some time off from today’s lifestyle and living in the longhouse will refresh you. You can smell the timbre, the beautiful piece of land, and the amazing atmosphere. The architecture will mesmerize your soul with its simplicity in today’s complex world. Discover as much as you can throughout your lifetime in every field.