The ruins of a Viking village in Lofoten
Norway, Lofoten Islands

The first Scandinavian fortresses date back to 300-400 years and they were located mainly on the Baltic coast: there was a need for them, because the people gathered there decently, everyone interfered with each other and strove to take other people's material hands. But the Baltic was no exception. On the Atlantic coast of the Lofoten Islands (Polar Norway), between Laukvik and Sunshlet there are strange ruins. The main part is concentrated on the peninsula and has an excellent strategic location: at the mouth of the Vatnfjord. This place is protected from storms, but has free access to the ocean. The other shore of the fjord is sandy and gentle, and this peninsula is rocky, and the depth here is immediately great. The ruins are strange and diverse, the question immediately arises: what were these buildings intended for? Residential buildings of the ancient Normans were multi-storey one-story complexes, their frame was wooden or stone, and the walls were insulated with turf thickness of one and a half to two meters. The remains of the walls, which are primarily striking, are thin and there are no traces of turf. Consequently, these were not living quarters. In the middle of the peninsula are, apparently, the remains of the temple. In the Saga about People from the Sandy Coast there is such an excerpt: "There he ordered to erect a pagan temple; it was a big house. Doors were cut in the side walls closer to the corners. Inside there were pillars of the honorary bench; they were fixed with nails; these nails were called There was a large sanctuary inside the pagan temple. The building was a kind of choir in the current churches, and there was an altar in the middle of the floor, like an altar in the church. On top of it lay an open ring weighing twenty airyrs. All oaths should be made on it ... Around altar in the back hour and the houses were gods. " (IV) In not very large settlements, the role of the temple, if necessary, was performed by some ordinary building, but the temple was not built separately. This means that the Lofotenov settlement was large, and indeed, regular gray piles were found in a rather vast area, and adjacent to earthen embankments. In the ruins of the temple is a flat stone of about one and a half by two meters with a protrusion in the middle of one of the sides. “Some criminals were sentenced to be sacrificed and their backs were broken on a stone in a sacred place dedicated to Thor.” Stone paths and canals half a meter wide were laid across the entire territory; channels pass under the paths and go from afar. The most incomprehensible thing is elevations. Thickness is a little more than a meter, built very thoroughly. If we assume that this is the rest of the fortress, then most likely there was a wooden picket fence above. But why do these structures have an ascending form and run in parallel at such a small distance? And they look like the Appian Way. Maybe this is not a fortress, but a boathouse for building ships? The climate a thousand years ago was warmer and trees could grow in abundance. In any case, the remains of a pair of small bastions on two sides are there. At a distance of about two kilometers from the central buildings, the remnants of residential buildings end and the moraine begins - the glacial embankment. This is no longer a fjord, but the Atlantic. A little further, on the very shore of the ocean, a rock rises. It is easy to climb on and offers a great view of the ocean. There is no doubt that it was an observation post. As for the dating of buildings, it was no later than the XI century, because at that time Norway converted to Christianity and pagan buoys such as Eirik the Red moved to Iceland and Greenland. The need for sacrificial stones no longer arose. Eirik Leif's son was already a Christian and, on behalf of King Olaf Trygvasson, advertised Christianity in the colonies. Near the ruins are several villages and individual cottages. The nearest major city is Svolver. It is most convenient to be based at Sunshlet Camping and make outings on foot or by bicycle.

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