The world’s biggest house from the Viking Age

Lofotr Viking Museum

Borg • Lofoten

A farmer made a sensational amateur archaeological discovery in 1981. The discovery led to further digging around the biggest building yet discovered from the world of the Vikings! This what a Borg, in Lofoten.

It all began when a farmer named Frik Harald Bjerkli started ploughing his field, digging the ploughshare a little deeper than usual. Glass beads and ceramic shards came out of the furrow as he ploughed along. The ceramic bits came from a pot that originally came from Francia more than a thousand years ago. Nothing like this had ever been found so far north before.

The discovery shed new light on Lofoten in comparison to the history of southern Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. He dug a number of unique objects out of the furrows – including a longhouse that was 83 meters long! This was the home of a powerful chieftain and his wife.

The chieftain could see all the surrounding landscape from his house. The house would have been visible from a great distance; a monument to the chieftain’s power. The chieftain probably chose the location of the house to stress his power and prestige. The hills of Borg have been a holy place ever since the chieftain’s house was constructed 1500 years ago until the arrival of the modern church.

The Lofotr Viking Museum offers a glimpse of the largest building from the Viking Age. Join us to travel a thousand years into the past. History comes alive in a museum that brings Vikings and their handiwork to life – we have activities, films and many exhibitions. Welcome!

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