Foteviken Museum

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By Sven Rosborn - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/
The Foteviken Museum  is an archaeological open-air museum on the Hollviken peninsula in southern Skane, Sweden.

It contains a reconstruction of a large Viking Age settlement and a “viking reservation”, and visitors participate in living history reenactments; it also performs research and functions as the municipal museum of Vellinge Municipality and part of Fotevikens Kulturcenter, a group of cultural facilities on the peninsula.  History : The museum grew out of the archaeological investigation of sunken viking ships in Foteviken Bay and local interest in the Battle of Fotevik, which was fought there on 4 June 1134.

A group headed by Bjorn M. Buttler Jakobsen formed a foundation called SVEG (Scandinavian Viking Explorer Group) in 1987. In 1993, the foundation started planning to open a maritime museum  in 1995, after changing their focus towards Viking Age living history, they opened Foteviken Museum, with Jakobsen as its director. At the Cog Museum  in Malmo, the group built two replica viking cogs  in 2014 the city sold these and the harbour site where they are located is now a medieval-themed tourist area called Medeltidsriket Malmoya.

Facilities and programmes : The museum occupies an approximately 70,000-square-metre (17-acre) site on Hollviken Bay. In addition to a reconstruction of a large Viking Age settlement, the ‘Viking Reserve’, there are research and handicrafts buildings and three large halls, including a restaurant seating up to 200 and a feast hall. The gate to the reserve is indicated on the museum map as a “border gate” between Sweden and the reserve. Buildings in the reserve are built or rebuilt by staff and volunteers almost every season, with traditional methods being supplemented by modern technology in winter  as of 2010 there were about 22, including a tapestry-lined chieftain’s house and a hof.

The reserve opens for the summer season on May Day, and is intended as a recreation of a large settlement late in the Viking Age, during the transition to the Scandinavian Middle Ages and the increasing influence of Christianity in the North. This enables the museum to include the Battle of Fotevik, which clearly belongs to the medieval period. Those staying in the reserve live as Viking Age people and are not permitted to have modern equipment or wear modern clothing. It is marketed as open to “all Vikings” and attracts large numbers of Viking Age reenactors  many of the visitors are from outside Scandinavia, particularly from Germany.  An international viking thing is held in the Tingholl building every year according to the museum, in 2001 66 representatives from 22 countries were present
The museum has a library which is available for research and makes heavy use of electronic media. It offers various educational programmes, including overnight stays; since it is also the municipal museum of Vellinge, these are free to local schools. However, the reserve has no electricity and minimal signage.

Seasonal programmes : In Midwinter the museum hosts a fire festival. A May Eve bonfire is also lit to reproduce a traditional viking celebration of the return of spring. At these and other events, the director plays the role of ‘King Bjorn’.

Summer activities at the museum climax in Viking Week in late June  this includes craft days  and since 1997 a viking market. At the market in summer 2016, five actors in a group who travel between Viking Age reenactment sites, the Nordic International Slave Trade Company, reportedly threw a bag over a tourist’s head and auctioned her off as a thrall. The police have said they will be speaking to people at the museum about treatment of members of the public.

Access : Coordinates: 55.429281, 12.953139 / Location : Museivagen 27, Hollviken 236 91, Sweden / By car :  If you arrive by car from the north on Highway 100, take right in the first roundabout in north Hollviken. Follow the brown attraction road signs to the museum. If you arrive by car from Trelleborg you take left on the coast road to Hollviken directly west of Trelleborg.

By bus :  Region bus line 100 goes from Malmo central station to Hollviken, line 300 goes from Hyllie station. Travelers from Trelleborg take line 146 to bus stop Vellinge Angar, where you change to line 100 or 300 toward Hollviken. You get off at bus stop Hollviken Ostra Halorsvagen, the first bus stop after Vellinge. A footpath (marked in red on the map above) leads to the museum by Hollviken beach. It is roughly a 10 minute walk.

hours : 2 May – 21 June: Monday – Friday, shop and admission open from 10am – 4pm, the Viking Town is open an additional hour until 5pm. /  23 June – 31 August  Monday – Sunday, time of day same as above. Closed midsummer (22 June). 3 September – 14 September:  Monday – Friday, time of day same as above.

Entrance fees : Does not apply during off-season or the Viking Market / Adults: 110 SEK ,
Children 6-15 years old: 40 SEK , Family 2 adults + 2 children or more: 250 SEK , Pensioner: 90 SEK

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