The Ukrainian embassy in Oslo, together with Ukrainian designers and researchers from Ukraine, has put together an exhibition that tells the story of Scandinavia's connection to the Kievan Rus.

The exhibition consists of 18 large posters and gives an insight into how the historical ties between Scandinavia and modern-day Ukraine were formed more than 1,000 years ago. 

Visitors can also watch the film the museum has produced for the exhibition and see one of the few coins that found its way to Norway from the Kingdom of Kyiv.

In 2021, the Historical Museum was contacted by the Ukrainian Embassy in Oslo with a proposal to set up a joint exhibition. 

Due to the Russian invasion, the cooperation was postponed, but the museum says that it is now proud to be able to present the exhibition.

The ties between the Vikings and the Kingdom of Kiev

From the 8th century, substantial trading ties developed between Northern and Western Europe on the one hand and the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic Caliphate on the other.

During the Viking Age, an essential trade and communication route between Scandinavia and Constantinople passed through what is today the state of Ukraine. 

The Vikings visited Kiev on their way to Constantinople, where they served as foreign warriors, and Norwegian elites such as Olav Haraldsson and Harald Hardråde established strong alliances there. 

The Kingdom of Kiev ended up attracting a lot of Scandinavian settlers, and Harald Hardråde - the last Norwegian Viking king – served Prince Jaroslav of Kyiv at a young age. 

Due to his accomplishments, he was permitted to marry the prince's daughter Jelisaveta, thereby cementing an important alliance.

After her wedding to King Harald, Jelisaveta joined him in traveling to Norway, where she is today known as Queen Elisiv.

You can find out more about the Viking history of Ukraine here.

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