On Saturday, July 2, 2022, the beautiful medieval city of Roskilde will be the starting city of the 2nd stage of the Tour de France. 

Then the tour will go through the scenic Lejre and part of Skjoldungernes Land National Park before the field continues towards Storebælt – and visitors are invited to take part in the yellow folk festival, which really kicks off 100 days before the tour starts. 

Guests of the Viking Ship Museum will be able to experience the very special atmosphere inside the Viking Ship Hall when the sun goes down over the fjord and see the special exhibition "If your bike was a Viking ship."

There will also be an open ship event during which guests will be able to visit several Viking ship reconstructions, including the "Sea Stallion" longship from Glendalough, which is currently being prepared for this year's summer trip.

During the summer trip, the Sea Stallion crew's ability to cooperate will be crucial, regardless of the weather. Museum guests will be able to listen to the tales of the crew in person on July 1 and 2.

To warm up for the 2nd stage of this year's Tour de France, on Saturday, July 2, Roskilde will hold an "Open by Night" event on Friday, July 1, so that guests can visit cultural institutions, shops, and other venues. 

The evening is described as a "yellow folk festival," and it is set to celebrate one of the world's largest and most traditional sporting events that passes through Denmark and Roskilde.

The Viking Ship Museum, will be open until 9 PM and offer extra tours in connection with the special exhibition "If your bike was a Viking ship," as well as sailings in the Roskilde Fjord in the evening sun.

Guided tours

Throughout the week, the museum focuses on some of the dramatic stories of French-English-Danish history that took place in the 1060s in Normandy and England, with a number of major battles taking place. 

The tale was later immortalized on the famous Bayeux Tapestry, an embroidered cloth that depicts the events leading up to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, led by William, Duke of Normandy, challenging Harold II, King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings.

The "If your bike was a Viking ship" exhibition also describes the design and constructional similarities between bikes and the crown achievement of technology of the Viking Age - narrow and long warships built to travel at high speed. 

The Viking Ship Hall is located on the Roskilde Fjord. The building was built to house the Viking ships found in Roskilde Fjord. Photo: Roskilde Viking Ship Museum

Sail out into the evening breeze

As a special treat for guests, the museum planned extra evening sailings on the occasion of the "Open by Night" event and the Tour de France.

Visitors will be able to experience sailing in a descendant ship - a replica - of Viking ships and see how the sun's summer light plays on the surface of the fjord water.

The Viking Ship Museum is the only place in the world where people can go directly from the experience of seeing the 1000-year-old Viking ships exhibited in the Viking Ship Hall to the active Museum Harbor, where reconstructed Viking ships lie side by side with traditional Nordic wooden boats.

When sailing in the beautiful wooden boats, the ship's movements and the smell of salt water, wood tar, and ropes give visitors a sense of what it was like to be a Viking at sea. 

The only propellants are oars and mainsails - and the raw muscle power of those on board. On the trips, the museum guests actively participate on board by rowing, managing sails, and assisting with "sailor work." 

The clinker-built Nordic wooden boats are built according to the same principles and methods that the Vikings used 1000 years ago and are on UNESCO's list of protected cultural heritage.

Open ship on Friday and Saturday 

On Friday, July 1, and Saturday, July 2, museum guests will have a unique chance to talk to the crew of the Sea Stallion (Havhingsten) replica

The Stallion is a reconstruction of the large longship Skuldelev 2, a 30-meter-long war machine built near Dublin in 1042. 

The Viking Ship Museum's boating/sailing association is an important part of the museum's experimental archeological research. The method involves the reconstruction of the archaeological ship finds and subsequent sailing trips to explore the ships' sailing characteristics and functions. 

The process involves many experts; archaeologists, historians, craftsmen, ship reconstructors, and not least the boat volunteers that sail and test our reconstructions in the same waters the Viking ships sailed 1000 years ago.

The Sea Stallion and Ottar, the large merchant ship, will stay in port all Saturday and welcome guests on board. 

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