In September, seven fascinating Viking Age iron swords were installed in a new exhibition at Oslo Gardermoen Airport. 

The swords are roughly 1,200 years old and have been found in Viking graves throughout Norway. 

"I am very happy that we have achieved this collaboration with Avinor. The Viking Age is an important part of Norwegian cultural heritage, which many travelers are interested in. 

"Encountering Viking artifacts at the airport is a great invitation to explore the Viking Age, both for visitors and Norwegians traveling abroad," Håkon Glørstad, Museum Director of the Museum of Cultural History, told The Viking Herald via e-mail.

In order to find out more about the exhibition, The Viking Herald contacted Mari Parelius Wammer at the Museum of Cultural History (the Museum of Cultural History operates two museums: the Historical Museum and the Museum of the Viking Age, the latter currently closed for rebuilding but reopening in 2026).

The seven Viking Age swords are on display. Photo: Ava Rebecca Bosy / Museum of Cultural History

TVH: Could you kindly explain how the Historical Museum got the idea to set up such an exhibition?

MPV: This mini-exhibition is a collaboration between the Historical Museum/University of Oslo and Avinor Oslo Airport. The installation was initiated by the airport, which wanted to give their travelers an instant understanding of being in Norway - a similar display with two Munch paintings can be found close to our seven Viking swords. 

The Historical Museum is grateful to display such an interesting and spectacular part of the Norwegian heritage. 

The Museum currently has an exhibition showing the most exquisite objects from the Viking Age, so the display at the airport is also a way of letting travelers know about our Viking collection in the city center.  

TVH: Why were these particular seven swords selected?

MPV: They were picked because they are intact, solid, and represent the Viking Age well. The geographical selection of the swords is due to the fact that the University of Oslo's area of responsibility for cultural heritage stretches from the border to Trøndelag in the North and Agder in the South. 

The following swords are exhibited: 

1. Rendalen 900–1000 AD
2. Nord-Aurdal 850–950 AD
3. Unknown 775–925 AD
4. Flå 800–850 AD
5. Åmot 850–950 AD
6. Gjøvik 775–925 AD
7. Nome 800–900 AD

Passengers can now encounter the installation at Oslo Gardermoen Airport. Photo: Ava Rebecca Bosy / Museum of Cultural History

TVH: How long will the exhibition last?

MPV: For about five years. We might be changing the objects after a while, but that has not been decided yet. 

TVH: Do you plan to set up similar exhibitions in other places if this one proves to be popular?

MPV: There are no current plans, but this is something we will consider. Especially since we are building a new museum, the Museum of the Viking Age, set to open in 2026. The new museum will house the three best-preserved Viking ships in the world and 8,000 other authentic objects from the Viking Age. 

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