Scandinavian Viking Architecture: Longhousese, Boathouses, and Ritual Houses
Buildings such as longhouses and turf houses were quite common in the Viking Age. And in the modern times, some of these houses are still with us. Viking longhouses are so unique that we can easily distinguish them at the first sign.
The Viking longhouses are like the names indicating: they are very long. Many generations would live inside the Viking longhouses. In the middle of the house is the gathering room where all of the family would be sitting around the fire and eat and talk about their life. Although the Vikings were quite hygiene with their bodies, no evidence told whether their houses were the same. What we often saw on the TV shows are houses full of dirt as if they had not been cleaned up since the day they were built.
The reconstruction of the Viking boathouse
Some of the Viking boathouses were built back from the waterline, into the ground. The reasons why the Vikings built these houses were to keep their ships. Ships were friends to the Vikings and ships deserved a house to stay also. Especially in the time of winter, the Vikings would keep their ships inside to preserve them.
These Viking boathouses were quite long, about 82ft in length. The base was made from stones and the walls from the woods.
One awesome architecture of the Vikings was the Viking fortresses which were built for the military. These forts were considered to be nearly perfect in a circle shape. They were known as the Trelleborgs and by far, the archaeologists have found some of them still exist on our planet.
The Vikings also had ritual houses for their religious ceremonies When the Christians began to dominate the Vikings, they started building churches. And one of the most famous and beautiful churches still "alive" is the Viking Urnes Stave Church in Norway. This stave church marked the end of the Viking Age mixing the last Viking urnes style and the Christian influence.