Viking Trading Centers, Now Remnant of Viking Glory
Before the Viking Age, there was not really a town in Scandinavia. Rather, people lived on the farmland as ununified people. They worked and self-supplied without any government.
As the Vikings took up raiding and trading in the 8th century, the rulers called their people to assemble and live together. They gathered to construct villages and later trading town to promote economic growth.
But the traders were not willing to do business without any guarantee of safety. So the rulers had to provide them with protection so that they could do business to bring wealth and fortune. But in order to make the process of protection go smooth, the rulers taxed the goods.
Quickly, the rulers found out that the trading town boosted the economy and they started living as such.
First, the Vikings only lived in their trading centers in the warm seasons, spring and summer. Later they became the town and the Vikings lived there around the year.
Mapping of the Viking trading towns in Scandinavia
Each town was located in a good position where the Vikings could protect their land from the external force. The Viking trading centers at the time attracted a massive influx of people from many regions to come.
Birka is among the most famous Viking trading towns. In the beginning, the founder of the town could see how convenient and easy-to-protect trait of this region was so he chose Birka to become a trading center. People inside the town could not only do business easily but they could observe what ships were coming to the town.
The town flourished very quickly and collapsed quickly too. Within two years, the chances to make fortune in Birka attracted many people. But the inhabitants soon abandoned the town for the water level rendering the harbor useless. It put an end to the two-century glory of Birka. Now, it becomes a hot archaeological spot. By far, thousands of graves have been detected resting under the surface of Birka.
Ribe used to be a trading center in the Viking Age. It was believed to have been founded years before the Viking glory started in 793. It was a commercial town. For this aspect, Ribe became evidence that the Viking Age didn't start only with raids. They kicked off their glory with peaceful trade.
In the past, Hedeby was an important trading center for the Vikings. Now it is rested on the territory of Germany. The ruler of Hedeby forced the inhabitants from other places to settle down in Hedeby for the economic potential.
The modern reconstruction of Hedeby town
To protect his people, the ruler expanded and restored the Danevirke wall. But Hedeby started to diminish when the Viking glory faded away. Two fire burning Hedeby forced the inhabitants to abandon the town.
Like the other Viking trading center, Uppakra once was a hectic town. But when the Vikings started to lose their glory, the town became to decline in power and wealth.