Vikings Never Gave Up: Viking Village Becomes a Reality

Four Vikings Norway

Four Vikings were attending the meeting of the Municipal Council in Aurland yesterday. From left: Rune Lyseth, Chieftain Georg Olafr Reydarsson Hansen, Adrien Spendlow and Tove Gulbrandsen. (Photo: Arne Veum / NRK)

The four Vikings who had shown up in the Municipal Council in Aurland in Sogn og Fjordane county, got the answer they have been waiting for: After two decades, the dream of a Viking village in Gudvangen becomes a reality.

– This made the last twenty years worth the effort, says Cheiftain Georg Olafr Reydarsson Hansen to NRK Sogn og Fjordane.

Permission to Rent

Hansen moved to Gudvangen in 1995 with the idea to build a Viking village. Since then, he has made a living as self-appointed Viking chieftain, among others as responsible for the Viking market in Gudvangen.

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Gudvangen Viking Village Norway

In a few years, you will meet the harbor and an authentic village from the Viking Age in Gudvangen at the end of the Nærøyfjord. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Now, finally the long wait has come to an end. Gudvangen Utvikling, which is behind the project, will receive a lease on a large area.

Hansen says that the good news is huge for all those who have followed the project through the years, and that more than two hundred people have signed up as volunteers and will work for free.

Born Chieftain

 Georg Olafr Reydarsson Hansen developed the Viking interest at an early age.

– It probably originates from my dad who was a historian, and from grandma who gave me Snorri (Editor’s Note: the Old Norse kings’ sagas) when I was twelve. Now, I am sixty and live out the illusion of being chieftain in Gudvangen. I am treated and respected for it worldwide.

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Viking Chieftain Norway

Georg Olafr Reydarsson Hansen has made a living as Viking chieftain for nearly twenty years. (Photo: Heidi Lise Bakke / NRK)

Now, they have eighteen months to deliver the plans and apply for a building permit. The goal is to get started already in the middle of July next year.

When everything is ready, they hope to have created a Viking village with authentic longhouses, guildhalls, several village houses, harbor with longships and Vikings engaged in crafts, shipbuilding and other activities.


Text modified by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews

Source: NRK

Categories: Culture, History, Vikings

44 replies

  1. I love this, how do I join? 😉

  2. Ich würde auch sogern mitmachen☺☺

  3. I’d like to know how to join as well. Please feel free to use any of my contacts. I am on facebook Brian Conrad .

  4. At first I was interested but the chieftain appears to be wearing a cross. christianity is from the middle east and was forced down our ancestors’ throats. Kind of odd to have an authentic Scandinavian village led by a man who worships a middle eastern god.

    • Hi Klara!

      Thank you for reading our articles.

      Why are you so sure the symbol is a Christian Cross? Why not an Old Norse symbol for the sun/ and or heaven?

      Or – maybe the Chieftain and his men have plundered an English monastery? 🙂


    • actually if you look closer.. its an iron cross.. which to the north is a symbol of courage.. also some use the iron cross as odins cross just without the ring around it and the christian cross was created by turning thors hammer upside down.. and making the upside down cross (thors hammer) a symbol of evil… almost everything christians use came from northerners..

    • Take hope! The form is of a sun cross – a much older symbol than the christian 🙂

      • All interesting replies. It is a Christian cross. I don’t know where Klara is from, but this cross was found in an 800’s ad grave in Birka, Sweden. It could have belonged to Ansgar (801-865), an “apostle” from Bremen who came to Birka in 829 where he was welcomed by people who was open to hear about new beliefs. He stayed there peacefully for nearly 3 years. And as they respected him he probably respected them. Since Sweden had pagans for another few hundred years I doubt he forced his faith down their throats. He was also welcomed to Ribe, Aarhus and Hedeby, and lived to be 64 years of age. He never brought an army… but was alone among some 1000 pagans… By the way, I also wear a Thors hammer.

    • It could be ANYTHING – you should ask first. If it is a representation of the cross potent, then it’s origin is pre 2500BC, and appeared in the Neolithic petroglyphs. Who knows – and really I personally don’t care. This is nothing short of COOL!

  5. oooh for a roll with a shildmaiden in a longhouse

  6. I want to this join this village! I think the fact that I live in the UK may be an obstacle though. I may set up my own in the future. Any chance of me joining? Please respond.

    • My name is Jarl Ulf,of Jorvik Vikingr we have warriors and craft people based around the uk. If you’re interested in doing viking living history look for Dave Ulf Elliott on facebook.

    • I also live in the UK and yes it would be a obstacle unfortuantly, I would like to live permanently at a viking village, That is the dream anyway, In the UK that is nearly impossible to create a village do due to too many restriction’s.

      • It would be great to live around people who believed in the gods, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen, in the UK at least.

  7. What us Viking should is get a group together in the place were we live and try and do the same. That way we are all with like minded people.

  8. It would appear more authentic if the clothing were not colored with modern day synthetic dyes. That turned me off immediately. As well as the words, “…Hansen has made a living as Viking chieftain for nearly twenty years.” The role of Jarl or chieftain was to serve the people of his village, look after their needs and protect them. Not make a living off them. Sounds like another amusement park style village in the making.

    • Plunder…how much more authentic can one be? I am of Swedish decent “Johansonn” …when my relatives came to America we became Johnson’s…I ended up with the last name Brady as my father was Irish…..I hate to admit it but I have underlying urges …I just want to kill everyone and drink their beer…?..been using that joke since I was a teen. But with all seriousness I am proud to be of Nordic decent and my only daughter has beautiful traits of that area of the world. Just an added note I reside in central Maine…great winters , rough coastal waters along with plenty of fresh water lakes and ponds, also the game is plentiful….funny I would prefer the most northern state of my country. Sincerly Mr. John M. Brady USA

    • At least he says hes getting his dream of livin up the illusion lol he didnt lie…

  9. As far as I know Georg is a christain & has been for a long time!

  10. I do reenacting in the UK and think this is a fab project would love to be part of it

  11. Hail, Nordic brethren!

    I have a large band of people trying to do this same thing. Is there a method of contacting these respectable men and women to show our support? We have at least 100 willing to leave their old lives for the life of our ancestors.

    A contact would be greatly appreciated!

    ~Thorulf Scottson
    Leading mind of the Pagans for Building Pagan Town project.

  12. Decided, i’ll live in Norway!

  13. I’m a Blacksmith and I would love to help this! how do I join??

  14. Reblogged this on and commented:
    I love the ThorNews blog because it brings us these wonderful stories from Norway that you just won’t find anywhere else. All I have to say about this one is, this village is where I’m going to retire!

  15. Please anyone that is establishing or thinking about setting up a living viking village please look me up on Facebook: connor gillbanks

    This is my dream for idealy perminent residence in a viking village, I am from the UK and I know not alot of this type of settlements are being organised in United Kingdom but please if anyone does or know of someone who is contact me ASAP.

  16. I too am also very interested in this way of life, I have some skills to offer also, I work as a tattoo artist (traditional hand tattooing without the use of machine) and can also crotchet, knit, embroidery and make rope . If I can contribute in any way please contact me

  17. Thats amazing! I’m danish and would like to know how to become a citizen/member of Thisted Village.

    Can anyone help me with this? 🙂


  18. Skall bara bygga mig en Blekinge Eka sen kommer jag!!! !!! !!!

  19. Praise be to the gods. May those who mock the true gods be banished and cursed never to enter valhalla. If you are felliw asatru, find me on facebook.

  20. Do they rent homes there for anyone that wants to live as a viking?

    Also, an inverted Cross was used amongst Viking People to represent Thor’s hammer. Likewise, an upright cross was used to represent Freyr’s….well….you know what.

  21. My DNA test show me 17,2% Sverige/Norge and 52.8% Finnish, as such I do not mix well with the Norse {Viking}.

    Vikings feared Finns and avoided coming even near Finland after a raid over 950 years ago that failed completely. This is documented in the history of Tavastia, Finland and the battle that ensued. Tavastians refused to bend to the invasion and they were able to resist the Vikings – who were feared by half of the world – so that those Vikings who survived fled to the Gulf of Finland.

    Vikings had about 2000 ships and 200 men … the aftermath … about 80 men and no command leadership.
    “Finns have the power of darkness, Finns are wizards”, This was the cry of the Viking warriors who feared nothing…nothing but the power of the Finns in their dark forests.

    However I am glad you now have a Viking village in Gudvangen.

  22. It is not clear from the article(s): Is this some sort of “Alternative Disneyland” open for people of all nationalities and all faiths, as long as they have money and/or connections?

    • Hi Dane!

      Thank you for reading ThorNews, and your comment is relevant: No, this is not an “Alternative Disneyland”, as far from it as you get. No plastic souvernires involved ;-).

      Actually, Njardarheimr is one of the most authentic Viking Age villages you can visit today – not to mention the people who live out their dream.



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