Borg VikingChieftain's house
Updated: Aug 23, 2020
Get National Geographic guidebook to help you navigate Norway.
Once up on a time during the Viking age, there was a rich and powerful dynasty of chieftains in the North of Norway.
That time is long gone now and over 1000 years the wealthy chieftain’s seat at Borg was hidden by mother earth and forgotten.
One day when a local farmer ploughed his fields in 1981, beautiful fragments of glass and rare ceramics were revealed in the furrows behind the tractor.
From this find the world’s biggest longhouse was uncovered and excavated, the unique finds also bore witness to the fact that a mighty chieftain had lived here. One that enjoyed extensive contact with other seats of power in Europe.
The Chieftain’s House was rebuilt to a full-scale replica, measuring an impressive 83 meters in length and 12 meters in width.
During the Late Iron Age (550-1030 AD), Borg had already been an important center for hundreds of years.
The oldest version of the Chieftain’s House was built in the 500s, and even at such an early date, it was an integral part of the area’s continuous development as a center of social and religious power.
In nearby Bøstad there are burial grounds.
In the 700s the Chieftain’s house was rebuilt and made longer. It is thought that the Chieftain family that lived here was immensely powerful and prosperous.
In the banquet hall the Cheiftain held blot and gatherings, inviting other Cheiftans and the wealthiest farmers in the area as guests.
To make sure he had the best and strongest partners the Chieftain needed not only to be rich but to share the wealth.
He needed to find strong allies to stay in power and receives tax in form of animals and food from the people that worked for him.
Because of this, he had made a power system that looked out for the societies welfare as well as his own.
He was also the one who held the offerings and ceremonies for the gods. (https://lofotr.no/en)