Without ships, Viking Age would not have been the same. Viking ships now become not only the symbol of Viking glory but also the inspiration and awe for the offspring. With the inspiration and desire to depict the Viking Age in this modern world again, a group of insightful started constructing Draken Harald Fairhair – the largest replica Viking ship.
Draken Harald Fairhair is the largest replica Viking ship by far
March 2010 witnessed the first step of the construction in Haugesund, Norway. The crew expected their work to be the largest replica Viking ship in the modern times. And it turned out to be so.
The ship is 35 meters (115ft) in length. Draken Harald Fairhair is a hand-made ship constructed in oak. She carries 260 square metres (2,800 sq ft) in sail. She is equipped with 50 oars. Two men power one oar. So the number of crew members is necessarily 30 members.
Commonly, Viking replica ships followed the interpretation of archaeological material to construct the ship. For example, the first Viking replica ship, Viking, was erected after shipbuilders and archaeologists working together to make out what material the Vikings used for the Gokstad ship. But Draken Harald Fairhair was different. The Norwegian shipbuilders decided to follow the traditional Norwegian shipbuilding technique. This type of technique originates directly in the Viking Age.
It took the crew two years to finish building the ship. And summer 2012 witnessed the launching of the largest Viking replica ship.
Who was Harald Fairhair?
Harald Fairhair was among the most famous Viking Kings. He was the first King of Norway. According to Viking saga, Harald Fairhair was the first war-band leader to unify Norway as a kingdom.
This unification of kingdom was fairly a love story. When Harald became quite well-known and successful in the battlefield, he wanted a wedding. Knowing the beauty of the neighboring princess, Gyda, Harald asked for her hand only to get a refusal. Gyda thought what Harald already had had was nothing great and she deserved more. This completely won the heart of Harald who later swore to conquer the whole Norway. As we know, an oath to the Vikings was holy and one should never go back on his word. And so did Harald. He did conquer the majority of Norwegian territory and won Gyda as his bride.