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king and warrior

Experience the grave goods from the Ladby King’s ship’s grave and the Warrior Prince Grave, Rosenlund

Power was something to be staged – even in death. Today, at The Viking Museum Ladby, you can see two entire graves of personages from the upper echelons of the Viking elite. The discoveries from the ship’s grave reveal that a powerful person was buried at Ladby in or around 925 AD. A noble person, The Ladby King, was to arrive in the afterlife encompassed by all the trappings of his rank. And the equipment should be of a high standard. We see this not only in The Ship’s Grave at Ladby, but also in The Rosenlund Grave, which archaeologists discovered at Langeskov in 1978 during the construction of a highway across Funen. Here, a nobleman, perhaps a vassal of the king, was buried with his magnificent weapons and splendid riding gear. The grave dates back to the latter half of the 10th century.

In addition to being buried in his warship, which was a privilege reserved for kings and princes, the discoveres from The Ladby King’s grave mainly consist of riding gear such as bridles and stirrups, including parts of The Ladby King’s personal riding gear. There are also dog harnesses, including a well-preserved, gilded bronze clasp for a dog lead and the chieftain’s personal baton. Funnily enough, he also had a board game with him. There is also a variety of iron equipment from the ship, including the so-called mane curls that adorned the dragon’s head on the ship’s prow.

The discoveries from both The Ladby Ship grave and The Rosenlund Grave feature in the permanent exhibition in the basement.

The Death Ship – The Ladby king’s last journey

How did it take place back then more than 1000 years ago, when a king was buried in his ship in a field near Ladby, to set off on the last journey? The exhibition The Death Ship, which is a reconstruction of the day of the funeral, provides a qualified suggestion for this. The Death Ship has been created on the basis of everything we know from the excavation of the Ladby ship and the grave goods that were originally placed in the ship.

We are back in the year 925 AD. At one end of the ship we see the Ladby King lying on his distinguished bed; in front of him in the middle of the ship are the horses and dogs that accompanied him to the next kingdom. The whole scene is attended by a grave entourage. The experience is completed by the large landscape painting on the back wall, created by the artist Ole Vedby Jørgensen. The Ladby King, the grave entourage and horses and dogs were created by woodcarver Povl Kjer.

Place: Viking Museum Ladby,
Vikingevej 123, 5300 Kerteminde
Time: During opening hours


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