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The Ladby Dragon

Experience the sailing replica of the Ladby ship at the Viking Museum

Below the burial mound with the Ladby King’s ship grave, you can experience the Viking ship the Ladby Dragon. The Ladby Dragon is an exact 1:1 replica of the Ladby ship and is built from oak wood from the local forest. The ship was constructed in the wake of a research project that led to an accurate 3D measurement of the original Ladby ship in the burial mound. The ship was then built using archaeological studies of Viking ships from across the Nordic region and historical construction methods for clinker-built ships, which in 2021 were added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The nearly 22-metre-long dragon ship has room for 32 rowers. The upper planks of the ship are painted with yellow and blue linseed oil paint, as traces of these colours were found during the excavation of the original ship in 1935.

The 65 square metre sail is made from linen fabric and the rope is made from the plant hemp. It is beaten and tarred with wood tar. The mast, rigging and sails can also be lowered and the ship is propelled by oars. This is a distinctive feature of the unique Viking Age warships.

  • During the summer months, the Ladby Dragon cradles in the water with the Viking Museum’s jetty. Visitors to the museum are welcome on the jetty for a closer look at the ship, however, there is no access on board for safety reasons.
  • During the winter months, the ship is pulled ashore and placed under cover, where museum volunteers ensure it is maintained and where there is access for museum visitors to get up close and personal.

The replica of the Ladby ship was built in the years 2011-2016, and the construction was made possible by a major grant from the Augustinus Foundation and Kerteminde Municipality.

The Ladby Dragon sets sails

Every summer, the Ladby Dragon embarks on a series of short voyages, sailed by volunteer sailors from Ladby Skibslaug. During these periods, the ship is not on display at the museum, but at other local harbours where it docks.

Here on the Viking Museum’s website you can follow where and when the Ladby Dragon sails out.

In addition, Viking ship sailors are continuously trained and practised on the nor and fjord. If you are lucky, you can catch a glimpse of the Ladby Dragon sailing in the summer.


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