Did you know that it was the Vikings in Ireland who actually established the city of Dublin? Dublin eventually became the largest trading city for the Viking world in the 8th and 9th century. There are many Irish towns still standing today that have their foundations in the history of these fearless Norse and Scandinavian invaders.
Who were they?
Vikings were noblemen and warriors from Scandinavia who were denied land ownership in their homeland, regardless of inheritance rights. With little to lose, they gathered together as like-minded tribesmen, determining that if land wasn’t going to be inherited, it would be taken – and by any means. This led to the Viking Age - years of pillage, enslavement and barbaric raids by the Vikings into and across territory and land both near and far. This included Ireland.
‘The Vikings are coming!’
Starting at the Irish coast and gradually moving inland, the Viking warriors’ only objective was to gain territory – and they would stop at nothing to get it. What followed were decades of epic battles, raids, demolished settlements, conquered tribes and defeated kings, as the Vikings established more of a foothold in the land. Fortunately, this forceful claiming of territory eventually came to end, replaced by a period of settlement and trade. As skilled sailors, blacksmiths and craftsmen, the Vikings had a lot to offer to their neighbours by way of their products and expertise.
Then and now
Ireland’s Ancient East is a land rich with a blend of Celtic, pagan, Norse and Viking heritage. Modern-day travellers looking for a unique and authentic trip back in time won’t be disappointed with a visit to the area. There’s a host of Viking-related activities and attractions to be explored, including:
Viking towns – Embark on guided tours of several Viking towns, like Kilkenny, Wexford or Dublin, and walk where Vikings, noblemen and traders once lived. Visit historical buildings, ports and perfectly preserved monuments to gain insight into the early Viking world.
Festivals – Depending on the time of year you pay the region a visit, there is opportunity to learn all about these early invaders at a range of fun and exciting picnics, festivals and fetes. Re-enactments, movies, traditional foods of yesteryear and even Scandinavian music get the atmosphere going at these events. There are also child-friendly exhibits, plays and games to enjoy, so be sure to bring the family.
Self-guided Tours – From battlegrounds, to ports and cathedrals, you can embark on a self-guided tour of Ireland, while retracing the footsteps of the Vikings.
Blending history and Luxury
If you’re looking for informative trip back in time, tracing the history of Vikings in Ireland is an adventure worth taking.
Why not get some noble treatment yourself by booking your stay at the Castle Arch Hotel? We are situated within view of medieval castles, ancient ruins and early monuments and can accommodate you in style.