Archaeological findings of Viking ships show that they were beautifully decorated. The ship’s ornamentations are inspired by patterns and figures from Viking ships found in Norway.

Draken Harald Hårfagre has a traditional dragon’s head and tail and is richly ornamented with patterns found in excavations. The dragon’s head protects the ship and her crew along the voyage, and is not mounted until departure from homeport.


The dragon’s head.


Patterns from the Gokstad ship is carved onto the rudder by woodcarver Claus Pedersen.


Ornamentations in the bow.


Tools used for woodcarving, some over a 100 years old, and the book about the patterns from the Gokstad ship.

Stirn Ornamentation

The tail of the Dragon.

Read more:

wood carving

To build a Viking ship


To recreate a Viking ship


Without the Viking ships –
no Viking Age

The Vikings were accomplished navigators, artisans, traders and story tellers, but their greatest triumph was the ship they built.