Viking Market of Kvarnbo in Åland
Vikingamarknad i Kvarnbo på Åland
Kvarnbo - Saltvik (Åland aut. region)
Geographical, cultural and historical context
The Åland Islands are an autonomous Swedish-speaking region of Finland consisting of an archipelago of nearly three hundred habitable islands, of which about eighty are inhabited with the others being merely some 6,000 skerries and desolate rocks. The Åland occupy a position of strategic importance lying at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea, between nowadays Sweden and Finland, and have attracted travellers since the islands were first inhabited 6000 years ago.
Kvarnbo is located in the municipality of Saltvik, whose area was the Late Iron Age center of the Åland Islands and most likely situated by the medieval Saltvik church at the crossroads of the Iron Age fairways confirming the importance of the site. The name Saltvik also indicate that this was the place were salt was traded. In the Kvarnbo area there are several ancient remains and graves especially from the late Iron Age and Viking times from 800 to 1000 AD. During the Viking ages, Kvarnbo used to be an important court place and the centre of merchandise.
Event description and programme
Since year 2000 Kvarnbo is home to a yearly Viking market, which is scheduled on the last weekend in July and has already become been a very popular event attracting over 10.000 visitors each year. The Viking Market in Kvarnbo offers an exciting time-travelling adventure in the Viking times and is one of the largest of its kind in Scandinavia featuring some 300-400 traders and hundreds of Viking reenactors arriving from Swedish, Finnish, British, German and Polish associations.
The Viking Market is an adventure for all ages. For three whole days, the village is invaded by bearded Vikings and bejewelled women in beautiful historical dresses from all over Europe, with everything that goes with it in terms of food, drink and entertainment. It all starts with a magnificent entrance by Vikings, horses and banners and several different medieval music groups will be appearing during the days. Viking warriors from different countries, will demonstrate fighting techniques and Viking combat.
Different crafts are being presented regularly both for the guests and re-enacting participants. Courses in ancient handicraft are held on regular bas for members and other interested. Visitors can enjoy modern Viking-style songs and music alternate with weapon games and training in the art of combat, experience various shows and arts & crafts displays, follow the the reenactment of the battle of Saltviken with several Viking ships involved or even join a boat excursion in one of the Viking ships.
The guests have also the unique chance to meet the many craftspeople at the marketplace: leather tanners, blacksmiths, jewellers and silversmiths who make beautiful articles for everyday use as well as objets d’art using ancient methods, and of course a large number of sellers of other arts and crafts, textiles and home-baked bread. There is also nice food and drinks in the Viking Market, including beer, wine, mead, lamb sausage, chicken legs and small pancakes. The food is typically in the style of the Vikings and there are plenty of excellent dishes to choose from. Masses of children’s activities, including children theatre and role-play, make the Viking market a proper family event.
The success of the yearly market made a profound economic platform to develop the new “Viking village”: Kvarnbo Vikingabyn
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
The Viking village is open to public only occasionally. Please check out the official website for events and opening hours.To reach the Viking Market takes 40 minutes by car from Eckerö and 25 from Mariehamn. Buses go there every day.
Fornforeningen Fibula r.f.
Address: Kvarnbo-Kyrkvägen - 22430 Saltvik, Aland Islands
Tel.: +358 4573427500
Saltvik Town Council
Address: Lillängs 14, Nääs AX-22320 Ödkarby, Saltvik
Tel +358 (0) 1848900 | Fax +358 (0) 18489011
Åland Official Tourist Gateway
Image: Fornforeningen Fibula r.f.
Text sources: Fornforeningen Fibula, Wikipedia, Saltvik Town Council, Visit Åland
Kvarnbo-Saltvik on Google Maps:
Promos and video reportages of the event: