Kvarnbo, Saltvik (Åland Islands region), FINLAND
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 centre 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.
The new Viking village in Kvarnbo is located very close to the Late Iron Age settlement area around the nearby Saltvik Church and is managed by the Fibula Association. Several buildings in different possible techniques were built over the years, and among them a longhouse, a cooking house, a smithy, a hall and several other working houses.
The purpose of the Fibula Association is to increase the knowledge about the Åland Island prehistoric epochs and primary the Viking time by means of the reconstructed houses and a Viking ship, guided tours in the village, role play, re-enactments, historical camps for school kids, banquets for companies, crafts experiments and displays, and a variety of other live-in activities.
Since year 2000 Kvarnbo is home to a yearly Viking market which has become been a very popular event attracting some 10.000 guests, some 300-400 traders and many international historical re-enactors with the Viking Age as their specialty. The success of the yearly market made a profound economic platform to develop the new Viking village. To find out more about the Viking Market please visit our dedicated page in the Events Calendar section of this website, click here.
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. The Fibula Association also organises summer camps for children, banquets and parties, courses and tahe care of several ongoing projects, including the building of a Viking ship, which has been a long process and one of the association’s biggest projects, but now she has been taken down to Saltvik, rigged with square sails and is ready to set off on shorter or longer voyages. Finally, the visitors can enjoy also a tasty break at the Café Knarren, which is located inside the Viking village and open in the evenings from June until August, selling light meals and drinks.
Info & Contact
The Viking village is open to public only occasionally. Please check out the official website for events and opening hours.
Fornforeningen Fibula r.f.
Address: Kvarnbo-Kyrkvägen - 22430 Saltvik, Aland Islands
Tel.: +358 4573427500
Saltvik Town Council / Saltviks Kommun
Address: Lillängs 14, Nääs AX-22320 Ödkarby, Saltvik
Tel +358 (0) 1848900 | Fax +358 (0) 18489011
Åland Official Tourist Gateway
Tel.: +358 1824000
Image: Fornforeningen Fibula r.f.
Text sources: Fornforeningen Fibula r.f., Visit Åland, Wikipedia, Saltvik Town Council
Kvarnbo-Saltivk on Google Maps:
Exploring the Viking Village and the Viking Market in Kvarnbo: