Ripa Harbour 750 AD

Large amounts of imported objects have been discovered
in the excavations of the culture layers in Ribe.
The town's location by the river and so close to the sea
is no coincidence, mind you.
The archaeologists have no doubt
that a harbour did exist in the 8th century.

"The smell of tarred ropes, fish and sweaty seamen fills the air. Hardworking slaves are dragging heavy quern stones towards the marketplace. A ship has arrived and well-dressed traders unload baskets carrying beautiful Frankish pottery and delicate drinking cups of glass. Foreign tongues mix with cheerful laughter from a nearby shed where they make lime bast rope. On the edge of the pier, a boy lies flat on his stomach trying to catch a fish or two with some string and a homemade hook."

From marketplace to port

The Viking Age harbour in Ribe is yet to be found and excavated mainly because the exact route of the river back then is unknown. The archaeologists, however, are very certain that such a harbour did exist in the 8th century.

The large amounts of imported objects which have been found in the excavated marketplace near the river in Ribe, indicate that an extensive trade with particularly Southern Europe took place. The well-documented harbour in Haithabu (Hedeby), the Viking settlement near Schleswig, has served as inspiration for the reconstruction of the harbour in Ribe VikingeCenter. The harbour consisted of a number of landing stages which over the years had been extended and joined. Therefore, bigger ships with deeper draughts were also able to land very close to the marketplace.