Daniel in Dublin – Dublinia
Here at Vintage Tea Trips we are committed to make Dublin the go to destination in Ireland. Of course you know that Ireland is a wonderful country full of diverse attractions, open greenways and waterways and areas of incredible historical and cultural importance, but did you know that Dublin has all of these and more? There’s a reason why Dublin is called “surprising by nature” – There are mountains, the sea and the most beautiful coastal towns to the north and south all nestled around a wonderfully vibrant city. Daniel, our Customer Experience Manager, is making his way through his hometown sharing some of his favourite places to visit.
Being from Dublin myself I already knew a bit about our Viking history but today I visited Dublinia to get a more in depth understanding on Viking society and culture in Dublin.
Upon arriving I was greeted by the most welcoming people who introduced us to Lloyd, our guide and expert on all things Viking who proceeded to give us a very thorough and comprehensive tour of the attraction.
When you think of Vikings you immediately imagine ferocious warriors wrapped in animal skins brandishing an axe on a bloody battlefield, and while they certainly were that, there was a also a level of normality and almost monotony to their way of life as well.
Granted, they came here first as raiding parties attacking and looting monasteries and weakly protected communities around Ireland but they were mainly interested in finding fertile land they could farm, and ultimately settle down on.
You see, being a Viking warrior was a seasonal occupation. In the summer months they were off raiding and fighting, sure, but most of the time they were farmers and fishermen and blacksmiths and traders. They held markets and fairs where they would buy and sell weapons, wine, spices, textiles and even slaves. They also had a judicial system and equivalent of a courthouse where crimes were tried, laws were passed and people were married.
Punishment was dependent on the severity of your crime. A common punishment was either to be placed in a stock where your head and arms would be locked to a piece of wood and passer-by’s would throw fruit at you, or a foot stock, where your feet were locked to the wood and people would laugh at you as they passed by. Supposedly this is where the phrase “laughing stock” came from.
Lloyd told me that at the height of their power in Dublin there was a community of around 4000 Vikings settled in the area where Christ Church Cathedral and Dublinia stand today. He also told me that based on the evidence discovered most of the Vikings who came to Ireland came from Norway.
Now, you might be inclined to think a Viking wouldn’t necessarily care about keeping up to date with the latest trends and fashion but that wasn’t the case. A lot of the silver and gold they stole on their raids would have been melted down and turned into a nice new belt buckle or broach.
The long tips on these shoes for example was a sign of wealth as the excess material was showing that you could afford to have all this useless extra leather on your shoes. Fingers crossed you weren’t attacked while you were wearing these. I can only imagine them being a hindrance in a fight.
All in all I really enjoyed my visit to Dublina and I couldn’t recommend it enough for anyone looking to learn a little bit more about Viking Ireland and hopefully you are guided by Lloyd who helped to bring the whole experience to life.
For more on Dublin City check out – Momondo City Guides