L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
How many times can one place be discovered? We’ve been asking ourselves that question for over a thousand years.
Discovery is a fearless pursuit. Certainly, this was the case when the Vikings, the first Europeans to reach the new world, landed at L’Anse aux Meadows.
Norse Sagas have spoken about it for centuries. But whether it was merely myth or folklore, had long been debated. That is, of course, until the discovery of a small cloak pin in 1968 by archaeologists Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad. This proved that Leif Erickson and crews of Norse explorers settled here in Newfoundland and Labrador (or Vinland as they called it) over a thousand years ago.
In 1978, L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site became part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites as the first and only authenticated Norse site in North America.
Today, a visit to the site can transport you back to where Vikings once stood. Perched on the tip of the Viking Trail, it’s a place where mystery still mingles with the light and washes over the strange, captivating landscape.
Visit the interpretive centre, join a guide on a tour of the Viking ruins, and visit the longhouse to discover what life was like for the Viking encampment in 1000 AD. Let the Godi enthrall you with the Vinland Saga, help the smith forge nails for bog iron ore, and immerse yourself in the unique Norse history.
Just two kilometres down the road is Norstead, a recreated Viking port of trade. Here you can challenge yourself in a traditional Norse game. Learn to throw an axe, spin yarn, or take a pottery lesson. Take a close look at the Viking Knarr Snorri replica, a boat that was sailed here from Greenland and named for the first European child born in North America. Have your fortune told, Viking style, and learn the traditional knitting stitch.
After a day of Viking life, we think you’ll tend to agree: a thousand years later, this is a place where all sorts of discoveries still happen every day. Some, as small as a continent. Others, as big as your sense of adventure.
You’ll find L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site at the end of The Viking Trail Route 430 on the most northerly tip of the island of Newfoundland, only 51 kilometres from the St. Anthony airport.
For more information visit the Parks Canada official website for L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada
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