Seminar: Presenting the Vikings


Seminar: Presenting the Vikings

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - Thursday, May 26, 2016
Edificio Multiusos-Catoira, Spain
Presenting the Vikings (WP2.4) The European Perspective, and WP5 – Planning the Roadshow for The Vikings are Coming.

For more than half a century, the Council of Catoira has been actively promoting the dissemination of the Viking culture and its impact on Galician history, through diverse artistic (theatre), literary (publishing) and playful (Romaría Vikinga) events. Moreover, Catoira has recovered its historic and artistic heritage and worked on the spreading of its history, closely related to the presence of the Vikings –the Torres de Oeste fortress is a relic and a distinguishing mark of that-. Furthermore, the Archbishop and Lord of Compostela, Diego Gelmírez, gave this fortress a very important role in defending the city of the Apostle during his pontificate, which ties in with the rise and consolidation of Way of St. James –another basic axis of the European identity-.

The festival is a light-hearted, non-aggressive way of fostering historical understanding between the peoples of Europe.  In 1998, writer Fina Casalderrey delivered the opening address in which she stated that,

“It so happens that these barbarians [Vikings] who had set their sights on the treasures of the Cathedral of Santiago and which the people of Catoira successfully repelled, were, in fact, lovers of art; they were great engineers and builders and shared more in common with us than we can imagine.  What is truly magical is that the locals of Catoira … made lasting peace in the form of a festival in which war is transformed into an entertaining and cultural spectacle.  And the fact is that festivities, merriment, good food and fine wine perform the miracle of bringing peace to different peoples.  To transform war into a festivity is the best way of imagining the future.”


Auditorium - Edificio Multiusos (Catoira-Spain)

23 May

Arrival day for steering group members

Reception at Corona de Galicia hotel (Rúa da Devesa, 28 – Valga – Pontevedra)

20:00 Buffet dinner

24 May

Arrival day for seminar participants

III Steering Committee Meeting (project partners only)

20:30 Dinner

25 May

09:00 Registration.

09:15 Seminar opening.

Jimmy Moncrieff, head of Destination Viking Association and head of Shetland Amenity Trust; Carmela Silva, president of Deputación de Pontevedra; Alberto García, Mayor of Catoira.

09:30 “Viking raids in Galicia”

Eduardo Morales Romero, historian, ex-chancellor in the Spanish Embassy in Denmark.

10:05 “An approach to Viking raids in the Kingdom of Asturias (9th-10th centuries) through historical sources”

Pelayo Menor-Corroto Eiris, Universidad de Oviedo

10:45 “The Vikings as builders and engineers”

Eduardo Morales Romero, historian, ex-chancellor in the Spanish Embassy in Denmark.

11:25 Coffee break

11:50 “The Unesco world heritage site Birka and Hovgarden”

Andreas Forsgren, head guide at Birka and Hovgarden.

12:25 “The burial of the Viking woman of Scar, Orkney, a manifestation of power, sacrifice and sentiment”

Julie Gibson, Orkney

13:00 Buffet lunch

14:30 “A magnate complex at lake Tisso from 6th – 12th century”

Trine Louise Borake, curator dept. of Archaeology, Museum of Western Zealand

15:05 “Smell the Paraffin – Horned Helmets, Up Helly Aa & The European Perspective”

Jimmy Moncrieff, head of Shetland Amenity Trust; Steve Mathieson, VisitScotland

15:40 "Vikings, a modern perspective"

Alison Denvir, PR officer of Ardglass Vikings Association; Paul Kavanagh, secretary of AVA (Northern Ireland)

16:10 Transfer to hotel

17:30 Transfer to Santiago de Compostela, technical visit and dinner.

26 May

09:30 “Current studies on Vikings in Spain”

Alberto Robles Delgado, historian

10:05 “Evolution of Mythology; Where are the gods now?”

Thomas A. Olsen, Fotevikens Museum

10:40 “Christian elements in Norse/Viking mythology”

Paula Wilson, Bengtskar

11:15 Coffee break

11:45 “Change and variety in the cultural memory of Thor”

Dr. Declan Taggart, University of Aberdeen

12:20 “From paganism to Christianity”

Marion Fjelde Larsen, Department director Lofotr Viking Museum; Vegard Kaasen Engen, curator Lofotr Viking Museum; Geir Are Johansen, director Museum Nord

13:05 Buffet lunch

14:30 "Thingvellir and Assembly Sites in the Viking World"

Torfi Stefan Jonsson, project manager Thingvellir National Park and UNESCO Heritage site, Iceland.

15:05 “Viking ships from West Coast Norway”

Paul Mercer, Avaldsnes Project

15:40 “The Viking ship Íslendingur (Icelander)”

Helgi Biering, director of the Viking World Museum

16:15 “The Viking culture and the Way of St. James”

Fernando López Alsina, professor of Medieval and Contemporary History, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela

19:45 Concert

20:30 Dinner

27 May

Departure day


If you wish to participate, please submit your registration using the Registration form.


Destination Viking is a new travel experience concept. Partners from a number of countries have come together to develop a borderless tourism destination focusing on the Viking world.

Quality is a key word for Destination Viking - as a visitor you expect quality at every level, and we will deliver it. Quality means quality of activities, quality of presentations, quality of workmanship, quality of sites, quality of food, quality of souvenirs. In short: quality experience!