King Hakon's Vikings sailed into the Battle of Largs in 1263 for their fin al defeat and expulsion from the Scottish mainland

22nd September 1995 at 01:00
(Photograph) - King Hakon's Vikings sailed into the Battle of Largs in 1263 for their final defeat and expulsion from the Scottish mainland.

Now Vikingar! has opened in the small Ayrshire seaside holiday town to celebrate not only that battle but also the legacy of Viking culture, literature, and poetry.

The exhibition, housed in the grounds of Barrfields Variety Theatre, uses multimedia to revisit the Viking world. A Norse homestead is explored and reveals the implements of farming, weaving, rune reading, and boat-building, as well as those of waging war.

In a "computerised link-up" with the gods and valkyries in the Halls of Valhalla, the one-eyed Odin appears live on a large screen and gives a commentary on the afterlives of Vikings who died in battle. It seems that they re-enact their glorious deaths daily but are pieced together for the evening revelry.

Vikingar! is geared for school groups, and the activity room can take 50 children. Guides wear Viking costume and pupils can handle household items and use touch screen facilities. Tel: 01475 689777. Above, Carol Walker and Fiona McIntosh of Brisbane Primary School with Odin, king of the Norse gods.

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