Ormrinn Langi

The flag ship of King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway, built by the master shipwright Thorberg Skavhogg, it is perhaps the most famous of all Viking Ships that sailed. Ormrinn Langi means Long Serpent; it was a richly decorated drakkar class ship that was built between 999-1000 for an expedition against the Wends.

Ormrinn Langi was one of the largest ships for its time, the keel of the ship measured 39 meters (72 ells) in length and was powered by 68 oars men; with enough room for more than 500 warriors.

As King Olaf Tryggvason returned home from his expedition against the Wends, he was ambushed by King Svein Forkbeard of Denmark, King Olaf Eiriksson of Sweden and Eirik Hákonarson the Jarl of Lade who formed an alliance against King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway.

King Olaf Tryggvason had only 11 ships he faced a combined enemy fleet of 70 ships; one by one his ships were lost until only Ormrinn Langi remained. When Eirik Hákonarson Jarl of Lade captured Ormrinn Langi, King Olaf Tryggvason jumped over board to his death. Ormrinn Langi would slip from history as it was seized as part of the war spoils.

Despite the actual loss of the ship in the sand of time; Ormrinn Langi still lives on today as it is memorialized in folk songs and ballads of the Faroe Islands and in Norway.

by Noil


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