Vikings in the Carpathian Basin

Vikings in the Carpathian Basin

The Nemija Helmet and their community or the Scandinavian and Russian relations of Hungary in the 10th-11th centuries in the light of archaeological finds.


The Vikings and Debrecen?


Not quite two years ago, the city of Debrecen unveiled the statue of King St Stephen on Dósa Nádor Square. The contemporary work depicts the king with a spear in one hand and a sword in the other. Research has long since established that the latter object was a Viking weapon and is rightly considered part of the memory of the former Hungarian king. However, Debrecen hides more treasures than just this public statue, which relate to the early centuries of Hungarian history and the Vikings. And the keeper of these treasures is the museum that bears the name of Frigyes Déri. It is here that an early Russian helmet, once found in Nemiya, survived world burnings and regime changes and remains one of the rare relics of the skill of medieval Nordic craftsmen. In addition to the helmets, rich sites such as the 10th-11th century cemeteries of Püspökladány, Sárrétudvar, Hajdúszoboszló and Ártánd in Hajdú-Bihar county have also helped to investigate early Hungarian and Scandinavian relations. Without these sites, we would certainly know less about the early Hungarians and their connections across Europe. The Déri Museum, however, not only preserves and guards these magnificent treasures, but also offers insights into them to the interested public. A good example of this is the current exhibition, where many of our country's outstanding collections (19 lending institutions!) have let their treasures go to be displayed at the Déri Museum alongside the antiquities of our region. We can see with our own eyes all that others think they can learn from books, immerse ourselves in the beauty of the objects, wonder what must have been in the minds of those who made, wore and used these fine weapons, tools and jewellery.


The exhibition Vikings in the Carpathian Basin will be open until 7 May 2023 at the Déri Museum Gallery and the Dome.