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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC


9th century


Sailing over from Denmark, Sweden and Norway, the Vikings terrorised European kingdoms in the 8th-11th centuries.

They repeatedly raided Paris.

Around 850 AD a fleet of 120 ships sailed up the Seine.

They pillaged the city, laid waste to fields, and only left when bought off with 2600 kg of gold!

30 years laters they were back with the largest Viking fleet ever recorded.

Some accounts mention 700 ships and 30,000 men.

The Vikings lay siege to Paris for more than a year, before being finally routed by the arrival of Carolingian imperial troops.

Fun fact : one way of placating the Vikings was to give one of their leaders, Rollo, the territory of Normandy.

Indeed, Normandy lay along the Seine towards the Atlantic coast, where the Vikings sailed up from to attack Paris.

Rollo promised to defend Paris against further Vikings attacks.

This is where the name Normandy comes from, Nortmanni = Norsemen!

La Joconde, de Vinci (1519)


Medieval Palaces

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