Skip to navigationSkip to content

A Danish city replaced its walking signs with little green Vikings

By Johnny Simon
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The coastal Danish city of Aarhus loves to honor its Viking history. It already has a Viking museum and hosts an annual Viking festival. But what if that’s just not enough? Luckily, city officials on are the case. They are displaying their lineage of seafaring conquerors in a very special and ubiquitous way: by turning them into crossing signals.

Aarhus city council member Bunyamin Simsek replaces the first of the many pedestrian signals with Vikings lights on Aug. 26, in Aarhus, Denmark.

Local government, in collaboration with the nearby Moesgaard Museum, is putting up more than a dozen across the city. Now the home of more than 300,000, Aarhus dates back to the 8th century; many streets in the city owe their names to the original Viking settlement.

“Many Danish cities had notable importance in the Viking era, but none other than Aarhus have retained their geographical layout since then. It’s no coincidence we have streets named Graven (The Ditch) and Volden (The Fortification),” Moesgaard Museum director Lars Krants said a statement quoted by European publication

In Danish media, Aarhus residents are welcoming the new signals.

“I think it’s a lot of fun actually,” Camilla Pi Kirkegaard told Danish broadcaster DR. “Then you can think about it a little while you wait for the green light. I’ll think about our history, cultural heritage and who we are as Danes.”

Ritzau Scanpix/Henning Bagger via Reuters
A technician replaces one of many pedestrian signals featuring Vikings in Aarhus, Denmark on Aug 26.
Ritzau Scanpix/Henning Bagger via Reuters
Director of Moesgaard Museum Mads Koehler Holst replaces the first of many pedestrian signals on Aug. 26.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.