Incredible 1000-year-old Viking house preserved under Irish supermarket

A Dublin Lidl has used glass floors so customers can see the 1000-year-old Viking house preserved under the Irish supermarket.

A new Lidl supermarket on Dublin’s Aungier Street is not like any other Lidl.

It is built on top of 11th-century Viking ruins, which are preserved beneath, and glass floors allow shoppers to look at the impressive ruins below.

The ruins were found during excavations at the Dublin Lidl, which opened on 15 October.

The newly opened supermarket showcases the medieval structure that is believed to be part of a 1070 AD Hiberno-Norse suburb of Ireland’s capital city.

Vikings in Ireland – Hiberno-Norse ancestors

1000-year-old Viking house preserved under Irish supermarket.
Credit: Twitter / @lidl_ireland

Scandinavian Vikings left their homelands and travelled on longboats to new lands between the eighth and 12th-centuries.

The Danes conquered England, and the Swedes went to the Baltics, while the Nords went to Ireland, Iceland, and Scotland.

The Hiberno-Norse had a mix of Scandinavian and Gaelic heritage and were the Viking descendants in Ireland.

Paul Duffy, the archaeological site director, spoke to RTÉ News about the Viking house preserved under the Irish supermarket, “It’s a unique structure for Dublin. We don’t know of anything quite like this in the city. 

“I’m sure it functioned as many things. As a house, as an extra space for the family.

“It’s a domestic structure, so you would imagine there would have been a suburb here of Hiberno-Norse Dubliners, who were effectively the ancestors of the Vikings.”

Other things to see – get an insight into Dublin’s past

Customers can get an insight into Dublin's past.
Credit: Twitter / @AuroraV75

As well as being able to see the 1000-year-old Viking house under the Irish supermarket’s floors, customers can find out all they need to know about the site from information displays around the store.

In other areas of the store, customers can also see displayed the remains of an 18th-century Aungier Theatre staircase and Longford Street Arches.

Due to its small size, it is unlikely that the building was a home but may have been used as a storage facility to keep tools and craft materials.

Most of the surrounding 11th-century buildings have since disappeared, but the ruins found beneath the Aungier Street Lidl managed to survive because it was sunken.

Good cause – money was raised to help the homeless and elderly around Dublin

The Viking house is preserved under the Irish supermarket.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

When the Dublin Lidl opened on 15 October, they donated €500 to support the ongoing work of both the Simon Community and ALONE charities, which work to help homeless and elderly people living alone throughout Dubin City.

Dublin senior ladies’ footballer Sinéad Goldrick, who opened the Aungier Street store, said, “It is incredible to see such a commercial appreciation for the archaeological environment in the preservation and display of the archaeological finds – what a wonderful way to keep our local history alive.

“The store is a very welcomed addition to the locality, and I am very much looking forward to the smell of freshly baked breads and pastries from the store’s bakery each day.”

So if you’re looking for a unique shopping experience in Dublin City Centre, make sure to head to Aungier Street Lidl to get some fresh bread and see a Viking house preserved under the Irish supermarket.

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