Western Norway has a rich historical heritage and many visible traces of the Vikings.
Before the millennium, the iron was introduced into agriculture, and there was a shortage of land to cultivate. In the same period, the kings’ power increased, and large tax claims made that many would seek freedom and fortune abroad. Many emigrated, and looting became an alternative source of income.
Effective boats and weapons made the Vikings feared among contemporary Christian Europeans. But the images of Vikings as bloodthirsty plunderers are not complete. The Vikings were involved in a wealthy merchant trade, not only in Europe but also including the Byzantine Empire and the Baghdad Caliphate.
Historically Vikings often are introduced with the Viking attack on Lindisfarne in 793, when they really made their mark in European history. The era ends with the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066.
Vikings seaworthiness and wanderlust did that new areas were developed. North along the Norwegian coast, westward to Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Shetland, Orkney, Scotland and Ireland. Later, also Greenland. The Norwegian Vikings also discovered Vinland, present-day America, long before Columbus.