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1999 — The fourth stage. Istanbul (Tur) —
Rostov-on-Don (Rus)

2000 — The fifth stage. Rostov-on-Don (Rus) — Astrakhan (Rus)

2001 — The sixth stage. Vyborg (Rus) — Helsinki (Fin)

Viking ship Heimlosa Rus (Finland)

Route of the Rus-project
Route of the Rus-project

The Rus-project

In 1977 a ship wreck hundreds of years old, was found near the Island of Lapuri in the Gulf of Finland. The wreck is in a relatively good condition and it has been surveyed by marine-archaeological diving. The construction resembles that of a Viking ship. It is 12 meters long and 3 meters wide.

During 1991-93 a full-scale replica of the Lapuri wreck was built on the Island of Replot in the Gulf of Bothnia. The replica was named Rus (Vikings were called Rus by the Arabs). The project was carried out in 10th century tapping, as a marine-archaeological experiment, to understand the shipbuilding technique and seafaring of the Vikings. Project members, e.g. made handwrought nails, ropes of hair, wove woollen sails and curried fells of elk for the crew to sleep on. Even the food on board resembled that of the Viking age.

In summer 1994 a long cruise on the Baltic Sea was made. Unfortunately, the rudder came loose outside the Latvian coast and the ship got wrecked. The project and its dramatic end is documented in the book “The Rus Project” (1996, available in English, Swedish and Finnish language).

In winter 1995-96 a new replica was built. The new ship was named Heimlosa Rus and it was launched in summer 1996. Thereafter the sailing through Europe was started: on the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, in the Channel (Finland, Sweden, Germany, England) and on the rivers of France. In summer 1998 the ship sailed on the Mediterranean (Italy, Greece, Turkey).

In 1999 on the Black Sea and Azov Sea (Ukraine, Russia) the Vikings from the Viking-Nevo club (Smolensk, Russia) joined the Rus-project. The “conquest” continued in summer 2000 along the Russian rivers Don and Volga to Astrakhan. From Astrakhan the ship was transported by truck to Vyborg, in Russian Carelia. In 2001 Heimlosa Rus sailed to Sibbo, in Finland. Since autumn 2001 Heimlosa Rus is owned by the Ostrobothnian Museum in Vasa (Finland)

The Rus project is a multi-cultural project based on voluntary work. It is not supported by public subscriptions. The activity is related to experimental work with ancient seafaring.

The leader of the Rus-project — Fredrik Koivusalo
E-mail: rus-project@pp.qnet.fi
Internet: http://www.qnet.fi/rus-project/

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