Viking Congress Highlights Shetland's Hospitality

Speakers during a Question and Answer session. enlarge Speakers during a Question and Answer session. Shetland Amenity Trust has been delighted with the delivery of the 17th Viking Congress, held at Mareel and Shetland Museum and Archives last week.

The week long international Congress brought together over 120 Delegates from around the world, to share their research and knowledge of our common Viking Heritage. In addition to visiting speakers, local researchers and those with an interest in the wide range of subjects were able to take part in the Congress.

In a departure from recent Congress schedules, this year's event included a public day of lectures,which was very well attended by a Shetland audience. The whole programme was also streamed live online to a worldwide audience through 60North TV, by Promote Shetland. This has been extremely successful with hundreds accessing the live feed from all around the world.

Shetland Islands Council's Leader, Gary Robinson, said: "It's great to see the Viking Congress back in Shetland after so many years. Not only is it an opportunity to showcase Shetland's heritage and culture to the visiting delegates, but also for folk here to join in during the public open day. Congratulations to everyone at Shetland Amenity Trust for organising such a prestigious event."

A continental feel with flags and fiddles! enlarge A continental feel with flags and fiddles! The dockside area around Shetland Museum and Archives and Mareel was a hive of activity during the week, with Delegates from the Viking Congress, and members of Fiddle Frenzy coming together during break times, and impromptu outdoor practice sessions, creating a very relaxed and sociable atmosphere.

In addition to these two, large scale events, the International Textile Festival was also been held between both venues. This is a testament to the excellent planning, organisation and partnership working between the Shetland Amenity Trust and Shetland Arts.

At times, with the somewhat unusual seasonal weather, the area had a very cosmopolitan feel, with up to 180 people of various nationalities eating, talking and enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

Delegates visited Mousa during the Congress enlarge Delegates visited Mousa during the Congress A spokeswoman for Shetland Amenity Trust said "The feedback we've had from Viking Congress delegates has been very positive, with praise for the smooth operation of lectures, refreshment breaks and facilities available from both venues. The success of this week shows very clearly that Shetland has the capability and experience to host large scale, international events and we look forward to working again with our colleagues at Shetland Arts on a similar operation."