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The age of sail

The sailing ship era as main exhibition theme.

The sailing ship era – a time when ships were built in wood, powered by the wind in their sails, and used for trade on the seven seas. Boats were not always made in plastic and used for family outings. Two-thirds of the Earth's surface is covered by oceans – oceans that humans have tried to master for thousands of years – oceans that link continents together, and that separate them. The exhibition explores why Aust-Agder was the most important maritime region in Norway in the 1800s. It looks at the booms and busts in the shipping industry. How sailing ships were built, how the crew spent their time on board, how they navigated the sea, and what it was like sailing in times of war and unrest.

Entering the exhibition is like opening the door to an exotic world, with activities for both young and old. You get to meet the rookie sailor, the shipowner, the prison-ship detainee, and the captain's wife as you explore the days when Cuba’s Havana was known as the "sugar port" and sailors were served dried cod and gruel.