:: The Vikings of Bjornstad ::
Graz Armory (Landeszeughaus)

Bjornstad's members spend a lot of time in museums, and not always in the sections covering the Viking Age.  Dan Howlett took the photos below in a visit to Austria, and particularly the Military Museum in Vienna and the armory in Graz, in 2002. 

In the 15th and 16th centuries, many European cities had arsenals as protection against continuing attacks from the Ottoman empire.  Graz is located at the foot of the Alps, with only foothills to the East.  This vulnerable position meant that it became the front line in protecting the southern flank of Vienna and the Danube valley, a welcoming gateway to central Europe.  The Graz armory was the largest in the state of Styria and at its height in 1699, the inventory recorded 185,000 pieces of arms and armor.  It now houses over 30,000 items.

Note that Dan photographed some nice construction details, including the grip attachment on the back of the shields and the padding inside one of the helmets.

The first photos are from the Military Museum in Vienna...

The Austrian countryside, with vineyards

The Austrian Heeresgeschichtliches (Military History) Museum in Vienna, which may be the largest military museum in the world specially built for that purpose

Cannons, lots of cannons


Arches and statuary in the Military History Museum.  The statues commemorate famous Austrian military figures.

Grand interiors in the museum


Wheel-lock pistol

Light infantry

Light infantry.  Different uniforms indicate different units or parts of the country.

Light infantry

Officer's armor with light infantry

Light infantry

Light infantry

Maces, axes, daggers, recurved bows and a shield - captured from the Turks, c. 1680

An Islamic officer's mail shirt and gear

Mail close-up detail

Mail closure detail

Partisans and swords

Austrian grenades

This mortar fired a shot which landed in and destroyed a Turkish powder magazine

Wheel-lock muskets.  Short muskets were used by cavalry.


Shipbuilder's model of a Danube "river monitor" warship.  Construction began in 1917.

Mail cape, also called a Bishop's mantle, 1500-1550

Another view of the mail cape, 1500-1550

The following photos are all from the armory in Graz, the Landeszeughaus ...

Three-quarter armors

Light cavalry officer

Three-quarter armor with burgonet helmets

Articulated cuirasses

Morions and peascod breasplates

Lobstertail helmets

Three-quarter armor for heavy cavalry, attributed to Hans Prenner, 1600 - 1635

Three-quarter armor with barred burgonet

Heavy cavalry armor

Hussar armor with Hungarian-style helmet, articulated cuirass and mail shirt

Three-quarter armors

Armor by Sebastian Schmid, c. 1555

Three-quarter armors with burgonet helmets





Horse barding, from the school of Konrad Seusenhofer, 1505 - 1510

Jousting armor in the Italian style, 1570-1580

Maximillian field armor, c. 1520.  Seven of these armors were recorded in the armory's 1557 inventory.



Morning stars

Halberds.  To preserve them, the attendants turn them once every 75 years.


Three-quarter armors with burgonet helmets

Shiny bits


Sword grip detail

Two-handed swords used to break up pike squares.   The "Doppelsöldner" (Double mercenary) was paid half at the start of a campaign and the other half if he lived.  These shields were designed as a defense against firearms.

Shield grip reconstructed from the originals (Thanks for the photo, Dan)

Rivet detail on the front of the shield.  Note the firearm proofing mark just below and to the right of the central boss.

Two-handed sword made in southern Germany, c. 1600


Warhammers, a mace and swords

A closer view of the warhammers and mace

Shield grip detail

Shields and swords

Burgonet padding

The padding is stitched to a leather band riveted to the helmet

Burgonet padding


Mail sleeve

Leg armor with sabatons

Close helm and full armor

Full armor

Burgonets, one barred and one spiked

Mail detail

Armor for a Hussar, with Hungarian-style helmet

Mail decoration - gilded

Iron Man or the Rocketeer, we're not sure which


Crossbow, with cranequin (winder) and bolt

Plug bayonets, 1704-1705, useful when reloading took a while

Cavalry officer

Rack of 280 wheel-lock pistols.  Worth a fortune by itself.

Light cavalry officer

Really light infantry

©   For information contact Jack Garrett at info@vikingsofbjornstad.com