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Permanent exhibition

The Gate to the World

At the harbour, the sailor bids farewell to his life as a son, husband and father and embarks into another world – that of the ship and sea.

The exhibition ‘The Gate to the World’ is based on the family of the sailor. The sailor’s wife had to be strong and independent during the long periods her husband was away. When he finally returned he was only home for a short time before he had to leave again. The exhibition charts the life of the sailor’s wife, and shows how the relationship between the sailor and his family was kept alive through letters and the many gifts and souvenirs the he brought home from around the globe.

A taste of freedom

After leaving his family the sailor had to head for the harbour to find work. The exhibition continues on the dock seen from the sailor’s point of view. This is where he gets hired, and where can enjoy a change of scenery and maybe a taste of freedom after the endless weeks or months at sea. The harbour was a whirl of people: prostitutes and thieves ready to empty the sailor’s pockets, the tattooist ready to decorate his body, and the thousands of dock workers toiling to load and unload the ships.

Seamen’s churches and hostels

In the midst of all the chaos seamen’s churches and hostels provided a safe harbour for those who weren’t interested in throwing all their money away on loose women and hard liquor. In the seamen’s church they could find peace and familiar surroundings. The exhibition ends by telling how the sailor was signed on, agreeing to obey his captain and follow the special rules governing life on board a ship.

Make your own tattoo

In the exhibition you can test your talents as a tattooist and make your own, classical sailor’s tattoo.

”JEG MÅ NED OG LURE VED HAVNEN – OG SNUSE TIL LIVET OM BORD..” ”..DERUDE ET STED BAG VED MOLEN – LIGGER VERDEN OG LIVET OG SOLEN”

-Arvid Müller: ”Havnen”. Sunget af Oswald Helmuth i Fønix-revyen 1937

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