The Vikings in Jelling - a piece of Danish history

Jelling - a piece of Danish history

The Vikings in Jelling - a piece of Danish history
If you choose to visit Jelling, you will visit an important piece of the Danish history. It is said that the monuments in Jelling is the name certificate of Denmark, and the first of eight places in Denmark to join UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Jellingstenene - the Jelling Rocks - consist of a small and a large runestone. Both runestones are marking an essential change in the Danish history - the change from the heathen Viking Age to the Christian Middle Ages.

The smallest of the runestones are also the oldest an is dated to about year 950. It is set up by Gorm the Old as a memorial for his wife Thyra. The runestone is the oldest written testimony of Denmark’s name and is therefore called the name certificate of Denmark.

Gorm king did this dead memory after his wife Thyra, Denmarks pride, the little stone reads.

The large runestone is a little harder to date, but they say it is from around year 965. That runestone is set up by Harald Bluetooth - Gorm the Old and Thyra’s son - and marks the point where Harald says goodbye to the Nordic gods and accepts the Christian god. On the runestone, Harald brags about winning and uniting Denmark and Norway and making Denmark a Christian nation. The runestone is not just special, because it marks this change in the religion, but also because it is the first time you see runes written as horizontal line. Like the way we read a book today. It is also the first time you see a runestone decorated with illustrations - in this case with animals on one side and Christ on the other.

King Harald set up this memorial after Gorm, his dad, and Thyra, his mom, Harald who won Denmark - all of it - and Norway and made the Danes Christian, the large runestone reads.

Kongernes Jelling, Jelling Church and the barrows
In the area, Harald Bluetooth fenced with a palisade, the Viking Age’s largest building construction was located. Here, you can see the two runestones, the church, the stone ship and the two barrows.

At the experience center, Kongernes Jelling - the King’s Jelling - you can explore the Viking Ages Jelling with your family. Here, you find stories about the life of a Viking and Viking warrior, and everything about the change from the heathen Viking Age to the Christian Middle Ages. You will also be schooled in the list of Danish monarchs - all the way back to Gorm the Old up to our current royal family. You will also get the story about the area, the two barrows and Jelling church.

From the rooftop you can get a view over the monument area, and with two digital binoculars it is possible to zoom in on todays Jelling, but also Jelling through the times.

In year 980, Harald Bluetooth’s people built a large bridge over Vejle Ådal. The bridge was originally 760 meters long and about 5,5 meters wide. The bridge could carry 5-6 tons and was made up of 1800 posts of up to six meters length, 800 struts, and lumber for the carriageway. You can see a reconstruction of two bridgeheads at the spot in Ravning Enge. Ravningbroen (Ravning Bridge) was until the opening of the Little Belt Bridge in 1935 Denmark’s longest bridge. After the archeological digs around the bridge in the 1970s the remains of the bridge were covered with soil, so they would not get lost after the drought of the area. Therefore, the area is preserved, as most of the Viking’s up to 6-meter-long oak tree posts are still standing under the ground surface. Some oak tree posts were pulled up and conserved, as you can see in the exhibition, you can find in the old station building at the place. Close to the place, Ravningbroen were built, you can now see a reconstruction of the bridge, giving a good idea about the dimensions of the impressive structure.

Viking Market by Jelling Mounds
Bring the family along to the Viking market in Jelling - here you and your family can get experiences for both children and adults. You can experience the live market with workshops and stalls, see Viking disputes - and resolving of such - try yourself as a bread baker, archery and Viking warriors, feel the Viking battles close - fighting over glory and women, see nice riding shows with true Viking horses. Fell the history when talking with Vikings from all over the country, visit the special theme service in the church on Sundays and the nice monument area.


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Bank: Fynske Bank, Nyborg