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In the footsteps of the Vikings!
Start ¦Places to visit ¦ The Viking at home ¦ The Viking abroad

Jelling - monument


By Jelling church you find one of the most unique monuments from the Viking period. Between two great mounds, one of them being King Gorm`s burial mound, two runic stones are located.

Inscriptions on the biggest runic stone tells us that the stone was erected by King Harald Blåtand in memory of his parents King Gorm and Queen Thyre. The inscriptions also tells us that King Harald Blåtand united Denmark and made the Danes christian.

This monument dedicated the Viking Kings has changed over the centuries. Initially it was formed as a 170 meters long stone ship expanding from a mount from the bronze age (which is now the center of the big north mount) to south of where the other mount is today. The smallest of the two runic stones was at that time probably a part of the stone ship. According to the inscriptions on the stone the stone ship was built by King Gorm as a monument in memory of Queen Thyre.

Here you find Jelling

King Gorm died during the winter 958-959 and was buried in a wooden chamber in the mount from the bronze age. His son Harald Blåtand then had the big north mount built on top of the grave. King Harald then converted to christianity and the monument was transformed into a christian monument.

Jelling runic stones
Where you see Jelling church today, King Harald built a big wooden church and he then had his fathers remains moved and buried below the church floor. Later he had the south mount built in memory of his mother Thyre.
Between the two mounts King Harald had the biggest runic stone erected and today it can be seen at its original location. The runic stone was decorated with an image of Christ and then inscription with the following text was added: the monument was erected by King Harald, ruler of Denmark and Norway who converted the Danes to christianity, in memory of Gorm and Thyre.
This runic stone is today called Denmark`s birth certificate.

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