The Norsemen made their mark in northern Europe and beyond. Come with us on a tour of the best-known Viking settlements. Thanks in part to a slew of TV shows, Viking culture has never been more popular.
Discover the most impressive runestones from the Viking Age and even earlier. This historic form of writing can be seen all across Scandinavia to this day. The recent discovery of several Viking ship graves in Norway has lifted interest in Viking history to new heights.
While there’s no doubting the fascinating burial ship discoveries being made, some truly remarkable Viking artifacts exist in plain sight throughout Scandinavia: runestones.
West Jutland is bringing old Norse culture to life with interactive attractions alongside historic sites and nature trails. Mother and daughter immerse themselves in a land of legend.
The longhouse is warm and dark. Embers smoulder in a fire-pit in the centre of the hall; above it hang blackened joints of meat. The air is thick with wood smoke. As our eyes adjust to the gloom, we make out the wide seating platforms, strewn with sheepskins on one side, and heavy chairs on the other. Shields and tapestries line the walls and carved wooden figures stand guard.
My daughter Nell and I have come to West Jutland to join a “Viking trail” and to visit some of the area’s historic sites and new attractions.
The town of Jelling in Jutland, Denmark, was the seat of the earliest kings of Denmark in the 10th century. Today the Jelling complex consists of two large burial mounds, two monumental runestones and a small church built on the site of three earlier wooden churches going back 1,000 years. The combination of tumuli, runestones and church capture the transition from the traditional Norse religion to Christianity. King Gorm the Old, the first king of Denmark, dedicated the smaller and older of the runestones. The inscription translates to: “King Gormr made this monument in memory of Thyrvé, his wife, Denmark’s adornment.”