Bronze Age

History of Denmark between 1700 BC - 501 BC

The Bronze Age in Denmark covers the period 1700 - 500 BC. At the transition from the Neolithic period to the Bronze Age new connections were established between north and south. The new metal of bronze, which replaced stone and flint, was imported to Denmark from foreign areas of Europe. Weapons, tools and jewellery were now made of bronze and gold - metals which had to be obtained via the European connections.

Several burial mounds were built in the Early Bronze Age. In the burial mounds the elite of the time were buried, dressed in clothes woven from wool and with fine gifts of bronze. You can zoom in on the Egtved Girl and the man from Muldbjerg, who lie in their oak coffins, or read about the family from Borum Eshøj.

The domesticated horse was introduced to Denmark in the Bronze Age. Together with the sun and the ship it became a central element in the religion of the Bronze Age.

Reference: National Museum of Denmark

Popular sites founded between 1700 BC and 501 BC in Denmark

Egtved Girl Mound

The Egtved Girl (c. 1390–1370 BC) was a Nordic Bronze Age girl whose well-preserved remains were discovered outside Egtved in 1921. Aged 16–18 at death, she was slim, 160 cm tall, had short, blond hair and well-trimmed nails. Her burial has been dated by dendrochronology to 1370 BC. She was discovered in a barrow approximately 30 metres wide and 4 metres high. Only the girl"s hair, brain, teeth, nails and ...
Founded: 1390-1370 BC | Location: Egtved, Denmark

Skelhøj

Skelhøj is a burial mound from the early Bronze Age, built in about 1350 BC. Archaeologically it was excavated between 2002 and 2004.
Founded: 1350 BC | Location: Føvling, Denmark

Louisenlund Megaliths

Louisenlund is a site with one of Denmark's largest collection of megaliths. Some 50 stones standing upright among the trees, many of them over 2.5 metres high. The megaliths, which bear no inscription, stand on low mounds or over graves where the remains of burnt bones are buried. In the early Bronze Age and late Iron Age (1100 BC), it appears to have been common practice to set megaliths over graves of this kind. The st ...
Founded: c. 1100 BC | Location: Østermarie, Denmark

Borum Eshøj

Borum Eshøj is one of the largest Bronze Age mound sites in Denmark. Three graves were found from there dating back to about 1350 BC. The bodies lay in their coffins of hollowed out oak tree trunks in graves that are among the most important prehistoric finds. The oak coffin graves were excavated in the 1870s and are now on show at the National Museum of Denmark. The areas once had more than 40 barrows but most hav ...
Founded: 1350 BC | Location: Sabro, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Castle de Haar

Castle de Haar is the largest and most fairytale-like castle in the Netherlands. The current buildings, all built upon the original castle, date from 1892 and are the work of Dutch architect P.J.H. Cuypers, in a Neo-Gothic restoration project funded by the Rothschild family.

The oldest historical record of a building at the location of the current castle dates to 1391. In that year, the family De Haar received the castle and the surrounding lands as fiefdom from Hendrik van Woerden. The castle remained in the ownership of the De Haar family until 1440, when the last male heir died childless. The castle then passed to the Van Zuylen family. In 1482, the castle was burned down and the walls were torn down, except for the parts that did not have a military function. These parts probably were incorporated into the castle when it was rebuilt during the early 16th century. The castle is mentioned in an inventory of the possessions of Steven van Zuylen from 1506, and again in a list of fiefdoms in the province Utrecht from 1536. The oldest image of the castle dates to 1554 and shows that the castle had been largely rebuilt by then. After 1641, when Johan van Zuylen van der Haar died childless, the castle seems to have gradually fallen into ruins. The castle escaped from total destruction by the French during the Rampjaar 1672.

In 1801 the last catholic van Zuylen in the Netherlands, the bachelor Anton-Martinus van Zuylen van Nijevelt (1708-1801) bequeathed the property to his cousin Jean-Jacques van Zuylen van Nyevelt (1752-1846) of the catholic branch in the Southern Netherlands. In 1890, De Haar was inherited by Jean-Jacques' grandson Etienne Gustave Frédéric Baron van Zuylen van Nyevelt van de Haar (1860-1934), who married Baroness Hélène de Rothschild. They contracted architect Pierre Cuypers in 1892 to rebuild the ruinous castle, which took 15 years.

In 1887, the inheritor of the castle-ruins, Etienne van Zuylen van Nijevelt, married Hélène de Rothschild, of theRothschild family. Fully financed by Hélène's family, the Rothschilds, the couple set about rebuilding the castle from its ruins. For the restoration of the castle, the famous architect Pierre Cuypers was hired. He would be working on this project for 20 years (from 1892 to 1912). The castle has 200 rooms and 30 bathrooms, of which only a small number on the ground floor have been opened to be viewed by the public. In the hall, Cuypers has placed a statue with his own image in a corner of the gallery on the first floor.

The castle was equipped by Cuypers with the most modern gadgets, such as electrical lighting with its own generator, and central heating by way of steam. This installation is internationally recognized as an industrial monument. The kitchen was for that period also very modern and still has a large collection of copper pots and pans and an enormous furnace of approximately 6 metres long, which is heated with peat or coals. The tiles in the kitchen are decorated with the coats of arms of the families De Haar and Van Zuylen, which were for this purpose especially baked in Franeker. Cuypers marked out the difference between the old walls and the new bricks, by using a different kind of brick for the new walls. For the interior Cuypers made a lot of use of cast iron.

In the castle one can see many details which reminds one of the family De Rothschild, such as the David stars on the balconies of the knight's hall, the motto of the family on the hearth in the knight's hall (A majoribus et virtute) and the coat of arms of the family right underneath on the hearth in the library.

The interior of the castle is decorated with richly ornamented woodcarving, which reminds one of the interior of a Roman Catholic church. This carving was made in the workshop of Cuypers in Roermond. The place where later also the interiors of many Roman Catholic churches were made, designed by Cuypers. Cuypers even designed the tableware. The interior is also furnished with many works of the Rothschild collections, including beautiful old porcelain from Japan and China, and several old Flemish tapestries and paintings with religious illustrations. A showpiece is a carrier coach of the woman of a Shogun from Japan. There is only one more left in the world, which stands in a museum in Tokyo. Many Japanese tourists come to De Haar to admire exactly this coach, which was donated from the Rothschilds collections.

Surrounding the castle there is a park, designed by Hendrik Copijn, for which Van Zuylen ordered 7000 fully grown trees. Because these could not be transported through the city of Utrecht, Van Zuylen bought a house and tore it down. The park contains many waterworks and a formal garden which reminds one of the French gardens of Versailles. During the Second World War many of the gardens were lost, because the wood was used to light fires, and the soil was used to grow vegetables upon. At this time, the gardens are restored in their old splendor.

For the decoration of the park, the village Haarzuilens, except for the town church, was broken down. The inhabitants were moved to a place a kilometer further up, where a new Haarzuilens arose, where they lived as tenants of the lord of the castle. This new village was also built in a pseudo-medieval style, including a rural village green. The buildings were for the most part designed by Cuypers and his son Joseph Cuypers.