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

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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.