Neolithic Age

History of Denmark between 5000 BC - 1701 BC

Even before the Neolithic period hunting people in Denmark had long had contact with the farming societies in central Europe, but only around 3900 BC the hunters began to till the land and keep animals. Wooded areas were cleared, burnt and replaced with fields of arable crops. Cattle, pigs and sheep appeared as domesticated animals. The big change was that people could produce their own food products. Coastal fishing was still good and therefore the farming population continued for a long time to hunt and fish from the old settlements on the coast.

The farmers’ grave monuments in the form of dolmens and passage graves were constructed all over Denmark. They can be seen still in many places in the Danish landscape. Here you can see the splendid polished flint axes and large collections of amber beads which were offered to the gods in hope of a good harvest. You can also see how the Skarpsalling Pot – Denmark’s most attractive pottery vessel from the Neolithic period – is decorated. Or you can learn more about how daggers, such the one from Hindsgavl, and other flint tools were produced.

Reference: National Museum of Denmark

Popular sites founded between 5000 BC and 1701 BC in Denmark

Kong Humbles Grav

Kong Humbles Grav ("King Humble"s Grave") is one of Langelands most well-known prehistoric dolmens. It is about 55m long and 9m wide. Around the sides of the long barrow there are set of 74-77 kerb stones. The archaeological excavation has revealed c. 4000 years old human bones in the grave. The grave name is misleading, because the King "Humble" is believed to lived in c. 300-400 AD.
Founded: 2000 BC | Location: Humble, Denmark

Kong Asgers Høj

Kong Asgers Høj (King Asgers Mound) is a large passage grave on the island of Møn. It was built in the Late Stone Age (3000 BC - 1500 BC) and has a 10 meters long narrow passage leading into to the grave chamber. The grave chamber is 10 meters long and 2 meters wide and was when in use a common grave. When somebody died the grave was opened, the deceased was buried, and the grave was closed again. Kong Asger ...
Founded: 3000-1500 BC | Location: Stege, Denmark

Rispebjerg

Risbebjerg is an archeological site containing both the remains of a Neolithic sun temple and Iron Age earthworks. Bordered by the Øleådalen valley, the site is marked by Iron Age earthworks consisting of semicircular ramparts 3 metres high and a dry ditch 2 metres deep, dating back some 2,000 years. There are also remains of a number of 5,000-year-old woodhenges, one of which has been recreated with stumps o ...
Founded: 3000 BC | Location: Neksø, Denmark

Grønsalen

Grønsalen or Grønjægers Høj is about 100 metres long and 10 metres wide, which makes it Denmark"s largest long barrow and is widely recognised as one of Europe"s outstanding ancient monuments. The barrow, rising over a metre above the surrounding area, is encircled by 134 large stones. The grave, at the centre, is covered with earth and contains three burial chambers, two of which are ...
Founded: 3500 BC | Location: Askeby, Denmark

Poskaer Stenhus

Poskær Stenhus is Denmark's largest round barrow, dating from the age of Funnelbeaker culture (around 3300 BC). The best view of this monument is from the north approach by the road through the hills of Mols Bjerge. The burial chamber has a diameter of more than 2 metres and a ceiling height of almost 1.8 metres. The chamber is surrounded by 23 kerb stones, some of which are more than 2.5 metres high. In 1859, the owner, ...
Founded: 3300 BC | Location: Knebel, Denmark

Klekkende Høj

Klekkende Høj is a megalithic tomb which dates possibly from the Neolithic Age, ca. 4500 years ago. It one of the best preserved of more than 100 burial mounds on the island. The tomb is a passage grave, which means that the central chamber within the mound is reached by a connecting passage. Klekkende Høj is unusual in that there are two entrance passages running approximately parallel to each other, facing ...
Founded: 3300-3200 BC | Location: Askeby, Denmark

Troldkirken

Troldkirken is a Stone Age megalith (dolmen) with a polygonal chambered mound covered by a capstone and surrounded by forty-eight large stones. The whole monument is some 90 metres long. The name means Church of the Troll in Danish.
Founded: 3500-2800 BC | Location: Nibe, Denmark

Langdos Burial Mound

Langdøs (Langdysse) is the largest bronze age burial mound in Denmark. The burial mound is 175 metres long and was built between 1800 and 1000 BC. The "Langdøs man" was once believed to live in the barrow. Around Easter, pins were placed into the mound by children who then played around it. Part of the barrow has been damaged due to building activities within the city.
Founded: 1800-1000 BC | Location: Aalestrup, 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.