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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wawel Castle

Wawel Hill – a Jurassic limestone rock, a dominant feature in the landscape of Kraków, have provided a safe haven for people who have settled here since the Paleolithic Age. It is supposed that the Slav people started living on Wawel hill as early as the 7th century. Early medieval legends tell stories about a dreadful dragon that lived in a cave on Wawel Hill, about his slayer Krakus, and about the latter’s daughter Wanda, who drowned herself in the Vistula rather than marry a German knight. Towards the end of the first millennium A.D Wawel began to play the role of the centre of political power.In the 9th century it became the principal fortified castrum of the Vislane tribe. The first historical ruler of Poland, Miesco I (c.965-992) of the Piast dynasty as well as his successors: Boleslas the Brave (992-1025) and Miesco II (1025-1034) chose Wawel Hill as one of their residences.

At that time Wawel became one of the main Polish centres of Christianity. The first early Romanesque and Romanesque sacral buildings were raised here, including a stone cathedral that was erected after the bishopric of Kraków was established in the year 1000.

During the reign of Casimir the Restorer (1034-1058) Wawel became a significant political and administrative centre for the Polish State. Casimir’s son, Boleslas the Bold (1058-1079) began the construction of a second Romanesque cathedral, which was finished by Boleslas the Wrymouth (1102-1138). In his last will of 1138, this prince divided Poland into districts, and provided that Kraków was to be the residence of the senior prince. In 1291 the city of Kraków along with Wawel Hill temporarily fell under the Czech rule, and Wenceslas II from the Premysl dynasty was crowned King of Poland in Wawel cathedral.

In 1306 the Duke of Kuyavia Ladislas the Short (1306-1333) entered Wawel and was crowned King of Poland in the Cathedral in 1320. It was the first historically recorded coronation of a Polish ruler on Wawel Hill. Around that time, at the initiative of Ladislas the Short, the construction of the third Gothic cathedral began, the castle was expanded and the old wooden and earthen fortifications were replaced by brick ones. The tomb of Ladislas the Short in the cathedral started a royal necropolis of Polish kings in Krakow.The last descendant of the Piast dynasty, Casimir the Great (1333-1370) brought Wawel to a state of unprecedented splendour. In 1364 the expanded gothic castle witnessed the marriage of Casimir’s granddaughter Elizabeth to Charles IV accompanied by a famous convention of kings and princes, subsequently entertained by a rich burgher Wierzynek. The accession to the throne in 1385 of Jadwiga from the Hungarian dynasty of Andegavens, and her marriage to a Lithuanian prince Ladislas Jagiello (1386-1434) started another era of prosperity for Wawel. The royal court employed local and western European artists and also Rus painters. During the reign of Casimir Jagiellon (1447-1492) the silhouette of the hill was enriched by three high brick towers: the Thieves’ Tower, the Sandomierz Tower and the Senatorial Tower. The first humanists in Poland and tutors to the king’s sons: historian Jan Długosz and an Italian by the name Filippo Buonacorsi (also known as Callimachus) worked there at that time.

The Italian Renaissance arrived at Wawel in the early 16th century. King Alexander (1501-1506) and his brother Sigismund I the Old (1506-1548) commissioned the construction of a new palace in place of the Gothic residence, with an impressive large courtyard with arcaded galleries which was completed about 1540. Sigismund’s patronage also left an indelible impression in the cathedral, where a family chapel was erected, known today as Sigismund’s Chapel - the work of Bartolomeo of Berrecci Florence, and through various foundations, one of which was that of a large bell, called the Sigismund to commemorate the king. Close artistic and cultural relations with Italy were strengthened in 1518 by the king’s marriage to Bona Sforza. Alongside Italian artists, German architects, wood workers, painters and metal smiths worked for the king. The last descendant of the Jagiellonian dynasty, Sigismund II Augustus (1548-1572), enriched the castle’s interiors with a magnificent collection of tapestries woven in Brussels. In the “Golden Age” of Polish culture Wawel became one of the main centres of humanism in Europe.

The reign of Sigismund III Waza (1587-1632) also made a strong impression on the history of Wawel. After a fire in the castle in 1595 the king rebuilt the burned wing of the building in the early Baroque style. The relocation of the royal court to Warsaw was the cause of a slow but nevertheless steady deterioration in the castle’s condition. The monarchs visited Kraków only occasionally. Restoration of the castle was undertaken during the reign of John III Sobieski, the Wettins and Stanislas Augustus to counteract neglect.

After Poland had lost its independence in 1795, the troops of partitioning nations, Russia, Prussia and Austria, subsequently occupied Wawel which finally passed into the hands of the Austrians. The new owners converted the castle and some of the secular buildings into a military hospital, and demolished some others, including churches. After the period of the Free City of Kraków (1815-1846) Wawel was once more annexed by Austria and turned into a citadel dominating the city. By the resolution passed by the Seym of Galicia in 1880, the castle was presented as a residence to the Emperor of Austria Franz Josef I. The Austrian troops left the hill between 1905-1911. At the turn of the 20th century a thorough restoration of the cathedral was conducted, and shortly afterwards a process of restoration of the royal castle began which lasted several decades.

When Poland regained its independence in 1918, the castle served as an official residence of the Head of State, and as a museum of historic interiors. During the Nazi occupation the castle was the residence of the German governor general, Hans Frank. Polish people managed to remove the most valuable objects, including the tapestries and the “Szczerbiec” coronation sword to Canada, from where they returned as late as 1959-1961. At present, the main curators of Wawel are Wawel Royal Castle – State Art Collection and the Metropolitan Basilica Board on Wawel Hill.