Ale's Stones

Ystad, Sweden

Ale's Stones (Ales stenar) is a megalithic monument which consists of a stone ship 67 meters long formed by 59 large boulders of sandstone, weighing up to 1.8 tonnes each. According to Scanian folklore, a legendary king called King Ale lies buried there.

The carbon-14 dating system for organic remains has provided seven results at the site. One indicates that the material is around 5,500 years old whereas the remaining six indicate a date about 1,400 years ago. The latter is considered to be the most likely time for Ales Stenar to have been created. That would place its creation towards the end of the Nordic Iron Age.

In 1989, during the first archaeological excavations performed in order to scientifically investigate and date the monument, archaeologists found a decorated clay pot with burned human bones inside the ship setting. The bones are thought to come from a pyre and to have been placed in the pot at a later date. The pot's contents varied in age; some material was from 330-540 CE while a piece of charred food crust also found inside was determined to be from 540-650 CE. The archaeologists working on the project also found birch charcoal remains from 540-650 CE underneath an undisturbed boulder. According to the Swedish National Heritage Board, carbon-14 dating of the organic material from the site indicates that six of the samples are from around 600 CE, while one sample is from ca. 3500 BCE. The diverging sample came from soot-covered stones that are believed to be the remnants of an older hearth, found close to the ship setting. On the basis of these results, the Swedish National Heritage Board has set a suggested date of creation for Ales Stenar to 1,400 BP, which is the year 600 CE.



Your name


Killevägen 52, Ystad, Sweden
See all sites in Ystad


Founded: 500-1000 AD
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in Sweden
Historical period: Migration Period (Sweden)


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Esmir Ticic (21 days ago)
Very interesting mystical place. Surrounding is astonishing, road to the stones feels so well preserved and maintained. Even though it’s mostly windy, once you’re there take your time and enjoy the scenery in peace!
Jakub Novotny (43 days ago)
GREAT PLACE I would not know about this if I didnt have a Swedish girlfriend during my Erasmus stay in Sweden. Great place to visit, the ocean and wind give it quite an atmosphere.
lesley leichtweis bernardi (2 months ago)
It is a place full of beauty. Nature and knowledge together. I was thinking about that population that bring the rocks. They created a calendar. I imagine the difficulty because it would be hard even today. Visit ales stenar is be part of science and humans history. Read about before. Reserve time to enjoy the view. During summer you can buy lunch before go up, in winter time almost every restaurant is closed. If you visit in the cold season bring water/coffee and small snack.
José Mendez (4 months ago)
In January month, I decided to spend the weekend leading up to my birthday at Ales Stenar, a couple of cold winter days with snow and freezing winds that turned out to be an exceptional experience for me and my son of six years old. The day we went uphill to see these ancient monoliths, we were blessed with a fantastic sunny weather, so we also explored the surrounding area that offered an array of stunning vistas and easy walking paths. I definitely recommend a visit to this site because it makes you wonder and admire the mysteries and incredible achievements of ancient civilisations on this part of the Planet.
K Vian (6 months ago)
It's beautiful! The view is just breathtaking! It's always windy over here, at least during the winter, so come well dressed.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

The Church of the Holy Cross

The church of the former Franciscan monastery was built probably between 1515 and 1520. It is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Rauma. The church stands by the small stream of Raumanjoki (Rauma river).

The exact age of the Church of the Holy Cross is unknown, but it was built to serve as the monastery church of the Rauma Franciscan Friary. The monastery had been established in the early 15th century and a wooden church was built on this location around the year 1420.

The Church of the Holy Cross served the monastery until 1538, when it was abandoned for a hundred years as the Franciscan friary was disbanded in the Swedish Reformation. The church was re-established as a Lutheran church in 1640, when the nearby Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed by fire.

The choir of the two-aisle grey granite church features medieval murals and frescoes. The white steeple of the church was built in 1816 and has served as a landmark for seafarers.