Jelling Runestones

Jelling, Denmark

The Jelling stones are massive carved runestones from the 10th century, found at the town of Jelling in Denmark. The older of the two Jelling stones was raised by King Gorm the Old in memory of his wife Thyra. The larger of the two stones was raised by King Gorm's son, Harald Bluetooth in memory of his parents, celebrating his conquest of Denmark and Norway, and his conversion of the Danes to Christianity. The runic inscriptions on these stones are considered the most well known in Denmark.

The Jelling stones stand in the churchyard of Jelling church between two large mounds. The stones represent the transitional period between the indigenous Norse paganism and the process of Christianization in Denmark; the larger stone is often cited as Denmark's baptismal certificate (dåbsattest), containing a depiction of Christ. They are strongly identified with the creation of Denmark as a nation state and both stones feature one of the earliest records of the name 'Danmark'.

After having been exposed to all kinds of weather for a thousand years cracks are beginning to show. On the 15th of November 2008 experts from UNESCO examined the stones to determine their condition. Experts requested that the stones be moved to an indoor exhibition hall, or in some other way protected in situ, to prevent further damage from the weather.

Heritage Agency of Denmark decided to keep the stones in their current location and selected a protective casing design from 157 projects submitted through a competition. The winner of the competition was Nobel Architects. The glass casing creates a climate system that keeps the stones at a fixed temperature and humidity and protects them from weathering. The design features rectangular glass casings strengthened by two solid bronze sides mounted on a supporting steel skeleton. The glass is coated with an anti-reflective material that gives the exhibit a greenish hue. Additionally, the bronze patina gives off a rusty, greenish colour, highlighting the runestones' gray and reddish tones and emphasising their monumental character and significance.

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Address

Thyrasvej 3, Jelling, Denmark
See all sites in Jelling

Details

Founded: 10th century
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Denmark
Historical period: Viking Age (Denmark)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Dorthe Vedel (4 months ago)
Supercool museum and interessant surroundings, showing the area of the town of Harald Blaatand.
Joshua Formentera (4 months ago)
Finally visited the place in July 2020 and its a UNESCO Heritage landmark in Jelling, Vejle Denmark. Very interesting to know how Denmark was born more than 1000 years ago. Jelling burial mounds and one of the runic stones are striking examples of pagan Nordic culture, while the other runic stone. As I lived in Denmark, I'm glad I have visited the place and learned the history behind it. I like the place because it a piece of interesting history about the Denmark. The place is like an outdoor museum. Amazing how the stone preserved until now which commemorating the introduction of Christianity, and the emergence of the church representing Christian predominance. A must place to visit in Denmark.
Kevin VH (5 months ago)
Great site and awesome museum! Recommended!
Jörgen de Groot (5 months ago)
The burial ground is small, but interesting for its history of Denmark. It has free entrance as well as the museum that explain the history in a interactive way. It is all about the barrows, Harold Bluetooth and the first written history of Denmark and the conversion of the ancient Nordic gods to Christianity. The area consist of the two hills, the church, the tiles that marks the ship setting and the palisade which used to surround the area which is now marked with the white pipes and the path. And probably most importantly, the two stones! You can visit the site in about an hour or two. Or less if you skip the museum.
Vitor Rocha (6 months ago)
Very unique, coordinate, clean, very good access / parking. Remarkable.
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