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.

References:

Comments

Your name



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

Kim Lundorff Madsen (17 months ago)
One of the most important historic sites in Denmark. Definitely worth a visit. The surroundings are also really nice with scenic nature that invites to a long walk.
Dorthe Vedel (2 years ago)
Supercool museum and interessant surroundings, showing the area of the town of Harald Blaatand.
Dorthe Vedel (2 years ago)
Supercool museum and interessant surroundings, showing the area of the town of Harald Blaatand.
Joshua Formentera (2 years 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 (2 years ago)
Great site and awesome museum! Recommended!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Petersberg Citadel

The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.

The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.