Gamleborg Viking Fortress

Bornholm, Denmark

Gamleborg, also known as Gamleborg Viking Fortress, was the first fortress on the Danish island of Bornholm. Built around 750 AD, it was the seat of the kings of Bornholm during the Viking age (750–1050) and early Middle Ages (1050–1150). The massive fortress is 264 metres long from north to south and 110 metres wide from east to west, with gates to the north and southwest. Around 1100, significant alterations were made and it was reinforced, but it was abandoned soon afterwards in favour of Lilleborg Castle, roughly 700 metres to the northeast.

The fortress is Bornholm's oldest defence works. Its builder is unknown, but an account of the Baltic Sea travels of Wulfstan of Hedebyin 890 tells us that Bornholm already had its own king at the time. There is, however, firm evidence that the fortress was in use during the reigns of Harald Bluetooth (940–986) and Canute IV (1080–1086). The Gamleborg fort was used as refuge during the tenth century against Viking raids. Gamleborg was abandoned in 1150, the occupants moving to Lilleborg, only 700 metres to the northwest. It is not known why the move was made but it does not appear to have been the result of hostilities. Excavations in the 1950s showed the fortifications originated in the Viking period although there is evidence the site was used as a hideout in the Iron Age. The ruins that can be seen today are mainly the result of reconstruction work completed in about 1100.

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Details

Founded: 750 AD
Category: Ruins in Denmark
Historical period: Germanic Iron Age (Denmark)

Rating

4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nils Kristensen (2 years ago)
Svært at komme til. Men besøget værd
Jens Pihl (2 years ago)
Interessant at opleve. Storslået udsigt og natur . Værd at se
Ivan Fræer (2 years ago)
Kedelig oplevelse. Her var nærmest ingenting at se, ud over et par brokker hist og pist.
Francisco Ogando (3 years ago)
Old viking fortress in the wilderness. It is very old and deteriorated, but one ca still feel why the Vikings chose that place, with good natural defences, and part of the walls are still visible.
Jess Rafn (4 years ago)
The oldest known royal castle ruin in Denmark. Nothing much left of it but it gives a great impression of the location well protected by a lake and in the middle of a forest. There's a parking lot just beside the ruin and therefore easy to visit.
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