Aggersborg is the largest of Denmark's former Viking ring castles, and one of the largest archeological sites in Denmark. It consisted of a circular rampart surrounded by a ditch. Four main roads arranged in a cross connected the castle centre with the outer ring. The roads were tunnelled under the outer rampart, leaving the circular structure intact.

The ring castle had an inner diameter of 240 metres. The ditch was located eight metres outside of the rampart, and was approximately 1.3 metres deep. The wall is believed to have been four metres tall. The rampart was constructed of soil and turf, reinforced and clad with oak wood. The rampart formed the basis for a wooden parapet. Smaller streets were located within the four main sections of the fortress.

The modern Aggersborg is a reconstruction created in the 1990s. It is lower than the original fortress.

Dating the structure has proven difficult, since the archaeological site has also been the site of an Iron Age village. The ring castle is believed to have been constructed around 980 during the reign of king Harold Bluetooth and / or Sweyn Forkbeard. Five of the six ring castles in historical Denmark have been dated to this era. The structure was completed within one or two years, and only used for a short period of time; between five and twenty years.

Archaeologists have estimated that the ring castle could hold a 5,000-man garrison, located in 48 longhouses. Twelve longhouses were located in each quadrant, all located on a north-south or west-east axis. No remains of the actual houses exist, but proof of the location of the walls has been found. The individual houses are believed to have been similar to the form seen on the Camnin chest, a house-shaped reliquary, as well as on house-shaped tombstones in England.

The houses had curved roofs and curved sides, similar to the form of a ship; 32.5 metres long and 8.5 metres across. They were divided in a long inner hall, around 19 metres long, with smaller rooms at the end. It is estimated that construction of a single Aggersborg house required 66 large oak trees. The entire structure, housing included, is estimated to have used 5,000 large oaks.

A large number of archaeological finds have been discovered on the site, including many imported luxury items. Examples include beads of mountain crystal and pieces of glass jars. A damaged golden ring has been discovered on the site as well; a replica is displayed in the Aggersborg museum.

No conclusive data yet exists whether Aggersborg was a stronghold controlling trade routes or whether its primary function was as a barracks / training grounds in connection with Sweyn Forkbeard's Viking raids on England.

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Address

Thorupvej 9, Logstor, Denmark
See all sites in Logstor

Details

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

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

3.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Hans Henrik Pedersen (11 months ago)
Flot beliggende ved Limfjorden møder de lidt undersætsige jordvolde den historieinteresserede besøgende. Det er en stor fordel at være velbevandret i vikingetiden i forvejen, men det diminutive museum fungerer fint for den mere forudaæningsløse besøgende. Fraværet af rekonstruktioner i selve borganlægget sætter den historiske fantasi i gang sammen en velkomponeret havørn, der jager ud mod fjorden.
Amanda Thurston (12 months ago)
A cool place. You can see history.
Finn Petersen (13 months ago)
Historic castle from your Viking age with a little informative museum. No entry fees.
Klaus Bæk Pedersen (2 years ago)
The greatest viking ring castle, not much is left of it but you will still be able to see why Harald Bluetooth chose this place for the fortress and you will also still be able to see the sheer scale of the project when you stand in the middle of the ancient ring. There is a small visitor center where you can learn about how the fortress was created by the account of a fictional carpenter working on the giant project. It is definitely worth seeing if you are in the area anyway, but not something you drive all the way from Århus to see.
Léon Schenk (4 years ago)
Beautiful place!
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