The Royal mounds (Kungshögarna) is the name for the three large barrows which are located in Gamla (Old) Uppsala. According to ancient mythology and folklore, it would be the three gods Thor, Odin and Freyr lying in Kungshögarna. In the 19th and 20th centuries, they were speculated to hold the remains of three kings of the legendary House of Ynglings and where thus known by the names Aun's Mound, Adil's Mound and Egil's Mound. Today their geographical locations are instead used and they are called the Eastern mound, Middle Mound and Western Mound.

Mounds are dated to the 5th and 6th centuries. As Sweden's oldest national symbols they are even depicted on the covers of books about the Swedish national identity. In the 6th century, Gamla Uppsala was the location of royal burials. The location was chosen carefully and in order to make them majestic. The tumuli were constructed on top of the ridge.

By burning the dead king and his armour, he was moved to Valhalla by the consuming force of the fire. The fire could reach temperatures of 1500 °C. The remains were covered with cobblestones and then a layer of gravel and sand and finally a thin layer of turf.

Archaeologists have excavated lot of significant remains from mounds. There have been many fragments of decorated bronze panels with a dancing warrior carrying a spear In the eastern mound. These panels have probably adorned a helmet of the Vendel Age type, common in Uppland. There were also finds of gold which probably had adorned a scramasax, but according to another interpretation, they were part of a belt. The dead was also given several glass beakers, a tafl game, a comb and a hone.

In the western mound were found the remains of a man and animals, probably for food during the journey. The remains of a warrior equipment were found. Luxurious weapons and other objects, both domestic and imported, show that the buried man was very powerful. These remains include a Frankish sword adorned with gold and garnets and a board game with Roman pawns of ivory. He was dressed in a costly suit made of Frankish cloth with golden threads, and he wore a belt with a sumptuous buckle. There were four cameos from the Middle East which were probably part of a casket. The finds show the distant contacts of the people of Uppland in the 6th century.

Gamla Uppsala Museum, and its exhibition hall adjacent to the Kings' Mounds, was inaugurated in the summer of 2000. On display are finds from the royal mounds, tales of the ancient dynasties and pagan gods, and models of the landscape as it looked through history. There are also models, slideshows, audio recordings, and children's corner.

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Details

Founded: 400-500 AD
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in Sweden
Historical period: Migration Period (Sweden)

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

King Geography (18 months ago)
An awesome place if you want to learn both Pagan, Viking and Old Christian history of Sweden.
Olga P (2 years ago)
Don't even bother the price is 60 sek for students and 80 sek for adults and its not worth one bit. It has barely nothing about the history of the place and you will learn nothing new. It's better just to walk around other than spend money there. The only nice thing is the view.
Peter Grenholm (2 years ago)
Nice building, gift shop and kid's corner, but the exhibition upstairs could have been made a lot more interesting with a different presentation.
Elmar Wermuth (2 years ago)
Really worth a visit :) nicely designed and also for kids.
Alistair White-Horne (2 years ago)
Nice museum, very well done and logically displayed. Could do with a bit more content though.
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