The Jelling Monuments
Jelling is home to Europe’s finest Viking-Age monuments: Denmark’s two largest grave mounds and two runic stones erected by the kings Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth in the eighth century. In 1994, the royal monuments and Jelling Church came under the patronage of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The 10-meter northern mound, presumed to have been built by King Harald Bluetooth, contained a wooden burial chamber in which the king’s father, Gorm the Old, had been entombed. The 70-meter southern mound is not actually believed to have been a burial site.
The church sits between the two mounds and has an underground burial chamber.
The smallest of the two large rune stones in front of the church was erected around 940-50 AD by Gorm the Old in honour of his queen, Thyra. The runic inscription reads: “Gorm the Old made this monument in honour of his wife, Thyra, the flower of Denmark”. This is the oldest known reference to the name of the nation.
The inscription on the larger of the two rune stones, erected by Harald Bluetooth, reads: “King Harald made this monument in honour of Gorm, his father, and Thyra, his mother. Harald who won Denmark – in entirety – and Norway and who brought Christianity to the Danes.”
The two rune stones, together with the church and the two grave mounds, are evidence of the transition from paganism to Christianity in Denmark and the change from Norse burial traditions to those of Christian religious practice.
The Royal Jelling visitor’s centre relates the inspiring story of the royal monuments, their origin and significance.
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CoordinatesLongtitude : 9.420249
Latitude : 55.756853