Jelling Stones Reviews
The birth certificate of Denmark Sep 17, 2014
Today Jelling is a small insignificant town in Denmark - easy to overlook with the more important city of Vejle getting the attention of the area. But for a brief period during the middle of the tenth century this area was the home of a family dynasty which would end up ruling Denmark till the present day.
There are no buildings remaining from this era - what remains is two big stones which were put up by the king Harald Bluetooth and his father Gorm. The stones are possibly the most significant historical monuments in Denmark and Scandinavia. The biggest of the stones is the newest and it was raised by King Harald. The stone has the oldest picture of Jesus anywhere in Scandinavia the picture has been reproduced in millions of copies since it is printed in every Danish passport. Even more significant is the smaller and older of the stones which contain the first mention of the country of Denmark - never before had the area north of the Saxons and at the end of the Baltic Sea been mentioned by a united name.
The biggest of the stones was officially put up by King Harald to commemorate his parents but when you read the text it is more about his major achievement as a king and not about his parents and their life. The text on the big stone translates into:
“King Harald commissioned to do these kumler (runes) after his father Gorm and his mother Thyra - the Harald who won all of Denmark and Norway and Christened the Danes.”
The older and smaller of the stones has a shorter text which translates into:
“King Gorm did these kumler (runes) after Thyra his wife Denmark’s bod (which translate into something like pride)”
There are some doubts about the origin of the oldest of the stones - some claim it isn’t actually put up by Gorm - but in fact is put up by Harald so he could claim to be of royal decent and not just be another great chief who became the most powerful in the area.
The stones were left outside for about a thousand years - which wasn’t the best way to preserve carvings on a stone when there is lots of rain and freezing during the winter. So today you can no longer get up to the stones since they are put under glass cover to protect them from the weather.
Part of the How to eat your way through the Danish country side travel blog
Part of the list 1234 places to go before I die
Part of the list UNESCO world heritage - human sights
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