The Jelling Monuments
The small, cosy town of Jelling is visited by more than 150,000 tourists each year, and not without reason. Jelling has Europe's most important Viking Age monuments, which were added to the UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1994.
The two enormous burial mounds and two runestones were built during the reigns of King Gorm the Old and then his son Harald Bluetooth in the 10th century. Jelling Church and the runestones reflect the transition from paganism to Christianity. The larger stone explicitly mentions the conversion of Denmark from Norse paganism and the process of Christianisation and is popularly dubbed "Denmark's baptismal certificate”. The stones are strongly identified with the creation of Denmark as a nation state.
Marking the beginning of the conversion of the Danes to Christianity, the Jelling Mounds, runic stones and church are outstanding manifestations of an event of exceptional importance. This transition between pagan and Christian beliefs is vividly illustrated by the successive pagan burial mounds, one pagan runic stone, another commemorating the introduction of Christianity, and the emergence of the church representing Christian predominance.
The Experience Center, Kongernes Jelling – Home of the Viking Kings, tells the story of the lives of the Vikings and the fascinating history of the monuments unfold in interactive exhibitions. From the roof terrace there is a magnificent view of the monument area and through digital binoculars you can see how Jelling looked 1000 years ago.
The area is also much more than a Viking monument. Jelling is surrounded by magnificent scenery, not least in the area south of Jelling with Fårup Lake, numerous natural springs, expansive forests and rolling meadows and pastures. The popular excursion destination, Fårup Lake (Fårup Sø), offers several cycling and hiking routes, renting pedalos and rowboats, good fishing opportunities and even a Viking ship.
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