Jellingestenene - The Runic Stones

The Jellingestenene runic stones are located on the South side of the Jelling Church in the town of Jelling in Eastern Jutland. The runic stones, the two mounds and the first church were all raised and built in the 10 th century AD. Jelling and the historical monuments have been symbols of the founding of Denmark and the Danish monarchy. The viking king, King Gorm The Old, was the first king in an unbroken line to today's monarch, Queen Margrethe II, making the Danish Royal family the World's oldest.

The Jelling Church with the Jellingestenene in front

The church itself is the latest since the first, wooden, church was built by King Harald Blue-tooth. Three wooden churches were built, and three wooden churches burned to the round, prompting a change of the main building material to stone. The grave of King Gorm The Old is inside the church, beneath a sterling silver "Z" in the black granite floor.

The Jellingestenene close up

In 1994, UNESCO included the Jelling Runic Stones, the mounds and the Jelling Church as part of the World Heritage List, declaring them of exceptional and universal value to the World.

The South side of the bigger of the two inscribed stones

The large Jellingesten, known as King Harald's Stone, is King Harald Blue-tooth's statement to the World that he united Denmark and Norway into a single kingdom, and he claims to have converted the Danes to Christianity, which may to some degree have been a declaration of commitment rather than a statement of fact.

The East side of the larger inscribed rock

The text written in runes is: Harald, King, ordered this inscription for Gorm his father, and for Thyra his mother. The Harald who won for himself Denmark. Further text on the two other two sides of the stone is: all and Norway / and converted the Danes to Christianity.

A closeup of the decoration on the South side of the larger stone

The depiction of Christ on King Harald's Stone is the oldest such picture found in Denmark. This is not a suffering Jesus Christ, but a triumphant Christ entwined in the branches of the Tree Of Life.

The Visitors Center at Jelling, next to the church

The Exhibition Center is just West of the Jelling Church and the Jelling Runic Stones, across the street. It contains an information center and a visitors shop, offering both souvenirs and scientific literature about the old Royal capital, the historical locations and not least the Runic Stones.


Next - Hedeby, the largest viking city in viking Denmark



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