Fyrkat is an archaeological site in Denmark made up of nine reconstructed Viking houses and a ringfort as well as a Viking cemetery. It is thought that the fort at Fyrkat was established during the reign of Harald I Bluetooth in around 980 AD. There are also exhibitions about the history of the Vikings at nearby Fyrkat Viking Centre.
History of Fyrkat
Fyrkat is one of four Viking fortresses built in Denmark in around 980 AD by King Harald Bluetooth. It was excavated between 1950 and 1958 by architect and museum inspector C. G. Schultz.
The fortress is shaped in an exact circle, with four equidistant gates on the edge, and two wooden roads that cross in a right angle in the middle. In each of the four quarters stood four Longhouses of the same design, arranged in a square with a smaller house in the middle.
A cemetery to the north of the fortress demonstrates that Frykat was lived in by women and children as well as men. Around 30 graves of men, women, and children were discovered in the cemetery. Some were buried in wagon crates, others in coffins. The poor were randomly mixed with the rich.
Most finds from the site were discovered in the cemetery, with the most precious item discovered being a piece of gold jewellery with a bird’s head on it.
Today, visitors can see the impressive rampart as well as the locations of the houses and roads, which are marked out in white. Unfortunately, the cemetery is not visible.
Immediately outside the fortress is a reconstruction of one of the large houses, which has been built with oak and shingles and decorated to look like a chieftan’s hall.
A Viking farm made of authentic wattle and daub has also been built around 1km from the site. Now, other farm elements such as a smithy and a barn have been added, and there are now nine reconstructions in total on the site, including an interpretive centre. The site is also used for re-enactments.
Today, the Fyrkat Viking Centre at Hobro houses most of the finds from the site.
Getting to Fyrkat
Visitors can reach Fyrkat from Copenhagen in around 3 hours and 40 minutes by car, primarily along the E20 and E45 roads. There are also nonstop, 45-minute-journey planes which fly from Copenhagen into Aalborg, from where the site is reachable in 45 minutes by car.
Nearby Hobro is home to the Fyrkat Viking Centre for those who wish to learn more about Viking history and see some of the finds discovered at the site.
Viking Sites in Denmark
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Denmark Historic Sites
Explore the Viking past at Jelling or visit the setting of Shakespeare's Hamlet at Kronborg Castle. Denmark's historic sites are wide-ranging and beguiling.