Jelling - History and Facts | History Hit


Jelling, Region of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Jelling in Denmark is an important Viking site and was the home of Gorm the Old. It is a UNESCO site.

Peta Stamper

14 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Jelling

Featuring as one of our Top Danish Tourist Attractions, Jelling is an impressive and significant archaeological Viking site in Denmark containing a series of important 10th century finds. Originally the royal home of the Gorm the Old, Jelling remains a vital part of Denmark’s history, particularly as this Viking king was the first of the royal line which still rules the country today.

Jelling history

Gorm and his son, Harald I Bluetooth, erected several monuments at Jelling including a pair of enormous grave mounds, which are the largest in Denmark. These are still incredibly well-preserved and can be viewed at the site. Gorm was buried in the larger one, although the second one is not thought to have been used.

There are also two runic stones at Jelling, the larger one thought to have been built by Harald and the smaller by Gorm before him. The runic stones known as the Jelling Stones stand before Jelling Church or ‘Jelling Kirke’ which dates back to around 1100.

Jelling Kirke was the third such church to have been built on the site, a former wooden version having been built by Harald who converted to Christianity. This conversion is also evidenced by a figure of Jesus on one of the stones.

Jelling today

Visit the home of the Viking kings and see the incredible monuments including runic stones, a church and the largest burial mounds known from the Nordic Viking period. The Jelling site has a visitor centre – Kongernes Jelling – with a series of exhibits telling the story of the monuments.

Getting to Jelling

Located between the 18 and 30 highways, Jelling is an easy drive from Vejle (20 minutes) or a slightly longer journey from Copenhagen (2 and a half hours).

Featured In

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.