Saturday, 14 October 2006

Leaving Denmark - Final Impressions (Jelling)

This will be my last post covering Europe for now, so I will finish it off with some pictures showing an idyllic and historical side of Denmark.

This stone is called Jellingestenen. It may not look like much, but it is actually one of Denmark's absolutely most significant artefacts in a historically very important place. This is nothing short of the baptismal certificate of Denmark! This stone was placed in almost this exact spot by King Harald Blåtand (Bluetooth) in the year 965 to commemorate his act of christening the Danes. The motive might be a little bit hard to make out, but you should be able to see a figure of Christ in a crucified pose.

Here you can see the Jelling stone right by the entrance of Jelling Church. Next to it is a smaller sister stone erected in 955, which is the first existing source in Denmark using the word Denmark. Jelling was the centre of power for the earliest Danish kings, and the Danish head of state today is a direct descendant of these kings. This arguably makes Denmark the oldest existing nation state in the world.

Nearby stands an example of how rune stones, such as the Jellingestenen, would have looked back in the day. The elaborate carvings would have been accentuated by wonderful colours such as these.

Finally an exceptionally idyllic example of an old Danish house, this one still inhabited. It is situated on a small villa road, where my sister lives. Today this is part of greater Århus, but back when this house was built it was still a separate village with lots of farming land lying between it and Århus City. According to my father several of our ancestors lived in this village.

1 comment:

Bodegogo Producciones said...

Yes, Denmark is a beautiful place to visit