A major highlight of Danish Zealand is the town of Roskilde, the island’s second-largest town, 20 minutes by train west of Copenhagen. The wonderful Cathedral, built in 1170, is the burial place of generations of Danish monarchs and a Unesco World Heritage site. The Danish Viking Town is therefore an appropriate description of Roskilde.
The Danish Viking Town
The Viking Ship Museum has five superbly restored ships, including a dreaded Viking man of war, found in 1962 at the mouth of Roskildefjord – they were sunk by the 11th-century defenders of Roskilde to block the fjord against enemy attack.
Related: The Danish Viking Land
The Viking Ship Museum also conducts research and educates researchers in the fields of maritime history, marine archaeology and experimental archaeology. Various academic conferences are held here and there is a research library in association with the museum.
Costumed recreators demonstrate Viking crafts and the restaurant has mjød (mead) to quaff.
The Viking Fortress near Slagelse
Vikingeborgen Trælleborg, near Slagelse in western Zealand, is an abandoned Viking fortress some 1,000 years old. It was once a huge fortified camp that housed 1,000 Vikings, and one of the houses has been reconstructed.
A Viking ring fortress, or Trelleborg-type fortress, is a type of circular fort of a special design, built in Scandinavia in the Viking Age. They are also known simply as Trelleborgs. All Trelleborgs have a strictly circular shape, with roads and gates pointing in the four cardinal directions. These common structures are sometimes partially encircled by advanced ramparts, but these additions are not always circular.
Related: Language of the Vikings
There are a total of seven known Viking ring fortresses at present, located in Denmark and Scania, Sweden. Most of the seven Trelleborgs have been dated to the reign of Harald Bluetooth of Denmark (died 986).
Feature image (on top) Photo: Martin-Heiberg.
The Danish Viking Town, compiled by Tor Kjolberg