Postcard from Jelling, Denmark

Today, another beautiful blue day of just-right sunshine, we walked through the tall, fresh green of a beech forest near Copenhagen, and then drove out of the city to visit the Unesco World Heritage site at Jelling, in Jutland.

There are burial mounds, archaeological finds, an old church, and two rune stones at the site. The photograph above is of Harald’s stone, carved in around 965, and described by some as the ‘birth certificate of Denmark’ . The other stone at the site, an older, smaller stone, is attributed to Gorm the Old, Harald’s father.

Harald Bluetooth, King of all Denmark (possibly with a rotten tooth, hence his name), ruled from around 958 to 986 and led Denmark’s transition to christianity. The stone photographed commemorates that change, as well his other political achievements, and his parents.

We ate our picnic and wandered happily around the mounds, and stones, and the immaculate graveyard, full of flowers and blossom. We also visited the old church, near the centre of the site. The building, both inside and out, is so clean and simple, with just a few touches of blue to bring the colour of the sky inside the high white walls. Definitely worth looking inside if you are lucky enough to get to Jelling.

It was only tonight, as I’m writing this, that I’ve realised that the Bluetooth symbol on the mobile I’m using is made up of the Nordic initials of Harald Bluetooth. Strange to think that he, and his centuries old stone in Jelling, are still, in a way speaking to us, as we connect with each other today.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023

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