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Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church are ancient relics located outside the town of Jelling in Denmark. There are two rune stones on the site. The older of the two was put up by the first king of Denmark, King Gorm, in memory of his wife Thyra.

The other stone, which is the larger one, was put up by King Gorm's son, Harald Bluetooth, to commemorate his parents, when he celebrated his conquest of Denmark and Norway, as well as to commemorate the conversion of the Danes to Christianity.

The Jelling rune stones are located in the compound of Jelling church, between two large burial mounds. The burial mounds hail from a time when the Danes were still practising a pagan cultures whereas the runic stone and church represent their having embraced Christianity.

After centuries of being exposed to the elements, the rune stones are showing the sign of erosion. Experts examining them have requested that they either be relocated to a more sheltered place, or that some sort of shelter be erected to protect them on site. So far no decision has been taken on this matter.

The Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 18th session of the World Heritage Committee which met in Phuket, Thailand, on 12-17 December, 1994.

Photos of Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church

Jelling Rune Stones, Denmark
Jelling Rune Stones, Denmark
Author: Rialfver (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The church in Jelling with its rune stones and burial mound
The church in Jelling with its rune stones and burial mound
Author: McLeod (public domain)

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 55 45 23 E 9 25 12 in Vejle Commune, southern Denmark
Inscription Year: 1994
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: III

Location Map of Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church

Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church is numbered 1 on the map below.


View UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Denmark in a larger map

Visiting Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church

The town of Jelling is on the Copenhagen-Vejle-Struer train line. You can reach it by train from Copenhagen which is 3 hours away. The church were the stones and burial mounds are located is just a few minutes' walk from the train station.


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