Jelling Stones: Denmark’s Birth Certificate

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A trip to any country’s historical sites is always an enriching and exciting experience. It’s one way of getting to know the area’s history and culture.

When in Denmark, touring the oldest areas is a must. There are lots of interesting old places and relics to see and explore in this Scandinavian country that visitors should never miss. 

The Jelling Stone is one proof of Denmark’s oldest history that you can visit. Known as the country’s birth certificate, this rune stone was erected in 965 AD by Harald Bluetooth in memory of his parents, the former King Gorm and Thyra. On the stone, Harald who died in 987 AD inscribed the words “made the Danes Christian.” Also on the stone is an image of Jesus Christ standing on one side and lion with a snake coiled around it on the other side.

The runic stone situated in Jelling is called as Denmark’s birth certificate owing to the fact that the country’s name was carved on it and it was the first proof of the change in religion among the Danes. It is on this stone that Denmark’s name was mentioned for the very first time.

There are actually two carved rune stones in Jelling. It is the larger one, however, that was erected by Harald in honor of his parents. The smaller one was raised by Harald’s father, the former King in memory of his wife, Thyra.

These stones now stand on the churchyard of the Jelling church. The place was recognized by UNESCO as a heritage site in 2008.

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