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Learn more about Skjoldungernes Land

Skjoldungernes Land National Park opened in 2015. Skjoldungernes Land National Park is located in central Zealand, a short 30-km ride from Copenhagen.

The national park is a great experience to visit, covering 170 square kilometres of unique scenery, cultural history and one of Denmark's most beautiful Ice Age landscapes with rolling hills and large river valleys.

The area holds a mosaic of scenic gems in store for you to discover on bike or on foot. The many paths, shelters and tours available in the national park are a close-up experience with nature, cultural history and landscapes.

Read about the national park in the folder here

The organisation

Establishment of Skjoldungernes Land National Park is based on broad local support. The national park has a decentralised management, consisting of a board, a national park council and a secretariat. The board and its chairman are appointed by the Danish Minister for the Environment. All members of the board have close affiliations to the national park area.

Development of the national park takes place over decades, and are based on voluntary agreements and local support. The same rules and laws apply inside the national park as apply outside the national parks.

The Danish national parks are not museums. People live, work and stay in the Danish national parks. A big part of the national park are privately owned.

The objectives of the national park

As a national park Skjoldungernes land holds some of Denmark's most unique and valuable nature areas and landscapes.

The national park serves to sustainably protect, enhance and develop the park’s nature, landscape, cultural history, outdoor activities, dissemination, education, research, local communities, businesses and tourism.

Who were Skjoldungerne?

Ancient legends describe the Scyldingas, called skjoldunger in Danish, as the descendants of the mythical King Skjold.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was war and unrest in the area surrounding Lejre. The people were suffering and prayed to the god Odin to come to their aid. Early one morning a ship in full sail entered Roskilde Fjord. The fishermen on the beach were puzzled because they couldn’t see a single person on board. The ship sailed directly toward the coast of the inlet Lejre Vig. Once it was onshore the people peered over the railing and found a little boy encircled by weapons and shields all alone on the deck, his head resting on a sheaf of corn. Convinced that the boy was the son of Odin, the people picked him up, set him on the sheaf and proclaimed him as their king, King Skjold.

King Skjold grew big and strong. He united the people, expanded the kingdom to include all of Zealand and became the progenitor of mythical kings like Halfdan and Frode, Roar and Helge, Rolf Krake and Harald Wartooth. Upon his death King Skjold was laid to rest on his ship, the wind carrying it away once again.

Ancient legends about the Scyldingas originate from the Icelandic sagas and the Danish historian Saxo. Perhaps the ancient kings really did live in the distant past – perhaps they are a myth – excavations of numerous impressive royal halls in the hamlet of Gl. Lejre, however, testify to the reign of great and powerful men in the Iron and Viking Ages.