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Feel history

   Feel the passage of time among the ancient monuments scattered in the cultural-historical landscape of Skjoldungernes Land National Park.

The Hunter-gatherer Stone Age

In the Hunter-gatherer Stone Age people survived on fishing and hunting along Roskilde Fjord, leaving behind ancient refuse heaps filled with shells that remain along the fjord.

The Neolithic Age

Burial mounds with round and long barrows were erected in the Neolithic Age. North of the hamlet of GL. Lejre is Harald Wartooth’s mound, a long barrow, dating from 3500 BC.

The Bronze Age

Among the impressive mounds from the Bronze Age is Kongehøj on the gravel road leading to the promontory of Bognæs. A skeleton in a stone coffin, a bronze sword and 2 bronze knives have been unearthed at the site.

The Iron Age

There are various Iron Age mounds, such as Grydehøj, where excavations have uncovered the remains of a funeral pyre and gold threads from a chieftain’s burial garments.

The Viking Age

Traces of the Vikings abound in the park, for example the 83-meter long Stone Ship in Gl. Lejre, a gravesite made of large pointed stones in the shape of a ship, presumably to sail the dead to the afterlife. The unexcavated Viking halls west of Gl. Lejre are among the largest buildings from Danish antiquity, the longest being 62 meters in length. The halls were used for celebrations and ceremonies.

The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde displays 5 legendary Viking ships found near the village of Skuldelev that were sunk to the bottom of Roskilde Fjord around the year 1060 to block a channel.

The Middle Ages

Churches and monasteries from the Middle Ages have also left their mark on the landscape. The frescos, architecture and craftsmanship evident in every village church bear witness to the medieval mindset. The island of Eskilsø boasts the ruins of a monastery church from the 12th century built from limestone found in quarries in the area. Bishop Absalon commenced construction of Roskilde Cathedral in 1170, which went on for the next one-hundred years.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the cathedral is Northern Europe’s first Gothic cathedral made of brick.

 

Aristocratic rule and absolute monarchy

The national park has 6 manor estates with stately homes, avenues, mills and tenant farms from the era of aristocratic rule and the absolute monarchy. Selsø Castle, Aastrup Abbey, Lindholm Manor Estate, Sonnerupgaard Manor Estate, Ledreborg Palace and Skullerupholm were built between 1570 and 1750 – often on top of ramparts from the Middle Ages – and form part of Denmark’s largest protected area for estates.

Democracy

The national park also covers an area with remnants from the earliest stages of democracy, the cooperative movement and industrialisation. At Herthadalen, in the forests near Ledreborg Palace, constitutional and public meetings attended by thousands were held from 1854 to 1940.

Walk in their footsteps

The 40 km of paths on Skjoldungestien wind through the historic landscape past some of the most important destinations in the park. It’s easy to take public transport back and forth.

Gudernes stræde, or the Pathway of the Gods, is a 64-km hiking trail with info posts that runs through the natural and cultural history landscape from Isefjord, through the national park and onward to Køge Bay.

Lands of Legends

Sail in dugouts, chop wood like in the olden days or pan for archaeological treasures at Land of Legends Lejre in the heart of the national park. Find more information

Lejre Museum

Located in the scenic hamlet of Gl. Lejre, Lejre Museum contains some of Denmark’s most exciting and significant archaeological finds from the Danish Iron and Viking Ages. Find more information

Ledreborg Palace

At the end of Denmark’s longest avenue lies Ledreborg Palace, which hosts annual events and is open to visitors and tours in the summer. Find more information

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Activities

The sloping river valleys and hilly terrain in the park offer many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, running, cycling, horseback riding and hunting. Find inspiration here

You can also book a local guide - find contact information here

© Foto: Pige på tur; Mikkel Gerner. Træ i Boserup; Ole Malling, Lerskrænten; Tobias Markusen, Boserupgård Naturcenter; Simon Høgsberg