A sleepy town with a big history, Jelling is revered as the birthplace of Christianity in Denmark, the monarchy and all that is truly Danish. The town served as the royal seat of King Gorm during the Vikings’ most dominant era; Gorm the Old was the first in a millennium-long chain of Danish monarchs that continues unbroken to this day. The site of Gorm’s ancient castle remains a mystery, but other vestiges of his reign can still be found at Jelling Kirke.
The town is a kind of spiritual touchstone for the Danes. Virtually all of them will visit at some point, to pay homage at the church, inspect the two rune stones and climb the burial mounds. The area became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1994.