The Viking age began in Denmark and the seafaring warriors left an indelible mark on their homeland, not only in culture and legends but through physical marks like burial sites, rune stones and ring fortresses. Now one of those sites is set to be restored as a tourist attraction, a millennium after it was first built.
About an hour south of Copenhagen, in the town of Slagelse, there's an imposing Viking ring fortress called Trelleborg which dates back to the tenth century. It's one of the most well-preserved of the seven Viking fortresses found in Denmark and southern Sweden. Now, thanks to years of planning by the National Museum of Denmark and the Slagelse municipality, the original archaeological site is set to be restored as a tourist attraction. Plans include the building of tall wooden walls, a defensive gate and moat, as well as other scenes to depict how it would have stood as a mighty fortress in the year 981.
Anders Rosbo, head of communications at Visit Denmark, told TV2 Øst that the restoration would appeal to visitors interested in Viking history. "We are not only competing with Sweden and Norway, but also with experience trips, nature trips and gastronomy travel. I have no doubt that a stronger offer will also attract more visitors and thus also attract more to the area," he said.
Trelleborg is believed to have been the stronghold of the Viking King Harald Bluetooth and used for military operations in the late tenth century. The fortified settlement is designed as a circle with two roads crossing at right angles in the centre. The site surrounding the fortress is already pretty popular with tourists as it's home to an immersive, family-friendly museum where visitors can experience the Viking Age through models, archaeological finds and reconstructions.