Trelleborg Viking Ring Fortress – Slagelse Municipality, Denmark - Atlas Obscura

Trelleborg Viking Ring Fortress

Slagelse Municipality, Denmark

A perfectly circular stronghold constructed in the 10th century is now a nucleus of Viking culture housing a museum, village, and reenactment of an epic Viking battle. 


Clashing swords! Trampling Boots! A Viking battle cry!

These sounds fill the air of Trelleborg during the annual Viking fair of Denmark in July.  The weeklong Viking extravaganza features an authentic Viking market, displays of Viking lore and craftsmen churning out nostalgic Viking artifacts. The battle itself, fought between the modern-day army of King Harald Bluetooth and his son takes place near a millennia-old fortress that housed 500-700 Vikings during the reign of King Harald.

The Trelleborg fortress is one of a series of barracks in Denmark built by King Harald for military maneuvering in the 10th century. The stronghold consisted of a circular rampart and two paths that cross in the center, creating four equal segments, each occupied by four Viking longhouses. The massive fortress, 180 meters in diameter with a wall 17 meters wide, is alleged to have used almost half the available oak timber in Zealand.

Trelleborg has recently revived its Viking heritage, building a museum of Viking culture and a village that transports the visitor to the reign of a young Harald Bluetooth. Bluetooth, who according to legend acquired the name from his love of blueberries, was known for his conversion to Christianity as well as the unification of Denmark and Norway under one reign for a brief period. 21st century fame has come to Harald in the form of an eponymous wireless communication company whose logo bears the Nordic runes of the Viking king’s initials.

Know Before You Go

Trelleborg is located in Northwest Zealand, approximately, 6km from Slagelse and 104km southwest of Copenhagen. Trains operate frequently from Copenhagen to Slagelse and bus 312 travels to Trelleborg.

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