Mayors seek UNESCO listing for Viking ring forts - The Post

Mayors seek UNESCO listing for Viking ring forts

A new initiative aims to put another slice of Denmark’s Viking cultural history on the world map

The Viking fortress at Trelleborg, Zealand (photo: Thue C Leibrandt)
May 1st, 2019 12:09 pm| by Stephen Gadd

Getting an historical site or area onto the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing can be a surefire way to attract tourists, as well as helping to preserve a unique landmark or area.

The Jellinge mounds, Kronborg Castle and Roskilde Cathedral are already on the list, and five Danish mayors have now made a joint pledge to add the Viking ring forts in their municipalities if they can.

The five forts are situated in Jutland, Funen and Zealand and were built during the reign of Harald Bluetooth over 1,000 years ago.

READ ALSO: Oak dating confirms Køge fortress is one of Harald Bluetooth’s

“Experience shows that being on the list attracts more tourists,” Køge’s mayor Marie Stærke told DR Nyheder.

Vikings in at the moment
According to researchers as well as attracting tourists, being on the list can stimulate interest in the ancient monuments and unlock funding for research and showcasing the sites.

Tourism researcher Lise Lyck at Copenhagen Business School thinks that the forts have a good chance of being put on the list.

“There are not so many Viking forts in the world. At the same time, there is a lot of interest in the subject at the moment – also when we consider aspects such as conservation, which is UNESCO’s job,” she told DR.

The mayors hope to have their application ready to send to UNESCO next year.

Viking forts in Denmark

Around 974 the Danish Viking king Harald Bluetooth lost control of the Danevirke and parts of Southern Jutland to the Saxons. The entire complex of fortifications, bridges and roads, which were built around 980, are presumed by some to be Harald’s work, and part of a larger defensive system.

Another theory suggests that the forts were built as boot camps for Sweyn Forkbeard’s troops prior to his invasion of England. The five forts are:

Aggersborg – near Aggersund, Jutland
Borrering, also called Vallø Borgring – near Køge Zealand
Fyrkat – near Hobro, Jutland
Trelleborg – near Slagelse, Zealand
Nonnebakken – near Odense, Funen

(Source: Heritagedaily)