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.
“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.