Danish archaeologists discover chapel of King Svend

The king was killed in the Battle of Grathe Heath in 1157 and burried in a chapel nearby

Archaeologists from Midtjylland have made a discovery that could bring them closer to learning more about one of the most dramatic chapters in Denmark’s history.

Digging on farmland at Grathe Hede near Silkeborg, the archaeologists found remnants of a chapel that is believed to be the place where a Danish king, Svend III, was buried in 1157.

However, the archaeologists had not managed to find the king’s body before they had to cover the site again on Wednesday afternoon, so the farmer, who owns the land, could sow next year’s crop.

Killed by an axe
King Svend III was killed on 28 October 1157 during the Battle of Grathe Heath.

Whilst he was trying to escape, a peasant recognised him and cut his head in two with an axe.

The battle marked the end of eleven years of Danish civil war and saw King Valdemar the Great emerge as the victor and sole ruler of Denmark, who eventually managed to unite the country.

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A five-metre-high memorial was erected on Grathe Heath in 1892.