Jelling #AtoZChallenge

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Ever wonder where the symbol for Bluetooth comes from — or even the name?

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If you go to Jelling, Denmark, you will learn about the Viking King Harald “Blåtand” Gormsson and see this familiar symbol carved into rocks, on signs and in the museum (Blåtand sounds like “bluetooth”). It seems that his name is living on through modern technology. However, Jelling is not about the technology, it is about a Viking burial ground filled with the memories of King Harald and the beginnings of Denmark.

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Archaeologists discovered remains of wooden pillars that formed an outline of a very large long boat. Now, white stones and pillars mark the space. In the center is a small chapel and graveyard. On the north and south side of the chapel are two large mounds. It is believed that the north mound was originally built for Harold’s father, Gorm, but no bones were found there.

Bones were eventually discovered in the church, and have been reburied there after extensive renovations. If you follow the line the goes along the floor of the chapel, it points to the spot where the bones were interred.

The chapel and surrounding graveyard is still actively used by the local community. My tour guide told that this is the church she attends and that her family is buried there.

Just outside the chapel are two carved stones. The oldest is known as Gorm’s Stone and is the first time Denmark is named as a country (~950).  This stone was dedicated to his wife, Thrya. The larger stone is Harald Bluetooth’s Stone it is tells of his conversion to Christianity.

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I don’t always to into museums, preferring to get a sense of the place from the outside. But, the tour guide advised that we should, at the very least, go to the roof of the Jelling museum to get a better sense of the whole site. So, in I went and all I can say, is you should try to visit this museum! It is one of my favorite museums anywhere. It includes several an interactive experiences that shows Viking history and their culture through interactive displays. I found myself playing with every button to see what the displays would show next. We were all transformed into children playing with all the exhibits.

Some of the exhibits showed items that had been found onsite, and then, through holographic imagery, the object were transformed into what they probably looked like. It was fascinating and so much fun!

There there was the room where you could stand on different spots on the floor and experience a Viking death, funeral and journey to Valhalla to be with your kin and fellow Warriors. Sounds a bit morbid, but really is was so much fun!  I think it did that a couple of times. It was fun to “see yourself” flying with the Valkyries!

From there, you climbed the stairs to learn more about the Viking Gods and their stories. On the roof of the museum, you can get a panoramic view of the whole site. Yes, I could have stayed at the museum for a long time!

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