Burial mound keeps legend alive
The burial mound of Elverhøj overlooks the Tryggevælde river valley on Stevns. Superficially, Elverhøj is not much different from similar barrows in the area. It is three metres high, 16 metres in diameter, and a hawthorn bush grows on one side. The mound has never …
Elvish burial mound
According to legend, elves dance around the burial mound after nightfall. This happens in late summer, when the mound is said to 'come alive'. The hawthorn growing on the mound was a gift to the 'mound folk' from the chieftain of Stevns. The elves take such good care of the bush that horses who munch on it die a mysterious death. In the 1600s, the philologist and folklorist Peder Syv wrote down the folk ballad entitled I lay my head at Elf Mound". Peder Syv was the vicar of Hellested, within a short walking distance of the mound. The folk ballad inspired the playwright Johan Ludvig Holdberg's play Elverhøj of 1828, which was adopted as Denmark's national play. A few years later, in 1842, Hans Christian Andersen wrote his fairytale variant, also called Elverhøj . "
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