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A Viking Age barracks

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Trelleborg near Slagelse is a Viking ring fortress. It dates back to 980 and was probably built by King Harald Bluetooth or his son Sweyn Forkbeard. It is one of four known ring fortresses that are unique to Danish territory. They are all built according to a strict…

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What were the ring fortresses used for?

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Time / Periode 970 990
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Ring fortresses were military compounds for soldiers and their families in particular. The similarity of the four ring fortresses shows that they must have been built by a central power. Harald Bluetooth was king at the time – so perhaps the fortresses were built because of the conflicts between him and his son Sweyn Forkbeard? Or as part of the defence system against the neighbours to the south? Whatever the case, they were used for only a short time, and the unique buildings, which witness the power of the Viking kings, were quickly allowed to decay. It was a serious matter for the Crown, though. A whole village was cleared – probably with great brutality – to make way for Trelleborg, where wells have been found that were filled with earth and children's bodies.

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Stories (2)

What were the ring fortresses used for?

Ring fortresses were military compounds for soldiers and their families in particular. The…

Multi-ethnic Vikings

Harald Bluetooth was a king who sought to strengthen the power of the Crown within Danish borders,…

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