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- Another type of "ship" -
 

A Viking Burial Site on small island Hjarnø -




Hjarnø is one of the 529 islands that Denmark allegedly consists of - - -
It is quite small, - only about 3 x 1 kilometers -, with only a little more than 100 permanent inhabitants, which are mainly occupied by farming, although the island earlier had distinct maritime traditions.
You will not find soft rolling hills, twisting and turning streams and deep, shady forests here.
It is quite flat, - mostly farmland -, and has apparently nothing spectacular to offer a visitor.

However, - one thing makes this small and lovely island stand out amongst the many other Danish islands: A quite big burial site from the Viking era - - -
 
 


The ferry to Hjarnø
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)

A trip to Hjarnø starts with the ferry.
It is a trip of less than 10 minutes since Hjarnø is only about 800 meters away from the mainland - - -
 
 



Hjarnø
- typical Hjarnø scenery, - flat farmland -, and all roads leading to the coast -




In Denmark we often refer to a period in the Iron Age as the "Viking Age" due to our ancestors , - the Vikings -, who were very active during those days of the misty past.

That's a long time ago, but still today you can find evidence of their activities,- not only from the numerous Viking ship finds -, but also from many burial sites.

One such burial site, - one of the biggest -, is the one on the small island Hjarnoe, where you can find ship shaped stone formations indicating the various graves.
Since the stones are formed like ship hulls, we simply refer to them as "SHIPS", - and such "ships" you can find many other places all over the country.

The "Ships" on Hjarnoe are about 1000 to 1400 years old, but still a legend has survived, telling a tale about King Hjarne, who is buried here together with his men, after they all got killed in an attempt to win back the throne, in a power struggle with the son of the former King.
Another legend also claims that the island actually got its name, - Hjarnoe-, from this Viking King, - Hjarne!
This might not be the real truth, - but old tales and legends are always exiting and can really get the fantasy going.

But for now, - let us explore Hjarnoe, and take a look at my images of another kind of "ship", - made from stones -, and more than a thousand years old - - - -
 
 


Hjarnø
- typical Hjarnoe coast line -, the Viking burial site is behind the point in the background -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Hjarnø
Here it is, - the Viking burial site -
Viewed from this angle, it looks as if the stones are just casually scattered over the meadow near the coast of Hjarnoe -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)



 
 


Hjarnø

- but viewed from another angle, - a man made ship shaped pattern is clearly visible. It is a Viking grave, - a "Ship"!
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Hjarnø

And here another one. Unfortunately a lot of the stones have been removed over the centuries, and today you can only find about 10 "ships" left, - partly hidden in the vegetation -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hjarnø
 - but for almost 400 years ago, an archaeologist describes more than 20 "ships" at the site -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Hjarnø
- but still there is a lot to see -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Hjarnø
- and it never fails to impress , - you can really "feel" something - , a true blast from the past -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Hjarnø
At the burial site, the coast is covered by a dense vegetation of beautiful Rose Hips.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Hjarnø
Hjarnoe is not only Viking tombs, but also the home to a very large population of sea birds -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hjarnø
- here another beach picture with Rose Hips and white sand - and the main land across the sound -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hjarnø
- a final view of a lovely island with Viking tombs, - and some good beaches along the coast -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Leaving Hjarnø
- view towards the island from the small Hjarnø ferry -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 

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Updated:  June 22. 2004
               March 14.2007