Trelleborg Viking ring fortress on Zealand (photo: Thue C Leibrandt / Wikipedia Commons)

Danish mayors seek Viking fort UNESCO listing

Five Viking ring forts in Denmark are being championed by the mayors of the municipalities where they are found, to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Five Danish mayors have joined together to get Denmark’s Viking ring forts added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, reports the Copenhagen Post.

The Jellinge mounds, Kronborg Castle and Roskilde Cathedral are among the seven cultural sites in Denmark already on the list.

The five additional forts are situated in Jutland, Funen and Zealand and were built over 1,000 years ago during the reign of Danish king Harald Bluetooth. The mayors hope to have their application ready to send to UNESCO next year.

“Experience shows that being on the list attracts more tourists,” Køge mayor Marie Stærke told DR News.

According to researchers, being on the list could increase interest in the ancient monuments and unlock funding for research and showcasing the sites, in addition to the prospect of increased tourism.

Lise Lyck, a tourism researcher at Copenhagen Business School, thinks that the forts have a good chance of making the list.

“There are not so many Viking forts in the world. At the same time, there is a lot of interest in the subject at the moment,” she told DR News.

Viking forts in Denmark
According to HeritageDaily, around the year 974, the Danish Viking king Harald Bluetooth lost control of the Danevirke and parts of southern Jutland to the Saxons.

The entire complex of fortifications, bridges and roads, which were built around 980, are presumed by some to be Harald’s work, and part of a larger defensive system.

Another theory suggests that the forts were built as boot camps for the troops of Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard prior to an invasion of England.

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