den Store grew up partly at Skjalm Hvide’s son, Asser Rig,
together with Absalon and Esben Snare, and partly at his
mothers family in Russia.
Valdemar den Store was by-king, together with Knud III and
Valdemar had escaped the blood-party in Roskilde, where Knud
was murdered, and he himself wounded.
The clash at Grathe Hede, where Svend Grathe was killed.
Then 26 years of brother-war had finished.
Valdemar was tall and handsome, but childish and
hot-tempered, and could also be unsteady and cruel. Hardly
would Valdemar have been able to raise Denmark from the
extreme misery until great happines, if not a number of
excellent men had been at his side.
The best was the kings friend Absalon, with whom he had
grown up, a man with great strength and clear-sightedness,
so that everybody had to yield to his superiority. Strong
and brave as a Viking and equipped with an eloquently, which
was like a “double-edged sword“. He was able to create
peace and order at the restless Zealand landsting (court).
He even scolded king Valdemar himself, when he thought he
was too unsure or way too tough.
In Paris he had been educated in scolarship of that time.
His great goal was Denmark’s power and honor and the
happiness of the people.
The divided people should gather around a great national
task, that was the fight against the dangerous Vender. The
kingdom and the church should merge into a great
cooperation, and by that become far stronger, and raise
Denmark’s culture to the same level as the civilized
Shortly after Valdemar had become sole-king, Absalon was
elected bishop in Roskilde, and by that he got the position,
where he could show his ability as Denmarks greatest leader.
Saxo calls him the peoples father.
The Venders were in the 12th century still
heathens, and in the times of the king-feud, they attacked
the Danish shores, which were defenseless. Denmarks military
was in decay. People were unwilling to go to war, and only
with great difficulty Valdemar and Absalon succeeded in
gathering a small fleet from Zealand and Skåne, and they
left for a looting-raid at the
As this small raid was a success, the raids were repeated
each year with greater and greater parcipitation, at first
to loot, later to conquer.
The soul in this Christian Viking-raids was Absalon, brave
and clever. Together with his brother Esben Snare he carried
out many famous deeds.
14th June 1169 he captured Arkona, and the god
Svantevit’s picture was knocked over. Priests were
employed at Rygen, which was placed under Roskilde Stift,
and people of Rygen’s prince was a Danish county-chief.
Castles were build to protect the shores: Havn in 1167
(Copenhagen) was build by Absalon.
and Vordingborg by Valdemar, Kalundborg by Esben Snare, Fåborg,
Svendborg and Nyborg.
front of Dannevirke’s soil platform Valdemar den Store
(the Great) let build a wall of tiles, called Valdemar’s
Wall, and in front of this a moat and outer-platform. On the
grave plate at Valdemar den Store’s coffin, this
masterpiece is regarded as equal to his victory over the
were build in Slesvig, Ribe, Århus and Viborg together with
series of parish-churches, which now were build of stone.
den Store died on the 12th of May 1182.
Buried in Ringsted.
Valdemar den Store was son of Knud Lavard and Ingeborg.
In 1157 he was married in Viborg to the graceful Sophie
(1141-98), daughter of Russian prince and Richiza, who was
sister to Knud 3rd Magnussen.
Valdemar and Sophie had the children:
4th (1162-1202) later king
Sejr (1170-1241) later king
married in 1181 to count Sigfres of Orlamünde
married in 121o to king Erik Knutsson of Sweden
(1175-1237) married in 1193 to king Philip August of France,
who repelled her
(1176-1212) married in 1202 to count Wilhelm of Lüneburg
Together with the mistress Tove, Valdemar had the son Christoffer