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 KINGS OF DENMARK

King  Valdemar den Store 

1131 - 1182             King  1157 - 1182                
                               

 

 

 

 

                         Danish

Danish Kings, from Gorm the Old to the present Queen Margrethe 2nd

  

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Valdemar 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 Svend Grathe.
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 Europe.
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
Vendic coast.
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.

Sprogø and Vordingborg by Valdemar, Kalundborg by Esben Snare, Fåborg, Svendborg and Nyborg.

In 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 Venders.

Chacedrals were build in Slesvig, Ribe, Århus and Viborg together with series of parish-churches, which now were build of stone.

Valdemar 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:

Knud 4th (1162-1202) later king
Valdemar Sejr (1170-1241) later king
Sofie, married in 1181 to count Sigfres of Orlamünde
Richiza (1174-1220) married in 121o to king Erik Knutsson of Sweden
Ingeborg (1175-1237) married in 1193 to king Philip August of France, who repelled her
Helene (1176-1212) married in 1202 to count Wilhelm of Lüneburg

Together with the mistress Tove, Valdemar had the son
Christoffer (about 1150-73).
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