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King Harald Bluetooth
? - ca. 987             King  958 - ca. 987
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Danish Kings, from Gorm the Old to the present Queen Margrethe 2nd

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  Map of Denmark

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Harald Bluetooth was son of Gorm the Old and Queen Thyra. The year when Harald is born
 is unknown, but it is assumed that he died in the fall of 980 in Jomsborg, because of an arrow, which was shot by a supporter (Palnatoke) of his rebellious son, Svend. King Harald was probably buried in Treenighedskirken in Roskilde, which he had himself started build.

The German historian Adam of Bremen mentions  that Harald Bluetooth was married to Queen Gunhild.

A runic stone , which is situated by Sønder Vissing Church south of Silkeborg describes a woman who calls herself Tove, as "Mistivoj`s daughter, Harald The Good, the son of Gorm`s wife", so Harald must have been married twice.

The larger Jellingstone is the largest and the most magnificent runic stone  in Scandinavia, also called " Denmark`s Birth Certificate". It is equipped with  Christian  symbols, among others a Christ figure and runic letters. Erected about 965 for Gorm The Old and Thyra Danebod by the son Harald Bluetooth.


The front of the big stone


Haraltr kunukr bath kaurua
Harald konge bød gøre
Harald the king executes


kubl thausi aft kurm fathur sin
kumler disse efter Gorm fader sin
these sepulchral monuments after Gorm his father


auk aft thaurui muthur sina sa
og efter Thyra moder sin, den
and after Thyra his mother, The


haraltr ias sar uan tanmaurk
Harald som sig vandt Danmark
Harald who won the whole of Denmark


ala auk nuruiak
al og Norge
and all Norway


auk tani karthi kristna
og danerne gjorde kristne
and turned the Danes to Christianity



Find it here
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King Harald wanted to be remembered in a certain fashion so he erected a runic stone to remain forever. It did except for a few centimeters and it is 2,43m tall above ground level and its weight is about 10 tons. It has three sides.

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The big animal and the snake


King Harald made use of the very best counselors and craftsmen for this job. The carving
 of the stone is carried out by two persons; the decorations first and secondly the runes and it took about a whole year to carry out the entire job. Some of the peeling on the stone is perhaps caused by the three hot fires due to the burning of the wooden churches.

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  The oldest Nordic picture of Christ


Here you see a man in a coat with his arms wide open and a glory like the holy cross around his head; the crucified Christ without a cross. The two pictures are surrounded by connecting ropes and strings indicating that the pictures should be seen as a whole. The large stone is left almost in the original position. In 1981 however the stone needed straightening up and some digging was carried out below the stone. It turned out that the stone was situated partly on top of some old graves which indicates that the stone has been moved about one meter to the west. This probably happened when "Caspar Markedaner" in 1586 had the stone dug up. Perhaps even then the stone was leaning and at the same time it was partly covered in soil. Excavations in 1981 along the southern wall of the church showed that the surface of the churchyard had risen one meter since the church was built, so perhaps the words of Caspar Markedaner "digging up" suddenly makes sense. He actually raised the stone and by doing this he might have moved it just a little bit.
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The stone can be seen in  the probably original colors in the museum "Kongernes Jelling"

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Harald Blåtand (Bluetooth) leads Denmark closer to Europe.

The figure of Christ on the larger stone proves that the new faith had finally come to Denmark. Over and over the church kept sending its own people to the Danish kings since Willibrord in the 720´ies visited Agantyr, but not until Harald became king in 958 did the church see any result from the very patient efforts maid during hundreds of years.

Poppo

Poppo, the stranger, who was a clerk in the church is said to have made himself noticed when he agitated the new faith. Harald Blåtand asked him a very tough question: "Will you carry hot iron for your faith..!?" Poppo answered him "yes" and carried the hot iron with his bare hands and passed the test. His hands were not hurt and Harald Blåtand was convinced of Poppo´s faith and immediately wanted to be christened (about 965).

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The golden plaid is from about the year of 1200  and comes from Tamdrup Church.
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While Harald Blåtand was king, he build Episcopal residenceals in Aarhus, Ribe and Slesvig. Odense and Lund are probably also build by Harald.

Harald Blåtand was a very active king. He won the whole of Denmark and Norway and large enterprises were commenced during his time as king; the Jelling-stone and the Jelling-mounds are just a few examples. 

Harald Blåtand is christened by Poppo

Around 968 Dannevirke was fortified and a lot was built during these years. The 800 meter long bridge near "Ravning" and the four "trelle" castles were built for military reasons.


The Viking Bridge in Ravning.


Even though there are several large monuments in Jelling it is not a certain fact that Harald chose this place as his political "headquarter". Maybe he gave up Jelling because of the grand heathen past of the place and he started all over again somewhere else in Denmark - in Roskilde. He built a church here and he is buried here. The successor of this church is Roskilde Cathedral where members of the royal family are buried now. Another reason
for wanting to move the center of the Kingdom might have been that Jelling was too vulnerable if strangers invaded the country. They would easily be able to reach the royal estate, so instead an island (Sjælland) was better protected. Harald Blåtand died around 986.
"Svend Estridsen" says in 1070 - 85 years after Harald Blåtands death - that 
"Svend Tveskæg", Haralds son and Svend Estridsens grandfather, comitted parricide.

The writer Adam of Bremen tells about Harald Gormsson: In Haralds last days the Danish people made a rising against the old king, lead by his son Svend. Harald found shelter in Jumme (Jomsborg), which Adam of Bremen describes as the most important trading post of the Vender, also build by Harald Blåtand himself, and here he dies from his wounds. His body was by the army brought to Denmark and buried in The Holy Trefoldigheds Church, which he himself had founded in Roskilde. Svend was later taken as prisoner  by people from Jumme and had to be bought free for a considerable amount of money.

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