Many great legends and sagas exist from the Viking age. The legends are full of gods, heroics and supernatural elements. One of the better known legends is the tale of Danish king Hrólfr and the hero Beowulf which has served as inspiration to the Hollywood movie 'Beowulf'.
Hrólfr Kraki, or Rolf Krake as he is known in Denmark, was a legendary Danish king who ruled Denmark from his royal residence in Lejre. The famous Anglo-Saxon poem of Beowulf tells a great story of how the hero Beowulf came to help Hrólfr defeat the monster Grendel. Grendel had been terrorising the king and Lejre but with the help of Beowulf, they were able to slay the monster.
The monster's mother, however, came the next night for revenge and sleeping in another room Beowulf and Hrólfr were not able to help defeat her and she caused severe harm and death. The next day Hrólfr and Beowulf therefore went after her and after a hard fight, Beowulf succeeded in killing her and once again ensure peace in Lejre.
This is of course not a reliable historic source, but many finds and explorations in the area have revealed that Lejre was an important place and a royal seat around 500-1000 AD. Although Hrólfr and Beowulf might not have been real, Lejre offers a great view into the Viking period and with exhibitions and events Lejre is a fantasic place to dive into the Viking world.
'Follow the Vikings' is a collection of ten small educational pieces on Vikings, published in Danish by forlagetepsilon.dk. The ten pieces are all linked with historical Viking sites in Denmark and therefore allows you to both figuratively and literally follow the Vikings.
• Follow the Vikings – The last journey
• Follow the Vikings – Castles
• Follow the Vikings – Playing
• Follow the Vikings – Kings
• Follow the Vikings – A king and a ship
• Follow the Vikings – The everyday life
• Follow the Vikings – Ships
• Follow the Vikings – Offerings
• Follow the Vikings – Rune stones