Slagelse, Denmark




Trelleborg Viking Fortress
Seen from the air it is clear to see the perfect cirkular shape of Trelleborg. Photo: Jan Winther / Visit Denmark

Trelleborg is probably the most well known of the large circular fortresses. The reason being, among others, that it was the first one to be recognized. Although the circular rampart had been known throughout the ages, little energy had been invested in figuring out its purpose. Only when a motorcycle club began making plans for turning the circular rampart into a speedway-track did the National Museum put its foot down and started excavating the site in 1933.

The longhouse of Trelleborg

The excavations of the other circular fortresses of Aggersborg, Fyrkat, Nonnebakken in Odense, and Trelleborg of Scania (Sweden) were only initiated after the discovery of the Danish Trelleborg.

The fortress itself stands somewhat barren in the landscape, and is actually best seen from an aeroplane, but in connection to the fortress, a museum was built in 1995, and the small Viking village of Trelletorp - which is the setting of various activities during summer - is continuously expanded.

Trelletorp by Trelleborg
The small houses of Trelletorp

At an early stage, one of the great longhouses was reconstructed, originally situated inside the large ramparts. However, much new knowledge has been gathered on the construction of these halls, and it is commonly agreed that the reconstruction at Fyrkat near the town of Hobro is closer to the original. The most obvious difference is that the posts surrounding the house are placed diagonally on the Fyrkat house, while they are vertical on the Trelleborg house.

Longhouse at Trelleborg
The museum put a lot of effort in making Trelleborg a good place for children. In front a small version of the great longhouse in the background.

The fortress of Trelleborg was not in active use as a fortress for long, following its construction around AD 980. Still, a large number of artefacts and warriors’ graves were found here, the majority of which is on display at the Museum, which has recently opened a thoroughly re-designed exhibition hall. The museum also has developed the small reconstructed village Trelletorp which is used to show living history.

The fortress of Trelleborg is situated a few kilometers west of the town of Slagelse, and there is access to the ramparts at all times. By car there is easy access from highway E20. Leave the highway at entry no 40 Slagelse V following route 150 towards Slagelse. After ca 2 kilometers go left on a minor road towards Hejninge. Follow the signs from there.

Via publich transport it is possible to take a bus from Slagelse which can be reached by intercity train from Copenhagen.

The museum is open April to October. Monday closed. A wide range of activities take place at Trelleborg during summer.

Trelleborg is noted for hosting a week long Viking Fair of Denmark in July and arranging a reconstruction of The Battle of Trelleborg when Harald Bluetooth and his son Svend Forbeard fighted about the power of Denmark.

The Viking fortress of Trelleborg
Trelleborg Allé 4
4200 Slagelse
phone (+45) 58 54 95 06