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Stories in Stone

The Germans and especially the Vikings loved to immortalize their own deeds and those of their ancestors in stone.

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Rune stone with a serpent at the foot of the cross, 11th century.
Round church in Nylars, dedicated to St. Nicholas

Inscription: “Sasser had this stone erected in memory ofHalwarth, his father.He drowned along with his whole crew.Christ help his soul for all eternity.This stone stands in his memory.”

To this peculiarity and the long-lasting material, we owe important insights into the mentality and history of people in the Early and High Middle Ages.



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Round church in Österlars



Rune Stone with crucifix symbol, 11th century
Inscription:Thorkil erected this stone ...

The Vikings' characters, the runes, were well suited for carving in stone and wood. Around 3000 – mostly upright – rune stones are said to have been found in Scandinavia alone. But they also exist in peripheral areas, for example in Haithabu (Schleswig-Holstein).






I warmly thank the reader Joachim Feik for the information on the inscriptions.



Translation: Erik Eising


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