Archaeology of Denmark and Sweden2nd Sep 2024
The neighbouring Nordic nations of Sweden and Denmark offer a host of archaeological and historical sites, from Neolithic megaliths to Viking forts, from fairytale castles to a magnificent royal warship.
We begin in Uppsala in Sweden, with visits to the archaeological sites at Gamla Uppsala and Anundshög and the baroque Skokloster Castle. In Stockholm we tour the excellent Historical Museum and visit the Vasa Museum, which houses the heavily armed and richly decorated royal warship which sank on its maiden voyage in 1628.
A relaxing high-speed rail journey follows as we travel from Stockholm to Malmö in the south of Sweden. Here we tour the Osterlen region, with visits to the megalithic monuments known as Ales Stenar before crossing the Öresund Bridge to Copenhagen. We have a day touring the Danish capital, including the renaissance castle of Rosenborg Slot, then transfer to Aarhus in mainland Denmark. From here we visit the Moesgård Viking Museum and the Viking Castle at Fyrkat, learning much about the real story behind those notorious Norsemen. We also come face to face with some former inhabitants of the region as we visit Silkeborg Museum, home to the ‘bog bodies’, the amazingly well-preserved remains of a man and woman who died here around 350BC.
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What to Expect
- The Royal Mounds at Gamla Uppsala, Sweden’s oldest national symbols
- Skokloster Castle, one of the great castles of Baroque Europe
- The hugely impressive but ill-fated warship Vasa
- The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, probably the best art museum in Denmark
- On the trail of Vikings in Aarhus and Fyrkat
- Coming face to face with a man and a woman who died more than 2300 years ago
** Please note that all timings are approximate and subject to change. Final timings and pick-up points will be confirmed with your joining instructions approximately 10 days prior to departure. **
Day by Day Itinerary
We depart this morning on a morning flight from London to Stockholm Arlanda in Sweden (regional flights available on request). On arrival we transfer by coach to Uppsala and a visit to the archaeological site at Gamla Uppsala. People have been buried in Gamla Uppsala for 2,000 years, since the area rose above water. Originally there were between 2,000 and 3,000 mounds or barrows in the area but most have become farmland, gardens and quarries. Today only 250 remain, the most noteworthy of these being the three Royal Mounds. According to ancient mythology and folklore, it was the three gods Thor, Odin and Freyr who lay here but in the 19th and 20th centuries they were thought to hold the remains of three kings of the legendary House of Ynglings. They are dated to the 5th and 6th centuries and are Sweden’s oldest national symbols, often depicted in drawings and paintings. Excavations have thrown up important finds including fragments of decorated bronze panels which probably adorned a helmet of a similar type to the one found in Sutton Hoo in England, along gold ornamentation, several glass beakers, a board game, a comb and a honing stone.
We continue to our hotel in Uppsala, where dinner is served in the evening.