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Jelling: He Christianized the Danes and built the central power of the future

The beliefs of the Vikings were linked to a world populated by creatures, demigods and deceased people. It was also a spacious world.

Therefore, the Vikings invited the new Christian God, Hvide krist, in as another god who could complement Odin, Thor, Frej, Freja and all the others in the line. The Vikings were pragmatists. On trade trips south, they often allowed themselves to be baptized or at least primed, with which they gained a kind of prospect status without converting 100%. It was good – and sometimes necessary – to get the trade going.

The transition to Christianity was therefore long. When Harald Blåtand was baptized around 965, there had been Christians in the country for a long time.

It was probably grand politics more than personal faith that was decisive for the change of faith. Harald Blåtand tried to keep the German-Roman Empire at bay. As baptized, Harald became a Christian, just like the German emperor, who thus found it more difficult to go to war with the Norsemen. After all, they were no longer simple pagans.

Harald's new faith did not just move foreign policy mountains. The change of faith also had major consequences internally in the kingdom. With the conversion, we were able to plant the seed for a third power-political body close to the center of power – namely the church with its bishops, monasticism, land holdings and an extensive monopoly of knowledge. They brought the writing and made it possible to build a central power in the country around the king. And their entry brought great changes. Both in our power structure and our building practices. Already 100 years after Harald Blåtand, the first stone churches were built, and just a few hundred years after Harald's impressive wooden constructions, we built cathedrals in monks' stone.

Get the full story of Gorm the Old, Harald Bluetooth and the Vikings. See Harald's huge fortress area, which is so unique that it has been named a Unesco World Heritage Site. Come and immerse yourself in the history of the Nordic Vikings.

The story of Harald and Bluetooth

Harald Blåtand was a good negotiator and understood how to unite different parties so that they could act together. He united Denmark, Norway and parts of Sweden. Therefore, Intel, Ericsson, Nokia and Toshiba agreed to use Harald's surname for their common standard for wireless transmission between different devices, Bluetooth. And the logo is composed of the two runes for H and B.