Hærvejen - 500 kilometers of Danish history

MidJutland - Hærvejen

500 kilometers of Danish history
On Hærvejen you will have time to experience nature, history and your hiking companion closely. Hærvejen is more than 500 km of varied walking and cycling route through Jutland. Here, the small moments becomes great experiences.

The location of Hærvejens was formed during the ice age, and the ice cover designed the landscape. After the ice had retreated, brooks and streams could give outlet to the east. The area between the east and the west-facing streams was called the watershed - and by following the watershed the people found the most easy trail through Jutland, and therefore it was here, Hærvejen sprang up.

People have moved on Hærvejen through centuries. On your trip you will experience monuments dating back to the Bronze Age and some of the grandest monuments of Denmark's Viking Age is to be found on the Ancient Road.

Since medieval times Hærvejen has been an important transport route for cattle - from the Jutland meadows to major European cities. Before the refridgeator the only way to transport fresh meat - was by allowing the animals to transport themselves. In the 1600s 30 to 50,000 oxen were driven on Hærvejen each year. Besides cattle there were horses, pigs, goats, sheep and geese driven along the road.

A trip on Hærvejen with cattle was not a day trip. There was a need for sleeping and resting places, for both animals and humans. At intervals folding were arranged, in which the animals could graze and get the water - a place where everybody were safe from thieves and wolfes. Staging areas were often arranged at the inns - who saw a way to earn on the catering of drivers and cattles.

When the railway arrived in the late 1800s, the foundation for the cattle route dissapeared, and Hærvejen was forgotten, until it was rediscovered in the twentieth century.

To follow Hærvejen on foot or by bicycle is a journey through the history of Denmark and certain historical sites, stones and old runes relates specifically to Hærvejens own unique history. A good example of this is a monument, that stands just south of Viborg. The text reads:


The ancient Road goes from Padborg by the German border in the south up to Hirtshals and Lønstrup in the north on the west coast or to Frede—riks—havn on the east coast of Jutland. On hærvejen.dk you can find all the information you need - to go on foot or by bicycle along hærvejen.

All information about sites, monuments and accommodation - all displayed on maps - can be found at: www.kort.haervej.dk

One of the most beautiful towns on the route Hærvejen is Viborg. Viborg is one of the oldest towns in Denmark and is centrally located in Midjutland by the Ancient Road. The town's name has through the ages been written as Wibjerg, Wibiærgh, Wybærgh, Wiburgh and in Latin Wibergis, alluding to a consecrated place of worship - Vi, at Old Danish means Shrine and reminds of the towns's location high in the terrain. Viborg thus means the sacred place on the hill. There is archaeological evidence, that the first urbanization in Viborg took place in the late 900s and early 1000s.

Viborg is one of Denmark's oldest town´s with a fascinating history, quaint medieval streets, beautiful pedestrian streets with interesting shops. Viborg has a great location in the middle of Jutland and is surrounded by unique landscapes. Take a walk around some of the town's attractions, historic sites and parks. At Nytorv you are at Viborg's geographical center indicated by a Zero-stone in the center of the square. Latinerhaven is a lush, green oasis in Viborg's old town. It is divided into several smaller garden sections, including a beautiful section with perennials and rhododendrons and another with herbs.

Viborg Cathedral with its two towers and unique frescoes is the town's special landmark. The church's history dates back to the 1100s, but after several fierce fires, all that remains is the old crypt of the old church. The rest is rebuilt.

Or visit the spot Homage to kings. Through 600 years - from Hardeknud in 1027 to Christian V in 1655 - the Danish kings was hailed at this location. The statue of Queen Margrethe I and her sister's nine year old grandson, Erik of Pomerania, is erected in memory of Viborg and the Homage to kings. Sct. Mogens Gade is a long string of beautiful old houses, and here you really can sense the past.

Have a very nice trip.

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