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The Viking's history

Viking country at the Baltic Sea fjord Schlei

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The golden age of Hedeby

Trading between North and Baltic Sea

From the 8th to the 11th centuries AD, the seafaring Vikings dominated Northern Europe. Hedeby, located on the Haddeby Noor at the western end of the Schlei inlet, was one of their most important settlements and trading centres.

Presumably built in the 8th century by Frisian merchants, Hedeby became one of the most important trading venues by the sea in Northern Europe in a short time. The Viking port town affected the political, economic and religious life at this gateway between the North Sea and Baltic Sea. Merchants from everywhere under the sun passed through here. A protective hill fort was constructed which was connected to the fortification system Danevirke.

For almost three centuries, Hedeby was the key position for turnover of merchandise between the North Sea and Baltic Sea since it was only a few kilometres to reach the North Sea on the Treene and Eider River. With the end of the Viking era in the middle of the 11th century, its functions had begun to be assumed by the nearby city of Schleswig, founded on the north shore of the Schlei.

A closer look the former viking area

Moments round Hedeby

  • Wikingerhäuser in Haithabu
  • Wikingerhäuser in Haithabu an der Schlei
  • Wikingerhandwerk an einem Wikingerhaus in Haithabu
  • Wikinger an einem Wikingerhaus in Haithabu

The destruction of Hedeby

From the Viking settlement Hedeby to the Viking city of Schleswig

Around the year 1066, the area of the settlement was destroyed by West Slavic tribesmen. Even before that, many of Haithabu’s most important functions had begun to be assumed by the nearby city of Schleswig, founded on the north shore of the Schlei. Schleswig became a royal residence, the seat of a bishopric, and a centre for long-distance maritime trade.

Since the end of the 19th century, many important findings have been discovered on the large area of the former port settlement which gives evidence to the golden age of the most southern settlement of the Vikings.

At the Haddebyer Noor, the exact place where the Vikings lived around 1,000 years ago, a museum was found: the Hedeby Viking Museum. In its vicinity, you can find seven reconstructed Viking houses inviting you to a journey in the past. Here, you can immerse yourself deep in the Viking's history.

"King Sveinn placed the stone in memory of Skarði, his retainer, who travelled to the west, but who then died at Hedeby" – That's the old Danish inscription of the runestone found in the South of Busdorf in 1857. It is assumed that King Sveinn is Sweyn Forkbeard. If you want to learn about this and three other runestones a bit more, you can do so in the Hedeby Viking Museum. Reconstructions of all three runestones can also be found at their original find spots:

  • Skarthi-Stone: Alte Landstraße 10, 24866 Busdorf
  • Sigtrygg Runestones: Am Furt between Haddebyer and Selker Noor
  • Erik-Stein: On the way from Busdorf to Selk at the campsite near Wedelspang



Historical traces round Schlei and Baltic Sea

A time travel between vikings, denmark and germany

German-Danish history

German-Danish history

You can especially feel and se the German-Danish history in Schleswig. There are danish kindergardens, schools and also the danish minority. But where does all this come from? Have a look over here.



Most of the estates in our region are looking like estates embedded in beautiful green parks. Lots of these estates have got a long, exciting history. The manor houses are some cultural jewels of the Schlei and Baltic Sea Region.



At the end of the viking era Schlei and Baltic sea began to be a christian society. Some monasteries and churches where build. Nowadays the St. Peter cathedral is one of the most famous and significant churches at the Schlei.



Distance of the Ochsenweg is 245 kilometre from Flensburg via Schleswig and Rendsburg up to Wdedel near Hamburg. Its origin in the 19. century leads us to the old town of Schleswig, to the cathedral of Sankt Peter to the Sankt Johannis monastery as well as to the Bibelgarten and Waldemarsmauer of Danevirke.



Follow the traces of wikings and friesian history on the wiking and friesian path between north and baltic sea.


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Useful Tips for your holidays

Guest Feedback

Living the viking culture

Nowhere in Germany you are able to live the viking culture as intensive as at the Schlei Region round Haithabu. Check out some local art markets or the well known viking days in Schleswig. It's so easy to get beack into the viking ages and viking culture.

Nico R. aus Gera

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