Viking Wall DanevirkeDanish history at the Schlei
The Danevirke Wall
Gate to the Baltic Sea
The Danevirke is the greatest archaeological monument of Northern Europe which once fortified the southern borders of Denmark and important trade routes between the North and Baltic Sea. It's worth paying a visit and especially the Waldemarsmauer (Valdemar's wall); a 3.5 kilometre long earth wall with a reinforced brick wall is quite imposing particularly when you stand right in front of it. The wall connected the Viking settlement Hedeby at the Schlei with Hollingstedt and the Treene River. At the Danevirke there once was a great gate for merchants and travellers to pass through literally as a "gate to the Baltic Sea".
In the 19th century, after the Viking era, during the German-Danish conflicts, the Denevirke was partly restored. If you walk through the archaeological park, you can still see artillery installations called Schanze 14 next to the main wall.
History lessons for visitors and archaeologists
Even today, insights can be gained from the Danevirke. Between 2009 and 2014, German and Danish archaeologists found the Ochsenweg passage through the wall during extensive excavations. The date of first construction measures, which could only be assumed before, has now been determined to be the fifth century AD – that's an international history lesson outdoors both for visitors and archaeologists.
The Danevirke Museum
Danish history in Danevirke
In the Danevirke Museum, the history of the wall is shown from the Viking era to the time of the Second Schleswig War. Continuously expanding it was founded in 1990 in a former farm, the Danewerkhof, or Danevirkegården in Danish, directly at the crossing from the Ochsenweg to Danevirke in the Danewerk community near the Viking city of Schleswig.
In addition to the showrooms attending to the topic of the Danevirke as a fortification wall, the museum also presents the exhibition “Dänen in Südschleswig/Dansk i Sydslesvig” (Danes in South Schleswig). This exhibition addresses the history of the Danish minority in South Schleswig starting from 1864. All exhibitions are presented bilingually since this museum is equally culturally important for Germans and Danes. Due to its themed focus, the Danevirke Museum is closely connected with the Hedeby Viking Museum and the Gottorf Castle State Museum and it complements the city's cultural side very well.