Tissø: Tyr's Lake and the Cult of God Tyr

Posted by Ms Elly on

Tissø: Tyr's Lake and the Cult of God Tyr

Tissø is one of the largest freshwater lake in Denmark. Towns and villages surround this lake. One thing that we are yet to know is that this lake once was the place where the Vikings dedicated to Tyr god of Honor and Justice


Standing in the middle of the residence to the west bank of Tissø was the impressive hall building. The materials to build the building were heavy timbers. The size of this Viking hall reached that of the modern one. 

The excavation of the House of worship in Tissø Lake of Tyr Viking god

The excavation of the House of worship in Tissø Lake of Tyr Viking god 

In the site, there were workshops and markets where the craftsmen and traders joined to do business. More than 12,000 objects have been excavated there. Many of them were the gold and silver items. 

Many of the weapons and valuable items also revealed themselves from the bed of the Tissø river. This strengthened the claim that the Vikings once sacrificed items to the river for their gods and their deceased kinsmen. 

Viking artifact in the rivers as the sacrifice

Weapons found in the bed of the lake of Tyr. 

With the luxurious artifacts, archaeologists assumed that Tissø was the home of many noble and wealthy Vikings. One possible explanation was that the people in Tissø came from the royal family 


The name Tissø refers to the divinity. It is a word with two compounds. It is Tis-sø where sø means "lake" and Tis is the name of God Tyr in Norse mythology. The river was named after God Tyr. 

Many places for worship presenting the cult of Tyr appeared in this spot. 

Tyr was the god of honor and justice in Norse mythology. He was the only one who volunteered to put his hand in the mouth of Fenrir the Giant Wolf. He also symbolised the trust and fairness in the battle. 

Viking cult

The Vikings worshipped in many different places

Some miles away from the residence, the archaeologists found out other sacrificial sites on the hill. Animal bones were found. Many luxurious items as the offerings were also buried in this site. 

These days, the scholars attempt to reconstruct the cult house in Tissø with animation. 

House of worship in Tissø Lake of Tyr Viking god

The house of worship (hall) in Tissø Lake of Tyr Viking god. The modern reconstruction.

reconstruction of residence in Tissø Lake of Tyr Viking god

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