Viking Forts: Complexes of Viking Defensive Structure (Part 2)

Posted by Ms Elly on

Viking Forts: Complexes of Viking Defensive Structure (Part 2)

In the previous part of Viking Trelleborg, we have discovered three famous Viking forts which were allegedly the work of Harald Bluetooth. The list of the Viking trelleborgs will be incomplete without the four following trelleborgs.


To the west of Slagelse, Zealand, Denmark stood the best preserved Viking ring fort – the Trelleborg. The origin of the Trelleborg could date back to the late 10th century during the reign of King Harald Bluetooth.

Trelleborg (Slagelse) Viking fort from above

Similar to other Viking ring forts, the Trelleborg was surrounded by the defensive wall and the Vikings quartered inside Trelleborg. Two road crossed inside the fort meeting in the centre of the fort. Four gates at the ends of the roads with two gates opposite each other.

Because the Trelleborg was the first Viking fort to be discovered. So the archaeologists decided to call the following excavation of Viking fort the trelleborg.

Viking fort Trelleborg in Slagelse

According to some source, the word “trelleborg” means “the fort by the slaves”. In Old Norse, thrall is slave and borg means fort. Some explain that “trelleborg” means “the fort of wooden staves” as trel means “wooden staves”. In the construction, the Vikings erected wooden staves around the fort for defensive purpose.


Dating back to 980 A.D., the Fyrkat Viking Trelleborg rested in Hobro, the northern part of Jutland, Denmark. The inner diameter of the fort reached 120 meters. Inside, the fort was divided into four parts by two major roads crossed each other meeting at the centre of the fort. The fort was made of earthwork and protected by ramparts. This type of construction resembled other Viking trelleborg.

Fyrkat Viking fort Viking defensive structure in Fyrkat

Fyrkat Viking Trelleborg could house roughly 20 longhouses within. One interesting Viking excavation in Fyrkat was the grave of a woman assuming the Viking seeress.


Nonnebakken is a hill resting in Odense, Sweden. Unlike previously mentioned fort, the construction of Nonnebakken fort belonged to Sweyn Forkbeard from 980 to 1000 A.D.

The archaeologists assumed that the fort measured 120 meters in diameters. The internal construction was similar to other Viking trelleborg. Unfortunately, the fort was severely damaged in the 19th century owing to the construction of  Odd Fellow lodge.


Trelleborgen is the smallest Viking fort (112m in diameter) that archaeologists have excavated by far. It is located in Trelleborg, Sweden. In the modern time, the fort was partially reconstructed. The fort was believed to be constructed under the order of King Harald Bluetooth. 

Trelleborgen fort in Skane, Sweden

Older Post Newer Post

Recent Articles


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published