Harald_frise_til_tekster_100px bred_December2022

King Harald Bluetooth

Son of King Gorm the Old and Queen Thyra Dannebod.

Harald Gormsen, who later became known as Harald Blåtand – probably due to a dark-colored tooth – was king of Denmark from around 958 until his death around 985(-87). He was succeeded by his son Svend Tveskæg as king of Denmark.

His reign was marked by the tense relationship with Denmark’s neighbors to the south, partly the vendettas along the south coast of the Baltic Sea, partly the German-Roman Empire, whose Emperor Otto the Great, through missionaries sought to introduce Christianity to its neighboring countries. Harald converted to Christianity early in his reign and thus welcomed the large German neighbour, but at the same time set about fortifying the border to the south at Dannevirke and Hedeby. Harald married Tove, daughter of the Vendian prince Mistivoj, and thus forged ties with the Vendian neighbors. After the death of Emperor Otto in 983, Harald attacked to the south, but was repulsed. As a countermeasure to the threat of a German advance, Harald built in a short time around 980 the large ring castles of Fyrkat and Aggersborg in Jutland, Nonnebakken on Funen, Borgring at Køge and Trelleborg at Slagelse, which is the best preserved ring castle. Harald is referred to as the first king who united Denmark and converted the Danes to Christianity. Around 985, Harald was at odds with his son Svend. It came to a fight, and Harald had to flee to Jomsborg, where he died soon after. (According to Saxo’s chronicle).


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