Gotland’s history is in many ways unique, and the Viking times are no exception. The magnificent picture stones, found only on Gotland, give visitors an exciting insight into the Viking world with their picture motifs.
The huge number of silver finds bears witness to wealth found nowhere else at our latitude. The coins show the extent of Gotland’s contact with the outside world and the trade that helped make the island so rich.
Its position in the middle of the Baltic Sea made the island a natural hub for contact between West and East. However, being an island also meant developing along different paths, creating special traditions and legends.
Many of these legends are long forgotten, but traces of Viking times remain. We have tried to list some of the most interesting Viking remains here. However, there are far too many interesting Viking sites to fit on this map. So why not discover more about the Viking age on Gotland for yourself?
11 places where the vikings left their mark
1. County Museum of Gotland, Visby.
The County Museum is a given starting point for further discoveries among the island’s Viking attractions with its treasury, picture stone hall and fascinating Viking Age objects in the collections.
2. Little Bjärs, Stone church.
The burial ground covers an area of 15 hectares and is one of the island’s largest. The over 1000 visible graves dominated by cairns and stone circles. The most cairns has a diameter of over six feet. An ancient road runs through the burial ground.
3. Old Harbour, Faro.
Along the seashore is a burial ground with 15 graves in the form of low mounds. Adjacent to the old harbor, now a basin cut off from the sea, is the ruin of a small medieval chapel that belonged to St. Olaf’s church and the remains of a cemetery. These findings testify to a port with associated cemetery that has been used for about 400 years until the 1300s.
4. Little Ihre, Hellvi.
The burial ground is one of Gotland’s largest with over 600 visible graves from the Iron Age. At the southern end is the youngest tombs, which date from the Viking era. The facilities consist of stone circles and cairns and has proven to be rich in weapons. Even a picture stone were found in one of the studies.
5. Trullhalsar, Norrlanda
On the heights are about 350 graves in the form of mounds, stone circles and stone circles. Many of them have edges of carefully laid limestone chips. They surveyed the graves show that especially the women brought with them the grave goods that indicate high status in contemporary society.
6. Torsburgen, Kräklingbo.
The largest prehistoric hill fort covers an area of about 1.15 km2 consists partly of natural cliffs and has a two km long and seven meters high defense embankment on the south side. The plant has probably been part of a larger defense system built on in different phases, including During Viking times.
7. Ödegården Fjäle, Ala.
One of the best preserved farm areas from the Iron Age and the Middle Ages with houses, tombs and wells, as well as a reconstruction of a farmhouse. The farm was abandoned in the Middle Ages, but the atmosphere has been retained intact.
8. Picture Stones at Änge, Buttle.
The two stones still standing in its original location. One is 3.7 meters high, making it the largest picture stone found on the island. The stones are from the early Viking and erected along one of the main roads over Lojsta Hajd.
9. Smiss and Rikvide, When.
The burial ground is one of Gotland’s largest with about 800 visible graves. The cemetery and in its vicinity, several image blocks and a large number lösfynd found. A reconstruction of an image of stones stands on the site.
10. Bildsten, Hablingbo.
Picture Stone was previously south of the church sydvägg. In the churchyard is a rune of the same shape as picture stone found. The text reads: “Vatgair and Halgair raised this stone after Hailgi, their father who had gone west with the Vikings.” Both stones are now in the church.
One of Gotland major port and commercial sites with traces of shipyards, handicraft industry and settlements. It was built in the 700’s and was used for about 300 years. A short distance south is a well-preserved Viking city wall and next to the remains of a medieval citadel.