Above the harbour of the old fishing village of Kåseberga, Skåne, southern Sweden, is Ales Stenar (Ales stones). An awe-inspiring Swedish Stonehenge.

According to Scanian folklore, a legendary king called King Ale lies buried here – the cousin of king Hrothgar of the Old English epic poem Beowulf.

Believed to have been a Viking meeting place, Ales stenar consists of 56 stones forming a 67m-long boat-shaped edifice, prow and stern denoted by two appreciably larger monoliths. The site was hidden for centuries beneath shifting sands, which were cleared in 1958; even now, the bases of the stones are concealed in several metres of sand. It’s difficult to imagine how these great stones, not native to the region, might have been transported here. Ales Stenar stands on a windy, flat-topped hill, which most of the tourists don’t bother to climb. Once at the top, though, there’s a majestic timelessness about the spot that more than rewards the effort.

Archaeologists generally agree this megalithic structure was assembled about 1,000 years ago, near the end of the Iron Age, as a burial monument. But a team of researchers argues it’s really 2,500 years old, dating from the Scandinavian Bronze Age, and was built as an astronomical calendar with the same underlying geometry as England’s Stonehenge.

Photo: Private

External Link:
Ales Stones (Wikipedia)

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