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The Danewerk (Danish Dannevirke , old Danish danæwirchi ) is a spatially and temporally complex, linear fortification of the early and high Middle Ages in northern Schleswig-Holstein . It consists of earth walls with defensive trenches, a brick wall, two medieval ramparts and a lake barrier. The Danewerk is considered the largest archaeological monument in Northern Europe and at the same time a Danish national monument. On 30 June 2018, the Danewerk and were by UNESCO Haithabu collectively as Archaeological border complex Haithabu and Danewerk the UNESCO World Heritage declared.

The isthmus in southern Jutland between Schlei and the lowland of the Rheider Au
The ramparts of the Danewerk: 1 curved wall; 2 main wall; 3 north wall; 4 connecting wall with double wall and arch wall; 5 Kograben with Short Kograben; 6 Schlei lake barrier; 7 Osterwall with path barriers; 8 silent work; 9 walls in the zoo
The Krummwall west of Schanze XXI


The most important fortifications are in the Schleswiger isthmus between the Baltic Sea fjord Schlei and the lowlands of Treene and Rheider Au . The Schlei sea barrier in the large width of the Schlei allowed the passage of ships to be controlled. The Osterwall includes the Baltic Sea bay and the Windebyer Noor in the defense system.

The oldest parts of the Danewerk are two so far undated earth walls. A first major expansion followed around 700, and another even stronger expansion in 737. In the Viking Age, the 7.5 kilometer long Kograben and the connecting wall were built , both with reference to the trading settlement Hedeby (“Haithabu”) . Medieval works include the Waldemars wall , a Waldemars castle and the Thyraburg .

The fortification was used again in the 17th and 19th centuries. In the First Schleswig War and in 1864 in the German-Danish War , the Danewerk was expanded with entrenchments and held by the Danish armed forces. The relics of the Danewerk are considered the largest archaeological monument in Northern Europe. It has a special meaning as a national symbol for Denmark .

The ramparts are still around 80% of the routes, but some are heavily sanded. They were heavily redesigned in the 19th century.

Monuments and history

The pre-Viking Age construction phases I – IV of the main wall
Course of the east wall

The Danewerk was first mentioned in the Franconian Reichsannalen . In the year 808 the Danish King ("Rex Danorum") Godofred undertook an attack on the Slavic Abodrites in the area of ​​Ostholstein / western Mecklenburg. The Frankish emperor Charlemagne then sent his son Karl to help the Abodrites at the head of an army. Godofred finally withdrew to Sliesthorp / Hedeby and decided to "fortify the border of his empire (limitem regni sui), which borders Saxony, with a wall (vallo munire)".

At that time the Danewerk existed for more than 100 years. Archeology divides the building history into a pre-Viking Age, a Viking Age and a Medieval section. The focus of expansion activities is in the pre-Viking era. The Danewerk is therefore not a genuine monument to the Viking Age.

The pre-Viking Danework

Phases I – II: Two earth walls, before 700

These earth walls, 1.8 and 2.2 meters high and 6 meters wide, have so far only been recognized in the main wall procession and documented in four places. The age of these early earth walls has not yet been determined.

Phase III: The Soden Wall (around 700 or earlier)

The Sodenwall is the first large wall construction of the Danewerk. It extends from Hollingstedt an der Treene to the Dannewerker See and includes the Krummwall and the Hauptwall. In the Krummwallzug it is superbly preserved over a distance of 800 meters, in the main wall its former rampart is located under more recent ramparts. The sod wall consists of grass, heather and peat sod. It was originally 15 to 18 meters wide and around 4 meters high. A special feature is the lack of a moat.

The age of the Sodenwall cannot currently be precisely determined. In 1990 the Danish archaeologist H. Hellmuth Andersen made a profile section at Schanze XVI (Lage) and found billets preserved in the layer of the sod wall. Six of these woods are dated. The samples KI 3430 and 3431 were installed in the rear part. Their calendar age of 433–655 AD and 443–668 AD differed from the other samples. The person in charge of the samples, Helmut Erlenkeuser (Kiel, C14 laboratory), therefore assumed that these trunks had been recovered as waste wood from the lowlands of the Rheider Au. Another sample, KI 3433, has not been fully assigned; it resulted in a calendar age of 662–934 AD. The samples KI- 3432 follow: C14- age: 1300 ± 40, calendar age 650-806 AD (2 σ); KI- 3434: C14 age: 1340 ± 40, calendar ages 635-774 AD (2 σ); KI- 3432: C14- Age: 1300 ± 40, calendar ages 646-867 AD (2 σ). The weighted mean (Erlenkeuser Tab. 1) indicated a C14 age of 1315 ± 24 years, the calendar age could be given as 646–768.

At Schanze XIX and a wall section that can already be assigned to the Krummwall, billets could also be dated. Here the Sodenwall is the oldest wall, the characteristic wall phases I-II of the main wall are missing. Of the 16 samples from both excavations at Schanze XIX, two samples differed significantly from the others; they gave calendar ages from 474 to 665 AD. Erlenkeuser was able to weight the remaining 14 samples, all of them trunks or brushwood, to a mean C14 age of 1281 ± 12, which leads to a calibrated calendar age of 676 to 769 AD.

A more than 200 years older dating of the wall is 2013/14 u. a. also been published through the media. The archaeologists Astrid Tummuscheit and Frauke Witte had taken five sediment samples from Heidesoden as well as one sample "from charred remains of the heather plants" from a profile section at Rothenkrug, Klein Dannewerk, the Sodenwall. Four of these samples gave radiocarbon calendar ages for a period between 382 and 570, the other two samples, including those of the plant remains, a period between 130 and 333 with a probability of 95 percent. The excavators concluded that the Sodenwall “until at least the 5./6. Century AD, but could also be much older ”. The interrupted and unusually broad dating spectrum comes from a self-contained finding. The excavators do not mention any defects, digs, signs of repairs or surface formations.

This early dating has been controversial in research since then: The documentation of the wall profiles from 1983, only 50 meters away, also showed the sod wall as a single, uninterrupted construction phase, and this also applies to the wall profiles from 1936 at the Waldemarsmauer ruins and in 1990 at Schanze XVI . The archaeologist Willi Kramer therefore suspected an age of the samples. He referred to a property of the heather ( Calluna vulgaris ): This plant has characteristic life cycles; In the last cycle, the degeneration phase, the plants and their roots die off and new plants are formed on the branches lying on top. Root remnants therefore accumulate in cycles of around 30 years in the near-surface soil. Heidesoden thus contain dead plant parts from a larger period of several centuries, which during this time no longer absorbed any C14 isotopes. In contrast, Andersen's dated billets are a more reliable source, according to Kramer; however, they were not taken into account in the 2013/14 re-dating.

Phase IV: The field stone wall of the main wall, the north wall, the Schlei lake barrier and the Easter wall from around 737

This expansion phase is by far the most powerful of the Danewerk. It not only contains defensive structures on land, but also has a massive maritime component with the Schlei lake barrage.

The box structure from 737 near the Thyraburg
3D visualization of the box structure

In 1929, large wooden beams were observed where the main rampart crosses the former Dannewerker See (location) . The Danish Danewerk researcher Henning Helmuth Andersen, informed by Kurt Schietzel , followed this advice in 1972. He and Hans Jørgen Madsen from Museum Moesgård (Aarhus) found a huge box structure measuring 6 × 4 meters made of oak beams in the south of a larger layer package moist sediment was very well preserved. The dating through the dendrochronology (tree ring analysis) newly introduced by Schietzel and Dieter Eckstein at that time resulted in the completely unexpected date 737; Until then, it was mentioned in the Franconian Reichsannals from 808 as the oldest Danewerk date. A few years later ( Kramer excavation from 1983 near Rothenkrug ) it turned out that it was a continuation of the field stone wall in an unsound area. The building, which was removed in 1972, is on display in Moesgård Museum in Højbjerg near Aarhus. Further box structures are still on site in the damp soil.

A wooden packing was found north of the box structure, which was also dated to the exact year: It comes from the year 730.

The remains of a work that was built in the middle of the 10th century lay above the box structure. Three woods gave dates of "around or after" 940, 946 and 948, a further sample confirms the date with the indication "around 940 + 14 / -6 years". It is the only evidence of a Viking Age use of the main wall line .

The field stone wall of the main wall
Visualization of the field stone wall in the wall east of Rothenkrug

The field stone wall in the main wall consists of a field stone wall set in clay and a 17 meter wide and 3.5 meter high earth wall behind it. The wall is 2.8 meters wide at the base and was originally about 3 meters high. In front of her was a 3–4 meter wide berm which merged into a 2 meter deep and 5 meter wide weir. The massive construction is 4.5 kilometers long; 70,000 tons of stones had to be moved to build it. The consumption of wood was also enormous, because thick oak planks protruded every 2 meters through the wall to the surface, where probably horizontal planks were attached.

During an excavation in 1983 near Rothenkrug, Klein Dannewerk, such oak planks were found and recognized as structurally part of the wall. Four log planks, which came from 220 to 250 year old trees, provided dating information from around 740. The field stone wall, wall phase IV in the construction sequence, was thus probably built around 740 at the same time as the box structure. Until then, the field stone wall had been considered a medieval building from the 12th century.

The north wall

The north wall (v. Kindt 1842: "Alter Wall") was first described by Ulrich Petersen around 1720; the first mapping can be found on the 1757 Pontoppidan map . The originally 1,600 meter long rampart is only preserved today over a distance of 700 meters. The old embankment is heavily blurred; An overgrown, eroding kink runs on its crest, which is part of the old wall.

According to the results of the excavations in 1933, 1971 and 1973, the north wall was a 14 to 15 meter wide wall with a very strong front fortification. This consisted of strong wooden posts on the higher moraine stretches, of which only the post pits up to 1.5 meters deep were preserved. In the damp lowland area near the Pulverholzbach, the front was made of a solid framework made of oak. One of the former front planks was 5.5 meters long and 0.4 meters wide. In front of the wall was a 3 meter wide berm, followed by a 5 meter wide and 3 meter deep weir ditch. Two year-old dendrochronological dates come from the wood finds: The north wall was built in 737.

The Schlei lake barrage
Aerial view with marking of the course of the barrage

In 1925 large quantities of processed logs and planks were found in the great width of the Schlei while dredging the fairway. The deposits had an east-west course; their function and age could not be determined at the time.

Hydrographic map of the lake area of ​​the Schlei lake barrage
Sidescan sonar image of the lake barrier. Representation corresponds to a plan view. Ladder-shaped structure formed from a chain of block structures.

In 1992 the archaeologist of the Archaeological State Office Schleswig-Holstein , Willi Kramer, managed to find the site again. A mine diving group from the Eckernförde mine diving company led by Captain Roland Axmann was helpful here. The administrative assistance was made possible by the then Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Defense , Ottfried Hennig . Wood samples showed a date around the year 740, a period in which the most massive expansion of the nearby Danewerk had taken place. The dating indicated a connection with the Danewerk from the outset.

As a result, Kramer examined the site as part of a research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (1993–2002). A parametric multibeam sediment sonar with 48 sound beams was developed under the direction of Gert Wendt, Hydroacoustics Research Group at the University of Rostock . Finally, with the SES 2000, the basis of a product family was created that is manufactured by the Warnemünder company Innomar GmbH and sold worldwide for seabed analysis. The cooperation with the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Hydrography Department (Rainer Andree, Axel Wrang) ensured the exact location on the water, because at that time the high-precision GPS location was associated with considerable effort.

The structure is 1200 meters long and the ends could not be identified with certainty. It extends from a point 120 meters west of the Schlei peninsula Reesholm to an elevation in the lake floor, the Kockbarg, east of the peninsula with a west-east course. The water depth is around 2.7 meters, in the area of ​​the Kockbarge between 1.5 and 1.8 meters.

Underwater archaeological research had shown that the work is composed of segments of log structures. Each block structure is square in shape with sides of 4.8 meters. The wooden planks used are mostly raw from alder trunks. Large eyelets are driven in at the ends, which were used for locking. 1.8 meters long and up to 0.5 meters wide, flat oak planks, which were mainly found in front of the front, probably come from a former surface that was walked on.

In the area just east of the peninsula, the structure protrudes through erosion with upper parts of the lake floor. The current is stronger here near the dredged fairway. The rows of blocks extend up to 1 meter into the lake floor made of soft sediments.

The function of the Schlei lake barrage from 737 can be seen if you look at the former landscape: The current shoal “Kockbarg” was an island; its northern tip was excavated in 1925. The Reesholm peninsula originally extended far into the Stexwiger Bay.

The sea barrier forced an attacker to use the narrow passage south of Kockbarg Island. A second time he had to expose himself south of the Reesholm point to the projectiles of the defenders. In this way the fairway was controlled without having to build a bridgehead on the southern bank. The structure should also block a ford.

The Osterwall

The 3.4 km long Osterwall (Danish: Østervold) has been preserved for more than 60 percent of the route, although more or less damaged by erosion and erosion. The wall connects the lowland of the Osterbek with the Windebyer Noor and thus blocks a passage between the large width of the Schlei and the former Baltic Sea bay of Windebyer Noor. He thus had access to the Schwansen peninsula controlled. The wall is crossed by a ravine: measurements of the surfaces have shown that the wall is offset at the point of crossing. So the path is older than the wall. In its vicinity there are six other short walls, some of which can only be seen in the aerial photograph and whose temporal and functional connection to the Osterwall is unknown.

The dating is based on common features with the north wall and the field stone wall: All three walls have strikingly large and deep post pits; it is therefore assumed that the rampart belongs to the construction phase of 737.

The Viking Age Danework

The Viking Age Danewerk used the main wall , but included the trading place Hedeby / " Haithabu " in the fortification via the connecting wall. The Kograben was built as a pre-barrier.

The connecting wall

The connecting wall is 3,300 meters long; It starts in the east at the semi-circular wall of Hedeby / “Haithabu”, crosses the Busdorf gorge under the name “Reesendamm” and ends at the former Dannewerker See. The western 800 meters are designed as a double wall; upstream to the north are the remains of the arched wall, which has now completely disappeared above ground. A first wall was built in 964/65 and 968 during the reign of Harald Blauzahn.

Aerial view from winter 1986: View to the east over the connecting wall, in the background Windebyer Noor and Eckernförde Bay. The excavation sites mentioned in the text are marked in yellow.

In 1990, during an excavation near Busdorf, HH Andersen discovered a three-phase wall structure just west of the railway line. Half of the wall had been sanded away, the front cut out by Danish pioneers in 1850, but the widths could be measured; the former height measurements could be estimated according to older measurements. Wall 1 was about 13 meters wide and 4 meters high. Wall 2 was raised by 1 meter and widened at the rear by 4 meters. Both phases had a sod front. In the third wall phase, the wall reached a width of 20 meters and a height of up to 6.5 meters. The wall structure consisted of sand, humus sand and heather sod with the peaty bands known from the sod wall. A berm 6 to 7 meters wide followed, but only at Wall 3, one to 2 meters deep and 5.5 meters wide, V-shaped weir ditch. Andersen had not taken any dating samples during this excavation because no wood had been preserved and the peaty strips of the Heidesoden did not suggest a reliable date of origin.

The double wall, looking east

At the eastern end of the connecting wall, Andersen carried out an investigation in 1992 close to the semicircular wall. He took three wood samples (branches) from a back cover layer from the heather cover, whose radiocarbon dating revealed a construction date between 920 and 970. Today's short gap between the connecting wall and the semicircular wall turned out to be original. Here the boggy ground was made passable by a layer of planks. A wood sample produced a dendrochronologically determined felling date “Winter 964/65” (Sigrid Wrobel, Dendrochronological Laboratory, University of Hamburg).

Andersen and Hans Jørgen Madsen explored the double wall prior to the construction of the motorway in 1970/71 and 1973. They recognized that the northern wall continues in the connecting wall. It has two phases of construction, made of clay and sand, on the surface and on the front they had used heather sod. The first wall was 13 meters wide and at least 2 meters high, the second wall was 18 meters wide with an unknown height. Andersen sees the southern wall (Wall 3) as a rampart. It was 11 meters wide and up to 2 meters high. On the bottom of Wall 1, Kurt Schietzel and Dieter Karrasch documented a wooden substructure in 1975 during the construction of the motorway. Radiocarbon dating of Wall 1 gave the age data 810 and 820 ± 100 years, for the southern wall 860 ± 100 years. Finally, dendrodatings were also determined for Wall 1: A first sample revealed a precipitation period 951-961; the sample from the emergency recovery of 1975 could be determined to be 968 to the exact year.

The Kograben

The 7.6 kilometer long Kograben starts at the Selker Noor and runs in a straight line to the lowland of the Rheider Au. In contrast to the rest of the Danewerk, the wall was designed as a palisade wall with a V-shaped trench 2.5 meters deep.

Reconstruction of the grave

The Kograben is ascribed to the time around 980, but the radiocarbon dates indicate an extended time frame (890–1000). In any case, it was the Kograben that Emperor Otto II conquered in his campaign against the Danish King Harald Blue Tooth in 974 (foveam… exuperat = the ditch… overpowered).

Harald Blauzahn was a Christian ruler who united the empire and founded the dioceses of Aarhus, Ribe and Schleswig . Its Trelleborg- type castles, built around 980, are associated with the Kograben because of their strict symmetry. However, the clear spatial separation speaks against this.

The medieval Danewerk

The medieval Danewerk took up the line of the main wall; the protection to the east (Schleiniederungen von powderholz, Pöhler Gehege ) is unknown.

The Waldemars Wall

The exposed Waldemars wall in the archaeological park of the Danewerk Museum in Dannewerk

The Waldemars wall is a 3.5 kilometer long earth wall with a brick wall in front of it in the main wall. The wall was originally 5 meters high. At its base it is 1.8 meters wide; it tapers towards the top. King Waldemar I the Great (1131–1182) had the construction in motion soon after 1163.

After the murder of Knud Lavard on January 7th 1131 and strengthened after the death of King Erik III. In 1146 there was a civil war in Denmark between two rival groups. The Duke of Saxony Heinrich the Lion and Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa took sides several times.

In 1157 Henry the Lion invaded Jutland and conquered Schleswig and Ribe . He supported the Danish ex-King Sven III. Grathe , who was able to return from his exile in Meissen in Saxony . At a peace banquet on August 9, 1157 in Roskilde , Sven III. assassinate the (co-) king Canute V. Magnusson . Waldemar, Duke of Schleswig at the time and also present, escaped seriously injured.

In the same year, Waldemar defeated Sven III in 1157, who was killed while fleeing. Henry the Lion then withdrew to Saxony .

With the events of 1157 the war came to an end. Waldemar I was now the undisputed king. To secure his power and that of his successors, he built castles at strategic points to secure the access to the Baltic Sea: Sprogø , Vordingborg , Tårnborg Borgbanke near Korsør, Nyborg , Ørkildborg near Svendborg and Absalon's Castle in Copenhagen . The Waldemars Wall was supposed to secure the southern land border of the Danish Empire.

Waldemar castle near Rothenkrug

Aerial photo from 1983 with a view to the west of the area of ​​the former castle; yellow: the findings interpreted as ravine, ditch and path during excavations in 2010–14

The Waldemar-era castle near Rothenkrug (Lage) was derived from historical reports from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, from descriptions from the 19th century and from the results of an excavation (2010-2014) and was first published in 2015.

In 1583 the Chancellor at the Holstein-Gottorfische Hofe Adam Thratziger mentioned “ruins of a gate” (vestigia portae): They “tower above (praebent) the passage of the via publica (ie the ox path) from Kiel as well as from Eckernförde and Rendsburg to the city of Flensburg traveler ”. Johann Adolph Cypraeus (born 1592) noted a "castle or fortress" (arcem vel castellum) here in 1634. Around 1720, the historian Ulrich Petersen not only knew the ski jump from 1658/1660, but also knew about a previous facility. It was "initially accommodated to a Stern-Schanze, whereby the inside as well as the external works have suffered some damage".

The Danewerk descriptors of the 19th century finally conveyed features that could only come from a medieval earthwork. In 1831 Carl von Kindt saw a "layer of charred oak trees or beams in it" and in 1842 he reported: "... at the bottom of the mountain there are thick, cut oaks and perhaps also trembling aspen trunks. About 1 'below the surface lies a thick layer of coal, which people have often used in their housekeeping ". Peter von Timm finally had a closer look into the interior of the earthworks in 1842 and 1845: “Basically, this ski jump has a structure or structure made of wood. At the bottom there is a thorn and elephant bush, on which one can still find well-preserved, colored leaves, on top of which lie very thick tree trunks, mostly of oak, the wood of which is very hard and black as ebony, which is used by carpenters to insert into furniture. These tree trunks are located from south to north, and above them the hill is completed by means of a loam soil. "

Such substructures are features of medieval castles in wetland areas, e.g. B. the New Castle in Hamburg from 1024/25 or the Hatzburg near Wedel. Timms' observations are conclusive: leaf chlorophyll (“well-conserved, colored leaves” see above) can only be preserved in moist soil conditions and under a clay cover that keeps surface water and the oxygen dissolved in it. It is similar with his observation of black oak. Usually jumps of the 17./18. Century placed on the flat ground; only walls and corner bastions are raised. Here, however, according to the descriptions, and also recognizable in the remaining remains, lies a plateau in front of it, similar to that of the Waldemarian Tårnborg near Korsør.

Excavations at Rothenkrug by the State Archaeological Office could have given a date: A ravine or ditch formation south of the castle plateau contained wooden planks from around 1200. Two tufa finds from this area can be assigned to a building whose foundations Ulrich Petersen could still see.

Only remnants of the southern earth front and the overburdened ditches have been preserved from the castle. The ski jump was built on its plateau from 1658/60 . The northern part was completely eliminated as early as the early 19th century.

The Thyraburg

The Thyraburg seen from the main wall, from the viewer on the right the landscape slopes down to the dried out Dannewerker See (Dannevirke Sø) .

The Thyraburg (location) is an artificially created castle plateau on the former Dannewerker Lake. The plateau is 35 meters wide and 45 meters long; it reaches a height of 5.5 meters. A wooden castle, probably of the tower-hill type, probably stood here. Shards of medieval type had been found on the surface.

The Thyraburg is integrated into the course of the main wall. To the northeast, the foothills of the rampart reach as far as an incised depression.

The castle was supposed to protect the eastern approach point of the main wall. The Dannewerker See was an additional obstacle. There may also be a passage here.

Schanze at Rothenkrug and reactivated Danewerk from 1658/1660

Petersen's Danewerkkarte from around 1720, arrow: Schanze from 1658/60

The Schleswig historian Ulrich Petersen (1656–1735) wrote a Danish work description around 1720. This work describes a hill (location) near Rothenkrug, Klein Dannewerk from 1658/1660 that has long remained unnoticed in Danewerk research . The exact location and a map clearly show the location: The ski jump was located to the west of Ochsenweg , today Kreisstraße 27, and to the north of the main wall, i.e. in the vicinity of the Rotenkrug restaurant and the Danevirke Museum, first mentioned in 1621 as "Rødekro eller Dannewerck" .

3D map of the Danewerk main wall with a hill from 1658/60

Here, "at the turnpike (i.e. the Gottorfer customs office on Ochsenweg), very close to the wall," says Petersen, "a fairly high pentagonal rondele from earth". This earthwork was "first accommodated in the previous Seculo by the Brandenburg auxiliary troops in the unrest at that time to a Stern-Schanze". The Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm had the Brandenburg troops in 1658 the beleaguered Danish King Friedrich III. sent to help. It was in the Danish-Swedish War (1657-1660), a part of the Second Northern War (1655-1661) , and the Swedes under Karl X. Gustav (1622-1660) had occupied all of Jutland. The Swedish king's ally was Duke Friedrich III. of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf (1597–1659). On the Danish side, besides the Brandenburgers, there were also Polish cavalry troops and a Dutch fleet with 35 warships and 2,000 infantry .

The Great Elector had expelled the Swedes from southern Jutland in the summer of 1658. In Central Jutland, however, and in the Fredericia fortress, which the Swedes had conquered, there were still Swedish troops. It was feared that these troops might break through to the south. In the Gottorf fortress Tönning , where the duke had fled, there was an intact Swedish regiment. The Swedish territories of Wismar (1632–1675, 1680–1803) and Bremen-Verden (1654–1719) could have been targets. From there, the Swedes would have new attack options. In this situation, the Brandenburgers built an existing earth fortification at Danewerk and in the vicinity of Fortress Gottorf ("initially ... accomodiret") to a hill facing north, facing the expected opponent.

3D mapping of the remaining plateau of the hill from 1658/60. Color scaling from blue at 24 m above sea level to green at 31 m above sea level, at 26 m above sea level a virtual, translucent water surface is used.

The construction of the hill was part of a large-scale strategy: At the same time, fierce fighting was raging on Zealand. The mighty Kronborg fortress had been conquered by the Swedes, and the Swedish army had erected the large-scale siege fortress Carlstad before Copenhagen . Dutch and Danish warships blocked the access to the Baltic Sea and thus the Swedish supply routes. Swedish troops were finally isolated on Funen and suffered a catastrophic defeat in the battle of Nyborg in November 1659. The reactivated Danewerk had made its contribution to this. It consisted of the ski jump, the main ramparts to the west and east, the natural obstacles of the then still existing Dannewerker lake, the boggy lowlands of the Pöhler enclosure and finally the Gottorf lake with the Gottorf fortress occupied by Brandenburg.

The ski jump from 1658/1660 was mentioned several times in the 19th century and its remains were described. In 1827 the officer, historian and topographer Johannes von Schröder (1793–1862) from Kiel wrote , “At the current Rothenkrug inn, where the road from Flensburg to Rendsburg cuts through, there was still a visible fortification in the shape of a pentagonal star-shaped hill which was laid out by the imperial in 1658 and was then defended by cannons ”. The Schleswig officer Carl von Kindt (1793–1864), "the first monument protector at the Danewerk" described the Danewerk and the Schanze in 1831 and 1842. Both von Kindt and von Timm gave indications of a previous system .

At the place described in the 18th and 19th centuries, remains of the ski jump still exist. Just north of the Danevirke Museum, the remainder of a plateau clearly stands out from the wall. The increased area starts at the main wall with a side length of 45 meters, which corresponds to the description of 1842 (70 cubits = 44.1 meters). To the west there is still a 40 meter long wall with a clear demarcation from the surrounding area; in the east the border to the former Ochsenweg is only faintly recognizable. As early as 1831 "a quarter of the ski jump on the north side was broken off", in 1842 "a lot was removed from the mountain". Karl August Struensee (1735–1804), brother of the unfortunate Johann Friedrich Struensee , has described calculations for the construction of a pentagonal ski jump in a standard military work, with 54 steps on each side (1 step around 1820 = 2.33 feet = 0.73 meters) should have. With sides of 39.5 meters, it is suitable for holding 500 men and four "field pieces" (guns). The area of ​​the Rothenkrug ski jump was 20 percent larger; their diameter was 75 meters.

The Danewerk in the 19th century

National Danish symbol

In the early Danish State (Helstat) (1773 to 1864) the Danewerk was hardly known. The Danish "Commission til Oldsagers Opbevaring", founded in 1807, did not include the ramparts in the list of monuments to be protected in the Gottorf office in 1810. This can be explained in the conditions of the state as a whole, which as a multiethnic state shied away from clear identifications and suppressed feelings of nationality. In the realm of the declared supporter of the Enlightenment Frederik VI. existed "a general state patriotism that did not know the forces of the new time, people and nation, or found them disturbing". The magazine "Dannevirke" by Nikolai FS Grundtvig, which existed from 1816 to 1819, counteracted this and propagated the Danewerk as a spiritual symbol of a national Danish movement. From 1838 on, "Dannevirke" was continued, now in an increasingly politicized climate. The path from a liberal and multinational point of view to a national orientation lasted less than 20 years and found its legal conclusion with the constitution of 1848. In the course of this development the Danewerk had become a national Danish symbol.

Danewerk reactivation in the First Schleswig-Holstein War (1848–1851)

After the occupation of Rendsburg by insurgent Schleswig-Holstein troops and after the successful battle of Bau (Bov) for the Danish cause , the Easter Battle of Schleswig (Danish Slaget ved Slesvig ) took place on April 23, 1848 . In combat and were Prussian troops (12,000 men) that the Schleswig-Holstein army (6,000 men) from the German Confederation had been sent to help. An army of the German Confederation, also detached, had still unloaded in Rendsburg, but had not arrived in time.

In the run-up to the battle, the Danish troops had holed up on the main wall and the connecting wall. Breastworks were thrown up on the top of the wall; They are still well preserved on the main wall section between Rothenkrug and the Thyraburg. On the outskirts of Friedrichsberg, a battery ski jump was installed on the site of what will later be Schanze II. The fighting took place at the connecting wall and at the Busdorfer Damm, but the Danes had to withdraw quickly via the Kolonnenweg and, with particularly high losses, via Friedrichsberg. With the Easter battle in Schleswig, a civil war (occupation of Rendsburg, battle of Bau) escalated into the first of the nationality wars of the 1848 revolutions.

Schleswig-Holstein and Prussia counted 40 dead and 366 wounded, the Danes had 170 dead and 463 wounded. The dead are buried in the cemetery of the Dreifaltigkeitskirche in Friedrichsberg, in the old Michaelis cemetery in Schleswig and occasionally in Schuby .

In the wake of the Battle of Idstedt, the Danish army fortified the Danewerk again. It remained the front line until the end of the war.

German-Danish War : Conversion of the Danewerk to a linear field position (1861–1864)

Woodcut from 1864: Danish soldiers patrol in front of the exposed Waldemars wall; in the background ski jump XIV

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the fortification belt of Düppel (Dybbøl in Danish) and the Fredericia fortress were intended as the main defense positions of Jutland. Apparently against the will of the military leadership, this changed in the interwar period. From 1861 onwards, the Danes factory was built at great expense. It stretched from Hollingstedt in the west to Kappeln an der Schlei in the east. Danish pioneers built 21 of 29 planned artillery docks on the line Krummwall - Hauptwall - connecting wall. The jumps I – VIII leaned against the Busdorf Gorge to the west and connected the defensive line with the Schlei. The most modern facility was Schanze II at Busdorfer Teich (Lage) , which had a concrete artillery bunker, the first of its kind in Europe. On the Seagull Island, at the foot of the Reesholm peninsula, in front of the confluence of the Hüttener Au near Fleckeby , near Missunde and Arnis , strong field positions and entrenchments were also created, which should secure possible loop crossings.

Woodcut from 1864: The razing of Schanze II near Busdorf in April 1864 by citizens of Schleswig. Parts of the artillery bunker are still standing. Left: The obelisk memorial from 1853 in front of a mass grave with 500 dead near Idstedt

The construction work necessary for the linear field position also concerned the main wall itself. A defensive ditch was dug into the berm of the medieval wall (Waldemarsmauer) and the medieval defensive ditch was covered over. The Danish pioneers steepened the front of the wall, digging close to the Waldemars wall. The current appearance of the main wall was created in 1864, with the exception of a few places. The measures were accompanied by monument preservation: Jens JA Worsaae , General Inspector of Antiquities in the Kingdom and thus imperial antiquarian, commissioned the Copenhagen painter, restorer and archaeologist Jacob Kornerup and the engineer lieutenant Georg F. Hamann to document the findings. Andersen has published the results of this first historical and archaeological documentation for Northern Europe. They can be combined amazingly well with modern knowledge.

As a result of the November constitution introduced by the national liberal oaths , the German Confederation imposed federal execution on Holstein on December 21, 1863 . From December 23 to 31, federal troops occupied the duchies of Lauenburg and Holstein, which had previously been vacated by Danish troops . In addition, however, Austrian and Prussian associations that had been separated from the federal troops also advanced. The not yet fully completed ski jumps were occupied by the Danish army in January 1864. On February 1st, Austrian and Prussian troops under General Field Marshal Friedrich von Wrangel crossed the Eider. There were fights at Selk, Missunde and Arnis. The Danish Commander-in-Chief Christian Julius de Meza , the winner of the Battle of Idstedt on July 24th, 1850, had the positions vacated on February 5th, 1864, as he saw no sensible means of defense, and withdrew his troops to the flank position " Düppeler Schanzen ".

Anti-tank trench 1944

In 1944 the Danewerk was to be converted into a spacious, north-facing anti-tank barrier . 9,000 men were posted there to carry out the construction work. Søren Telling, a former staff member of the DNSAP from Frits Clausen , was employed in 1940 at what was then the Schleswig-Holstein State Museum in Kiel. He turned to the SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler , who was responsible for the “ Office for Ahnenerbe ”. Telling was able to get Himmler to revoke the order, referring to the "importance of the Danes for the Aryan and Germanic culture"; nevertheless the anti-tank ditch was built.

Undated ramparts

Short ditch

The Kurz Kograben was hardly recognizable in the landscape as early as the 19th century; von Kindt discovered it in 1841. The plant was located south of the Kograben close to the Rheider Au. It extended from 35 34 200/60 37 586 to 35 33 835/60 37 468 ( Gauß-Krüger coordinates ) over a distance of 700 meters. In 1936 its remains were covered over when the airfield was built. An archaeological investigation showed little about the wall. A base ditch 2 meters deep and 7.5 meters wide served as a weir. The short Kograben is probably older than the Kograben.

The silent work

The Danewerkkarte from Erik Pontoppidan from 1757. yellow: The silent work; red: the north wall; green: double and connecting wall; top right: A sketch of the ski jump from 1658/60 at Rothenkrug "ved Klein Dannewerk"

The very heavily disorganized ramparts of the Stummen Werk were first mapped in 1757 by Erik Pontoppidan .

The Stumme Werk runs over a length of 860 m on the shoulder of the slope high above the lowland of the Pöhler enclosure, which was not yet drained when the map was created. In the west it connects to the former Dannewerker See, the east end connects to the north wall or is overlaid by it. In any case, the method of connection cannot be clearly identified in a precise survey, which means that a relative dating in relation to the north wall is not possible for the time being. The rampart is placed on the edge of the terrain towards the north and is therefore aimed at attacks from the north, which the Danewriter of the early 19th century Peter von Timm and Carl von Kindt had recognized; they had also handed down this name.

Ramparts in the Schleswig Thiergarten

In the forest area of ​​the former animal garden of Schloss Gottorf there are two 400-meter-long ramparts, north-south, with trenches facing west. Since the trenches have no berms, they could be early modern ramparts.

Gates at the Danewerk

"Una tantum porta" from 808

The Danewerk had "only a single gate" (una tantum porta), is a 1200 year old myth: A campaign by the Danish King Gudfred against the Abodrites in 808 was largely successful. Sons of high-ranking families had died, according to the Franconian Reichsannalen , and no booty had been taken, but the Reric trading center had been recaptured, the traders there had been relocated to the port of Sliasthorp (Hedeby / “Haithabu”) and the Abodrites were now paying tribute to the Danish king. The Abodritic Empire had previously given this tribute to the Franks , which is why Charlemagne sent his "son Karl with a strong troop from Franconia and Saxony " to help. The Frankish troops punished two Slavic tribes allied with Gudfred, but did not pursue Godofred on his retreat to Sliasthorp, but withdrew again across the Elbe. In this situation Gudfred built a fortification reaching from the Baltic Sea to the North Sea , and this was "only interrupted by a single gate (una tantum porta) through which wagons and riders could be sent out and received again". Gudfred, who was not threatened at all, did not need to build fortifications, however, because the mighty ramparts of the Danewerk had existed for more than 100 years and had been extensively expanded 70 years earlier. The defense line Krummwall, Hauptwall and Nordwall could not have met his requirements anyway. The naval port of Sliasthorp – Hedeby / “Haithabu”, where now also its “negotiatores” (merchants) were settled, lay exposed in front of it. A Danewerk building from 808, for which no archaeological evidence was ever found, will therefore not have existed. The mention of the large linear barrage, which has only one single guarded gate, should convey an invincibility and thus explain why the Danish invaders had not been brought to justice. The poor result of the emperor's son had found an excuse explanation in this myth.

Wieglesdor and borgarliðum ( Altisl . : Walltore) from 974

A second mention of the gate can be found in the Hamburg church history of Adam of Bremen for the year 974: Emperor Otto II “hurried to Sleswic to attack the rebellious Danes. When he saw there that his enemies had already occupied the trench that was ready to defend their homeland, as well as the gate called Wieglesdor, he ... courageously overcame these fortifications ”. A gate is mentioned here, but not in a form that excludes further gates. There is a more recent source for the Ottonian attack : In the Heimskringla saga of Snorri Sturluson (1178 / 79–1241), written around 1230, the events are detailed on a larger scale, but only partially reliably reported. At the end, however, the Danewerk is mentioned: “The Danavirki is designed in such a way that two fjords go into the country, one on each side of the country, and between the fjord ends the Danes (“ Danir ”) had a large defensive wall made of stones, sod and Trees were laid out and a wide and deep ditch dug outside, and fortifications in front of the gates. ”This text speaks of several gates (Altisl. Hlið = gate). The mention of turf as a building material, which is proven for the simultaneous connecting wall in the archaeological findings, is impressive.

Danewerkore from 1131

On January 7, 1131, Magnus Nilsson of Denmark , son of the Danish King Nils , murdered Jarl Knud Lavard from Schleswig . Knud Lavard grew up at the court of Lothar of Supplinburg and was the protégé of the later Emperor Lothar III. Knud Lavard's half-brother Erik Emune led a rebellion against King Nils and lost all battles in the following three years. It was not until 1134 that he won the battle of Fodevig ; Magnus fell, King Nils fled and was slain by citizens in Schleswig. In the year of Knud Lavard's assassination, probably in August 1131, Erik came to Schleswig with his fleet and there he met the later Emperor Lothar III. met. Both wanted to hold Magnus and King Nils accountable. So two parties met: Lothar with Erik Emune on the one hand and Magnus with King Nils on the other. Helmold von Bosau (1120–1177) reports in his Slav chronicle, written around 1167 : “Emperor Lothar came with a large army near the city of Schleswig to that very well-known Wall Dinewerch to avenge the death of the noble Knut. Magnus had gathered with an enormous army of Danes from the region to defend his country. ”The Danish chronicler Saxo Grammaticus (around 1140 – around 1220) reported further details and mentioned“ Tore ”:“ Erik (Emune) submitted to this ( Lothar III.) When he met him with his fleet near Schleswig. Magnus, as the enemy of the two, had hurried ahead of their arrival and tried to fortify the wall and provided a strong guard at the gates. "

Archaeologically recognized Danewerkore

Archaeological findings confirm the presence of several gates at the Danewerk. Two gates are known for the Kograben: In the area of ​​the Jageler airfield, a 36-meter-wide gap was found during excavation work in 1936, in which there were no traces of ramparts and ditches. Here the old path "Alte Landstrasse" crossed the course of the Kograben. In the further course the Altweg passed the connecting wall near Busdorf, which means that a gate can also be assumed there, accessible analogously. H. Hellmuth Andersen, Hans.Jørgen Madsen and Olfert Voss found a second Kograbentor in 1972 when the motorway was being built east of the Jagel airfield. At a point where a previously inconspicuous dirt road crossed the Kograben line, they discovered a gap in the course of the ditch. On each side of the gap, they documented post marks in the ground. The adjacent wall ends had apparently been stiffened here, resulting in a four meter wide gate.

Another Danewerktor is at Osterwall. The “Heerweg” passes this wall two hundred meters east of the Dürwade ford (Danish: Dyrvad = torfurt) at an offset point. Finally, a ford is known near Stexwig, which allowed the loop to cross. This ford was secured on the Reesholm peninsula by a 270 meter long wall ("old wall").

The Ochsenweg between Kograben and Hauptwall is from post-Viking times. At the point where it crosses the Kograben there was no Kograb gate; there is an intact ditch under the path. Herbert Jankuhn had suspected an older route east of the present one with reference to the Kurzen Kograben. The area of ​​the double wall and arched wall east of the Dannewerker See was called “Jernporten” (iron gate) in the 18th century, the crossing point of the Ochsenweg through the main wall was called “in gammel tiden Oster-Kalegatt”.

In the years 2010 to 2014 excavations were carried out by a Danewerktor near Rothenkrug . The not undisputed findings have been published in preliminary reports.

Danewerk, border area (confinium) and imperial border (limes regni)

In the year 804 the Danish King Godofred "came with his fleet and with the entire cavalry of his empire to a place called Sliesthorp, in the border area (confinium) of his empire with Saxony". The Danewerk neighboring Sliesthorp also belonged to this border area of ​​the Danish Empire. The physical border of the empire lay on the Eider, as reported in the Reichsannalen in 808: Godofred "decided to fortify the border of his empire (limitem regni sui), which borders on Saxony, with a wall in such a way that the fortification of the wall ... covered the entire northern bank of the Egidora River ”. Here on the Eider in 811 a solemn peace was made between the empire of the "Dani" and the Frankish empire.

Historical attacks

In 934, with good reason, it has recently been suspected in 931, the East Franconian King Henry I broke through the Danes , defeated the Danish King Chnupa (Knut I) and occupied Sliesthorp-Hedeby. Two of the rune stones from Hedeby / "Haithabu" come from Chnupa's wife Asfrid .

In 974 Emperor Otto II followed , who ruled the land between Schlei and Eider ("inter Sliae et Eidera") until 983.

In 1043 the Polabian army marched through the Danewerk to avenge the Polabian prince Ratibor, who had been murdered by the Danes the year before , but was confronted by King Magnus the Good on the retreat and defeated in the battle of Lürschau (northwestern Schleswig).

In 1066 Slavs from the Ostholstein / Mecklenburg area plundered Sliaswich / Schleswig unhindered.

In 1131 Magnus Nilsson fortified the "Dinewerch" for the expected attack of the later Emperor Lothar III. Lothar did not dare to attack the assembled Danish army, negotiated an atonement, an atonement team and hostages and withdrew again.

Mediation / presentation

Danevirke Museum

Danewerk Archaeological Park: Main wall area.

The Danevirke Museum was opened on August 25, 1990 by Joachim Prinz zu Denmark . The Sydslesvigsk Forening (SSF) had acquired the land and the building, a former farmhouse, with funds from the "AP Møller og Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers til almene Formaal" fund. The first manager was Jørgen Kühl, followed in 1999 by Nis Hardt. The SSF is responsible for the museum; there is a cooperation with the Danish museum association "Museum Sønderjylland".

The bilingual museum conveys the history of the Danes in a larger room. Graphic reconstructions and showcase models offer an informative insight, plus there is a room-dominating glass installation with large-format photos. A second room is dedicated to the depiction of the German / Austrian-Danish War of 1864 at the Danewerk site. On the upper floor there is also an exhibition on the history of the Danish minority in southern Schleswig, created in 2006/2007 by Nis Hardt and René Rasmussen.

Danewerk Archaeological Park

Archaeological Park Danewerk: Schanze XIV.

The Danewerk Archaeological Park is looked after by the Danevirke Museum. It was created in 2001 in collaboration between the Danevirke Museum and the Schleswig-Holstein State Archaeological Office ( Joachim Reichstein , Bernd Zich). Road construction and the backfill for the reconstruction of Schanze XIV had been carried out jointly and free of charge by Danish and German pioneer units.

Schleswig City Museum

In the “Sliesthorp-Haithabu-Schleswig” exhibition of the Schleswig City Museum , two large-format HD monitors are installed that can be operated via touchscreen panels. A larger part of the menu is devoted to the Danewerk; there are also video sequences of flights with a kite along the ramparts.

Preservation of monuments and UNESCO World Heritage project

1950/51 succeeded in placing the remnants of the Danewerk under nature protection. From 1958 the monuments were placed under monument protection.

Excavations near Rothenkrug 2010–2014

In 2006, the Südschleswigsche Verein - Sydslesvigsk Forening (SSF) was able to acquire the "Café Truberg" property located directly on the main wall near Rothenkrug with funds from the Danish AP Møller og Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation; E.ON Hanse took over the demolition costs for the dilapidated property. This made it possible to value a piece of the main wall in the vicinity of the Danevirke Museum and, if possible, to preserve the exposed material so that it is visible for visitors. A first archaeological investigation took place in 2009. This exploratory excavation revealed a deep disturbance in the wall structure. From 2010 to 2011 this led to an excavation by the State Archaeological Office Schleswig-Holstein (ALSH) under the direction of Astrid Tummuscheit. Another excavation followed from 2013 to 2014 as a joint venture between ALSH and Museum Sønderjylland, Arkæologi Haderslev (MSAH) with museum inspector Frauke Witte, financed by AP Møller and Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller's Fond til almene Formaal.

The course of the route on and through the main wall according to Tummuscheit u. Witte 2014; a: the "hollow path" at an acute angle from the Ochsenweg; b: the formation "Straßengraben" and Weg leading diagonally through the wall
a: "Defile"; b: "Ditch" and way

In 2010, Tummuscheit's discovery of a “Viking Gate” in the Danewerk hit the headlines. A gap in the Danewerk had been discovered, through which the road to the north led from the 8th century to the 12th century. According to the Franconian Reichsannals, it is the only gate in the Danewerk (“una tantum porta”), and that is exactly what has been found. The “gate in the Danewerk” showed up in the excavation as a “6 meter wide gap in the field stone wall of the 8th century”. While in a first publication from 2012 in the area of ​​the interruption a "noticeable offset" of the field stone wall by a wall width was mentioned, which could open a pincer gate, this observation was not mentioned in the three subsequent publications about the results of the excavation from 2013/14 more. Such an offset cannot be seen in excavation photos from 2013. The excavators first determined the age of the "Torgasse" leading through the interruption to a layer of clay belonging to the field stone wall. In profile, it "covers a sloping slope towards the gate opening and probably served as a safety device or support for this slope". This layer of clay also covers those layers that were interpreted as the “path”. An erosion process had not been considered, although field stones could also be found in the layer. The “clay support” lies “towards the gate opening on the layers of the sod wall / Wall 2 (Wall phase III). In the process, however, no horizontally lying sods were excavated, but rather the cut of the older wall shows a layer structure sloping towards the east - towards the gate opening ”. That is why the gate was used "at least from the middle of the 8th, but more likely from the 5th / 6th century".

The most recent dating of the "Torgasse" was found in brick in the upper backfill layer to which "no lime mortar adhered". They were therefore "never used as building material" "and therefore do not come from the ruins of Waldemarsmauer". Therefore, it was assumed that "the gate opening was closed soon after the brick wall was built in the late 12th or early 13th century". However, it is not certain that the bricks are never used: Lime mortar (CaCO 3 ) is converted to water-soluble calcium hydrogen carbonate (Ca (HCO 3 ) 2 ) by atmospheric CO 2 when it is left on the surface for a long time . Therefore, for many years it was possible to collect bricks without mortar from the ruins of the Waldemarsmauer. The effect of heat also leads to mortar peeling. The backfilling can therefore also have taken place much later. Finally, two finds of tufa stones (12th / 13th century) in this filling are significant: Such finds are so far unknown in the context of the Waldemars wall. Tuff was only used on buildings, so that the question arises whether tuff and bricks do not come from the structural remains (vestigia) of a medieval castle , first mentioned in 1583 , "which tower over the passage".

In the area of ​​the interruption, a formation running diagonally through the rampart was found. It is 3.4 meters wide and consists of a flat, slightly sloping segment, which was considered a path, and a "road ditch". In the path area there were two “small, approx. 5–7 cm wide and 2–6 cm deep hollows with rounded profiles” that were interpreted as prints of wagon wheels. Since there were no further traces of 700-year-old through traffic, the excavators suspected “z. B. lanes laid out of wooden planks, which were later removed and in this way left no traces in the archaeological evidence ”. The 1.8 meter wide “road ditch” had at least three phases, with the top phase containing pieces of brick. An alternative interpretation sees the “road ditch” as the lower part of a defensive ditch that is related to the immediately adjacent ski jump and castle. South of the wall, the path turned almost at right angles to the east and ran parallel to the wall towards the Heerweg / Ochsenweg. Here it developed into an approximately 5-6 meter wide ravine, the bottom of which was 1.5 meters below the base of the stone wall. For tactical reasons, the turning route was designed as follows: “This special route prevented the gate from being approached directly from the south. Both potential attackers and ordinary travelers were forced to move over a distance parallel to the wall ”. Attackers had to “move along the line of defense - in such a way that the unprotected right side, the shield on the left, was facing the defenders. This made the attackers vulnerable. ”In an alternative interpretation, the ravine is viewed as a wider ditch that corresponds to the defensive ditch of the Waldemars wall. In the layers of the ravine or bottom ditch, wooden planks were preserved that were dated to around 1200.

The restoration of the Waldemars wall from 2006/2008

Aerial view of the exposed section of the Waldemars wall

During the fortification work of 1863/64, an 80-meter-long and 3.4-meter-high section of the Waldemars wall was exposed. It is located just west of the Danevirke Museum and is the only visible part of the wall from the Hohenstaufen era, which was otherwise covered by Wallerde . The much-visited monument had been damaged over the years by the effects of rain and frost. Therefore, the Archaeological State Office Schleswig-Holstein (ALSH) undertook an extensive restoration from 2006 to 2008. Half of the project was financed with a six-figure sum from the “National Valuable Monuments” funding program of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media , the other half was borne by the State of Schleswig-Holstein. Willi Kramer (responsible until February 2008, ALSH) and Nis Hardt (Danevirke Museum) managed the company; they were advised by the experienced experts Kjeld Borch Vesth and Jørgen Frandsen ( Danish National Museum ).

Construction of an 80 meter long shelter tent

The wall was first exposed. A specialist company then installed drainage in front of and behind the wall. A bricklayer previously instructed in Denmark gave the outer bond a new bed of mortar and also put new stones in Waldemarian format in some places to support the structure. The walls were built exclusively with lime mortar and lime , which, like the 5000 bricks, were supplied from Denmark (Falkenloew A / S, Sonderburg). During the extremely long setting time, the construction site should be covered with a custom-made tent (Kibaek Pressenninge A / S) for a good year and kept free from frost and rain. This was not necessary at the time of construction, because the high pressure created in the wall body ensured that the pore water quickly escaped and a rapid chemical reaction took place. At the end, the wall was covered with a layer of impermeable bentonite , which drains the rainwater into the drainage behind it.

In the summer of 2008, the 80 meter long tent was apparently dismantled prematurely after a setting time of almost six months. The CO 2 required to carbonate the calcium hydroxide (Ca (OH) 2 ) could not penetrate far enough because of the constant moisture penetration with rainwater; the chemical reaction to CaCO 3 was limited to areas close to the surface. So the mortar began to crumble in the winter of 2008/09. In 2013, the damage was so great that covering the wall with earth was considered. In October 2015, the lime mortar was completely washed out and the wall more brittle than ever.

The Schleswig-Flensburg district tries to avoid the maintenance costs for the building, if necessary with a negative purchase price (as of May 2017).

Unsuccessful nomination for the UNESCO World Heritage List

The Schleswig-Holstein State Archaeological Office (headed by Claus von Carnap-Bornheim ) started the “Danewerk and Haithabu” world heritage project on November 1, 2004. In the following year, a study financed by the LEADER + “schlei region” joint initiative was carried out. It contained basic data, assessed implementation options and recommended a transnational application. In 2007 Iceland was won over to take over the project management. Denmark and Sweden joined the company in February 2008, followed later by Latvia and Norway . In 2012, Sweden left the project for technical reasons.

On January 28, 2014, the “Viking Age Sites in Northern Europe” application was submitted to the World Heritage Center. In September and October 2014 the international monument protection organization ICOMOS visited the seven sites in five countries for an expert opinion. On October 1, 2014, ICOMOS asked the applicants to clarify some aspects: a definition of the term "Viking", possible future extensions, the context of the serial property, the definition of the exceptional universal value and a comparative analysis. On December 18, 2014, ICOMOS suggested “that suitable experts, ICOMOS members and advisers should start a dialogue in order to try to shed more light on the rational reasons for some aspects of the nomination”. On January 7, 2015, a high-level meeting was held at the UNESCO Secretariat in Paris. No agreement was reached, as the media announced on February 13, 2015, "SH must improve application for Haithabu". On February 15, 2015, ICOMOS experts and the steering group of the applicants met in Copenhagen. The meeting in Copenhagen was followed on February 27, 2015 by a revised statement of the extraordinary universal value of the series: From the “consideration of the formation of a state” one had now moved to the “idea that the nominated sites are generally more of a route of trade routes, raids and the Describe settlement and that this has led to the development of Northern Europe ”. The new main theme is now migration. However, the applicants were unable to incorporate the revised determination of the universal value into the application paper. In detail, the criticism from the ICOMOS reviewers was devastating.

ICOMOS finally classified the nomination as "deferred" (suspended). The UNESCO committee followed suit on July 5, 2015 and adopted the experts' recommendations in full. A new nomination application must be submitted on the basis of these recommendations. A new on-site evaluation is necessary and “ICOMOS is to be invited to provide advice and guidance”.

The project had failed because of his internal contradictions. The royal burial mounds of Jelling , a quarry in Norway, the complex Danewerk, the castles of the Trelleborg type or the Icelandic Althing are impossible to integrate into a common theme. It cannot be explained why there is a separate Swedish World Heritage Site Birka , but the Hedeby / “Haithabu” monument, which is equivalent in many respects, should be related to a different World Heritage Site. It is the same with the Norwegian ship graves Borre , Gokstad and Oseberg . The ships salvaged from it, symbols of Viking Age migration par excellence, are not part of the series. Therefore, “overall ICOMOS was of the opinion that the series in its current form did not adequately depict the Viking theme. The seven sites do not fully represent the results and influences of Viking Age migration in world history, or at least an adequate facet of it. There is a danger that the series will help solidify a partial view of the past and that it will distort the contribution of the Viking Age to world history ”.

On November 15, 2015, Matthias Maluck, project manager since 2008, announced at an archaeological event that they wanted to try “to get on the national list of proposals in 2016. A new proposal could then be submitted in 2017 ”. In 2015, there were 18 candidates on the national proposal list ( tentative list ).

New nomination for the UNESCO World Heritage List as a cultural landscape

In December 2016, Minister of Culture Anke Spoorendonk and the State Archaeological Office Schleswig-Holstein announced that they wanted to submit an individual application for nomination as a World Heritage site, not as an archaeological site but as a cultural landscape . The project was entitled " The archaeological border landscape of Haithabu and the Danewerk " and was submitted in 2017 via the German UNESCO tentative list. After completion of the examination procedure by the international monument protection organization ICOMOS in coordination with the IUCN responsible for cultural landscapes , the world cultural heritage title was awarded in June 2018.


  • Henning Hellmuth Andersen: Danevirke . Copenhagen 1976, ISBN 87-01-53861-6 .
  • Henning Hellmuth Andersen: Current excavation results at the Danewerk . In: Archeology in Germany. 4/1992, ISSN  0176-8522 , p. 56.
  • Henning Hellmuth Andersen: Til hele rigets værn, Danevirkes arkæologi. Moesgård and Wormianum, 2004, ISBN 87-89531-15-9 . (Danish)
  • Jørgen Kühl: Heinrich Himmler, Søren Telling og Danevirke . Museet ved Danevirke, Dansk General Secretariat, Sydslesvigsk Forening, Flensborg 1999, OCLC 464223963 . (Danish)
  • J. Reichstein: Current excavation results at the Danewerk . In: Archeology in Germany. 1/1991, ISSN  0176-8522 , p. 60.
  • Astrid Tummuscheit: The newly discovered gate in the Danewerk - one of the most historic places in Schleswig-Holstein . In: Archäologische Nachrichten aus Schleswig-Holstein 17, 2011 pp. 84–87.

Web links

Commons : Danewerk  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Danewerk  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Einhardi Annales 808, MGH SS rer. Germ. 6, Annales Regni Francorum (741-829) (Annales Laurissenses Maiores et Einhardi ). Edited by Georg Heinrich Pertz, Hanover 1895, 195.
  2. Nis Hardt, Willi Kramer: Archeology and history of the Danewerk. Guide to Archaeological Monuments 49, 2007, pp. 86–95.
  3. Excavation 1937: Günther Haseloff, The excavations at the Danewerk and their results . Offa 2, 1937, 111-113; Herbert Jankuhn, The fortifications of the Viking Age between Schlei and Treene. Prehistoric and early historical studies from the Museum of Prehistoric Antiquities in Kiel (New Part 1). The excavations in Haithabu, Volume 1, 1937, 130–136
  4. a b c Willi Kramer: The dating of the field stone wall of the Danewerk. Preliminary report of a new excavation at the Danewerk . In: Archaeological correspondence sheet . tape 14 , 1984, pp. 343-350 (excavated 1983).
  5. Excavation 1990: H. Hellmuth Andersen, Danevirke og Kovirke. Arkæologiske undersøgelser 1861–1993. Højbjerg 1998, pp. 42-44, 51 f .; Excavation 2013, pulled together on a wall phase: Astrid Tummuscheit, Across the border - excavation at Danewerk in 2013. Archäologische Nachrichten Schleswig-Holstein 2014, 72 f.
  6. ^ H. Hellmuth Andersen, Danevirke og Kovirke. Arkæologiske undersøgelser 1861–1993 . Højbjerg 1998, 51-77
  7. Billets were already recorded in the Sodenwall at Schanze XVI in 1861: Andersen 1998, fig. 10, 12-13
  8. Andersen 1998, 243 u. Helmut Erlenkeuser, ibid., Appendix 2: New C14 dates for Danewerk, Schleswig-Holstein. 189-201
  9. Andersen 1998, 243 u. Helmut Erlenkeuser, ibid., Appendix 2: New C14 dates for Danewerk, Schleswig-Holstein. 189-201
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  13. a b c d Astrid Tummuscheit, Frauke Witte: "The only way through the Danewerk". About the excavations at Danewerk in 2013 . In: Arkaeologi i Slesvig - Archeology in Schleswig . tape 15 . Wachholtz Verlag, 2014, ISBN 978-87-87584-35-7 , pp. 153–163 , here: p. 157 ( full text ).
  14. Ibid.
  15. Andersen 1990, 175-177 and Fig. 205–208
  16. Jankuhn 1937, 130-137
  17. Andersen 1998, 52 Figs. 31-33
  18. Willi Kramer, report on an excavation at Krummwall near Hollingstedt. The dating of the early Krummwall and the sod wall in the main wall procession. In: Archäologische Landesaufnahme SH, Hollingstedt, Schleswig-Flensburg District , LA 31 (FM 2007-232) 8f.
  19. Herbert Jankuhn, The defense systems of the Viking Age between Schlei and Treene. Prehistoric and early historical studies from the Museum of Prehistoric Antiquities in Kiel. (New episode 1) The excavations in Haithabu, Volume 1, Neumünster 1937, 151, 172 f.
  20. The collaboration between the archaeologist Schietzel and the forest botanist Dieter Eckstein began in 1964; in 1971 a standard dendro curve was completed by the early 8th century: Kurt Schietzel, search for traces in Haithabu. Documentation and chronicle 1963–2013 . Neumünster 2014, 160 f.
  21. Others 1996, 228
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  24. Andersen 1976, 12-23, 90
  25. Andersen 1996, Fig. 119
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  28. ^ Willi Kramer: A lake barrage of the 8th century in the Schlei. Archeology in Germany Issue 3, 1994; Ders .: The lake barrier at Reesholm in the Schlei. Arch. Nachrichten Schleswig-Holstein 6, 1995, 42-53; Ders .: The lake barrier at Reesholm in the Schlei. A work report. Archeology under water 1, research and reports on underwater archeology between lakes at the edge of the Alps and the North Sea . Stuttgart 1995, 135-143
  29. Andersen 1998: 152; general to the Osterwall: Matthias Maluck: The Osterwall - the easternmost part of the Danewerk. In: Yearbook of the home community Eckernförde , Volume 69, 2011, 105–114
  30. Andersen 1996, 250-252, Figs. 130-139, Pl. 13, 15-16
  31. Andersen 1996, 250
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  33. HH. Andersen, HJ Madsen and O. Voss: Danevirke. In: Jysk Arkaeologisk Selskabs Skrifter XIII, 1976, 33-42, pl. VI – IX, fig. 42, 54, 121-127
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  125. From a temperature of 825 ° C, which occurs in a building fire, CaCO 3 becomes quicklime (CaO + CO 2 ), which is converted into water-soluble calcium hydroxide (Ca (OH) 2 ) by rainwater : Willi Kramer: Schanze und Burg bei Rothenkrug , Klein Dannewerk. In: Contributions to the history of the city of Schleswig 60, 2015, 102
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  131. Med dette special forløb forhindrede man at man fra syd kunne nærme sig porten direct. Både en possibly indicated styrke and almindelige rejsende blev tvunget to bevæge sig parallel with volden over en strækning. Witte 2015, 88
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  147. ^ "Overall, ICOMOS does not consider that this series in its present form would allow the scope of Viking influence to be adequately reflected on the World Heritage list. The seven sites do not fully represent the achievements and influence of the Viking Age migrations in world history or even an adequate facet of it. There is a danger that the series could contribute to a reification of a partial view of the past, and distort the contribution of the Viking Age to world history ": ICOMOS 2015, p. 225
  148. On the trail of the cup stones . Kieler Nachrichten November 16, 2015, accessed on November 16, 2015.
  149. Tentative List - German World Heritage Sites pending. (No longer available online.) UNESCO , archived from the original on January 16, 2016 ; accessed on November 16, 2015 .
  150. Gero Trittmaack: Danewerk and Haithabu: Better chances going it alone ? In: shz.de. Schleswig-Holsteinischer Zeitungsverlag , December 14, 2016, accessed on July 4, 2018 .
  151. Page no longer available , search in web archives: World Heritage application from the state government.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved December 18, 2016.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.schleswig-holstein.de@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.schleswig-holstein.de  
  152. ICOMOS recommends adding Haithabu and Danewerk to the UNESCO World Heritage List at schleswig-holstein.de
  153. Haithabu and Danewerk are world cultural heritage on ndr.de from June 30, 2018

Coordinates: 54 ° 28 ′ 39 ″  N , 9 ° 29 ′ 12 ″  E