Sverd I Fjell – Stavanger, Norway - Atlas Obscura

Sverd I Fjell

Monuments don't get much more metal than these three giant viking swords planted in a Nordic hill. 


The Sverd i fjell monument was put in place to celebrate an ancient battle that ended up uniting a portion of Norway under one banner, but its not always easy to see that past how awesome the monument’s three giant viking swords are.

The Battle of Hafrsfjord in 872 is widely regarded as the conflict that finally achieved unity amongst the warring factions of western Norway. In reality, the process of unification likely took hundreds of years, but the popular legend is that it was this one battle that achieved peace. The decisive battle was thought to have taken place between King Harald Fair Hair and two lesser forces. King Harald finally trounced the opposing forces and Norway was brought under his rule.

So popular was this battle that there are actually a couple of monuments honoring it. The Sverd i fjell monument certainly seems to be honoring the legend over the reality with its fantastical giants’ swords. The monument was established in 1983 by King Olav the V and has stood proudly ever since. The swords stand over 30 feet tall and are sculpted to look like traditional viking sabers. The are forever planted into the rock of a small hill (god help us if someone large enough to pull them from the stone should ever come along).

While two of the swords have basic, unadorned hilts, the tallest of the three swords is a bit more elaborate, representing the King Harald’s victory. Visit this monument and just TRY not to feel like a viking hero.

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