In 2009, on a field in the town of Gl. Lejre (Old Lejre) on the island of Zealand, the remains of one of the largest Viking halls that ever has been built in Denmark was discovered. This Viking hall originally had a length of a little over 60 meters, and 12 meters in width, with an impressive of 10 meters to the ceiling.
I think it is safe to say, that this large hall used to belong to a wealthy and powerful family which most likely was a King. Lejre seems to have had significant importance from the early Germanic iron age, into the late Viking age.
This Viking hall has been dated to be from around 700 CE, which was a time and place where the people in Denmark, were split into many tribes and kingdoms.
Lejre has often been mentioned in sagas such as (”Danish: Skjoldungerne”) from the Knýtlingesaga. Skjoldungerne was a poetic term for warriors, but it literally means the ”Shield Kids” in English, and it is meant to be degrading.
Degrading in the way, that they fought behind shields, and not like berserkers that did not need any protection in combat. A poetic term that probably was written by a bard from one of the rival kingdoms.
Skjoldungerne was the children of King Skjold (King Shield), who according to the sagas was the son of Odin and Rind. One of the descendants from Skjold might have been the famous Ragnar Lothbrok (in Danish: Regnar Lodbrog), but if he were around when this large Viking hall was at its prime, is something we do not know.
The Viking hall does not seem to have been used for animal husbandry, and there are also no signs that there was agriculture in the area. The hall seems to have been used for big parties for royals and jarls.
The large Viking hall is being rebuilt
While this discovery is exciting in itself, it does get even better. In 2015 a huge donation of 65 million kroner was made by the family who owns the shipping company Maersk, and in addition to this donation, the Augustinus fond donated 10 million kroner as well, to help reconstruct this magnificent Viking hall.
75 million might sound like an astronomical amount of money, but according to Tania Lousdal Jensen, who is an archaeologist and the project manager. It is not physically or economically possible to build the Viking hall in the same way as it was in the Viking age.
Our ancestors were very creative and skilled craftsmen, and some of their building methods is still a mystery to us, and it will never be an exact copy of the original.
Learning how the people might have built their halls in the Viking age, is also a big part of the project, the finished Viking hall, is just the final reward at the end of the project. The Viking Hall is still under construction, and a date for when it is finished has yet to be released. You can check out the process of the Viking hall at their youtube channel: SagnlandetLejre