|THE CHANGE OF RELIGION IN DENMARK.
The story of the transition between Asatro and Christianity
In Jelling, there is a 50 m2 gable painting which depicts some of this history. It can be seen on the gable of the large building south of the monument area - on Gorms Torv.
The story is interpreted in the painting, which was painted by the artists Hans Oldau Krull and Peter Birk. The artists focus on each of their tasks. Peter Birk concentrates on the pre-Christian era with modern but faithful, winding ornaments and mythical symbols.
In Peter's work on the gable painting, as well as in the graphic work; you see "Yggdrasil", the tree of life, and the pig "Særimner", Odin's pig, which is the source of abundant and eternally fresh boiled pork in "Valhall".
Hans Krull concentrates on the figures of the monk "Poppo" and Queen Thyra. The artist's interpretation is that she keeps a suspicious eye on "Poppo", who at the same time shows her uninjured hand, as proof of the strength of the Christian faith.
It is said that the monk Poppo comes to Jelling and challenges the king on the right faith.
The king taunts Poppo and challenges the monk by suggesting he carry iron burdens! That is that Poppo must wear an iron glove which has been made red hot in the fire. And if Poppo avoids burning himself, the King will recognize that "the white Christ" is stronger than the old Nordic gods!
And yes, the myth says that Poppo's hand was unharmed after the process. So the King, Harald Bluetooth proclaims that from now on the Danes must be Christians.
The monk Poppo is rewarded by the church in Rome and is subsequently appointed as bishop in Cologne.
The painting was inaugurated in September 2022 in connection with the annual World Heritage Week in Jelling
|As a source for the painting, this art print,
which is also made by Hans Oldau Krull and Peter Birk,
|On the one hand, the art print depicts cultural elements from the Viking Age. Thor's pig, Særrimner; Yggdrasil; authentic viking ornamentation etc.
The right side is a depiction of everything that went before!. Because there is always something that precedes, as our parish priest Kristian Bøcker said at the inauguration of the painting. There is also something that precedes the ASA faith. The Asa belief probably came with migrations from Asia and into Scandinavia via Mongolia, Russia, Norway, Finland, Sweden to Denmark.
On the art print, we also see what came after Poppo's visit. Poppo shows off his uninjured hand; he has become a bishop, and a little in the background we see a serious woman keeping an eye on the events. We reckon it's Queen Thyra who we assume had a hand in the game, although she's been dead for 10 - 15 years at this point.
The story of the change of religion is far more than the story of an "Iron Burden" being carried. Those in power are simply trying to sell a difficult message to the people by tying them with a chain on their sleeve. So "spin" or "fake news"! We know that all too well!
Queen Thyra - who was queen before she married King Gorm - was clearly the wise one, and politically gifted when King Gorm and Thyra are assessed against each other.
King Gorm, who allegedly was sea-king with his father, was good at drinking and fighting; but he did not have the skills to rule a country. Thyra took care of that in return! That's what she was raised to do!
Presumably it was Gorm's marriage to Thyra and via her lineage and status - that legitimized Gorm's kingly status - and not the other way around!
It will therefore be at least as correct to call the King's Jelling the Queen's Jelling - or Thyra's Jelling.