Björn Järnsidas Hög (Björn Ironsides Mound)
The suspected burial mound of legendary Viking Björn Ironside.
When thinking of Scandinavia, it’s hard not to envision the Viking Age that spanned across Europe. Many famous warriors were born from this era, names that haven’t been forgotten even centuries later. Local legends, television shows, and movies keep the memory and lore of these ancient figures alive today. Although, some of the history surrounding these heroes can be questioned, as ancient stories and people often merged over time into one mythical hero.
Known as one of the perhaps mythical Viking kings of Sweden, Bjorn was the son of king Ragnar Lofbrok, who may have also been a mashup of various historical Viking figures. According to sources, Bjorn ruled over Sweden during the 9th century and may have started the Munsö Dynasty. Bjorn’s classic moniker was derived from the belief that he was rarely wounded in battle, in fact, it was thought that he was invulnerable to any wound.
The largest mound on the island of Munsö located in lake Mälaren is said to be the final resting place of this legendary Viking. The mound is part of an old collection of graves that consists of around 45 smaller mounds. A total of 150 remains have been found inside the mounds, including various valuables and artifacts.
On the site is also a fragmented runestone that reads ’[Thou] rgutr, you … … breath and God [s’]’.
Unlike some of the better-known burial mounds in Scandinavia, Björn Järnsidas hög is not well maintained. It’s mostly overgrown by trees and devoid of any signage, however, the legend of this Viking king has not been forgotten.
Update as of April 2020: The runestone has been restored and repainted.
Know Before You Go
The mounds are on the right-hand side if you are driving north up Björn Järnsidas väg. They are freely accessible.
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