Here are Aarhus’ new Viking pedestrian crossings

Aarhus on Monday introduced Viking-style traffic lights at 17 locations in the city.

Here are Aarhus’ new Viking pedestrian crossings
The new Viking pedestrian lights in Aarhus. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The Viking-style lights are intended to symbolize Denmark’s second city’s close connection with the seafaring Scandinavian plunderers of centuries past.

Bünyamin Simsek, a councillor in the city planning department of Aarhus Municipality, came up with the idea for a Viking invasion of pedestrian crossings earlier this year.

Simsek wanted to “strengthen Aarhusianers’ identity and understanding of the fact we are a Viking city,” he told DR in March.

The idea has now become reality with the assistance of Moesgaard Museum, a major history and archaeology museum on the outside of the city, Aarhus Stiftstidende reported on Monday.

City coucellor Bünyamin Simsek puts one of the Viking lights in place. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Aarhus’ links Denmark’s Viking past is reflected in its streets, which have in many cases retained the layout of over 1,000 years ago.

“Many Danish cities had notable importance in the Viking era, but none other than Aarhus have retained their geographical layout since then. It’s no coincidence we have streets named Graven (The Ditch) and Volden (The Fortification),” Moesgaard Museum director Lars Krants said in an Aarhus Municipality press statement.

That is an important part of the city’s fabric and important to keep prominent in the urban picture, according to Simsek.

“Many people do not know about Aarhus’ special importance for the Viking period, and I want to change that. We want to tell the forgotten stories and rebrand Aarhus as the Viking city we are,” the city councillor said.

“On a modest budget, we can change selected pedestrian crossings and create value for both tourists and Aarhusianers,” he continued.

Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Each of the new pedestrian crossings cost around 1,000 kroner to change from the regular variety, Aarhus Stiftstidende reports.

The new Viking lights can be spotted in several locations along the Nørre Allé road as well as close to the Dokk1 library and harbour.

READ ALSO: Thousands of objects discovered in Scandinavia's first Viking city

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Danish treasure discovery could yield new knowledge of pre-Viking people

An amateur archeologist has found 22 gold objects with sixth century symbols that could yield new details about pre-Viking peoples in Denmark, the museum that will house the treasure said on Monday.

Danish treasure discovery could yield new knowledge of pre-Viking people
An unrelated illustration photo from an earlier discovery showing Saxon, Ottonian, Danish and Byzantine coins. STEFAN SAUER / DPA / AFP

Some of the objects have runic motifs and inscriptions which may refer to the rulers of the time, but also recall Norse mythology, Mads Ravn, director of research at the Vejle museums in western Denmark, told AFP.

“It is the symbols on the items that makes them unique, more than the quantity found,” according to Ravn, who said the treasure weighed about one kilogram.

One piece even refers to the Roman emperor Constantine from the early 4th century, said Ravn.

“The find consists of a lot of gold items, including a medallion the size of a saucer,” Ravn added.

According to initial examinations, the treasure could have been buried as an offering to the gods at a chaotic time when the climate in northern Europe dramatically turned colder after a volcanic eruption in Iceland in 536 sent ash clouds into the sky.

“They have many symbols, some of which have not been seen before, which will enable us to enlarge our knowledge of the people of this period,” he said.

The treasure was found near Jelling in southwestern Denmark, which historians say became a cradle for kings of the Viking-age which lasted between the 8th and 12th centuries.

The treasure will be on display at the museum in Vejle from February 2022

The amateur archeologist using a metal detector found the treasure about six months ago but the news was only disclosed now.

READ ALSO: DNA analysis reunites Viking relatives in Denmark after 1,000 years