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 The Vikings

The National Park with its famous Borrehaugene (grave-mounds) is both a nature and historical experiencc. It is often used as a venue for outdoor community events, family picnics, etc. You don´t need to go far outside Horten before Borre reveals its agricultural side, with rolling fields of grain, Hereford cattle, forests and truck farms dotting the landscape.

The Borre National Park is unique in Scandinavia in containing the largest number of burial mounds from the Viking Age. These mounds are contemporanous with the famous boat graves at Oseberg, near Tønsberg and Gokstad in Sandefjord as well as the trading centre Kaupang in Tjølling. Nomerous finds were accidentally uncovred when road authorities took filler from one of these mounds (Skipshaugen) in 1852. The finds indicated a boat burial dating from the ninth century. The mound contained a boat about 50-60 ft. (17-20 metres) long.

The saga suggest that Borre was the burial site of the Norwegian kings descending from the Ynglinge dynasty. Recent excavations have revaled that the burial site must be about 200 years older: the oldest graves are now belived to date back to the seventh century. The area was probably a burial site until the country was christianized about 1000 A.D. The Borre Parish Church, bult in Norman style, dates back to about 1100 A.D.

In the woodland to the south of Borre township archaeologists have found evidence of several fields from the Viking Age in Norway. Suitability for cultivation along with a favourable climate must have enabled the area to support a relatively large population - the very basis of power politics at the time.

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