Jelling Public Library – books, stairs and hand dolls among Vikings

Written by Library Planet editor Christian Lauersen, director of Libraries and Citizen Services in Roskilde Municipality, Denmark. For how to contribute to Library Planet look here:


With it’s population of 3.500 located near Vejle in Jutland, Denmark, Jelling might doesn’t stand out but the area holds huge significance in Danish history. In the Viking Age it served as the royal seat of the first Monarchs of the Kingdom of Denmark. Jelling is the site of a large stone ship and two large burial mounds, the Jelling stones and Jelling Church which are an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994.

Right in the center of Jelling you find the so called Town House which houses a café, a cinema, local history archive, the local brewery and the local public library. The library comes in two levels connected with broad stairs which also is a great place to be seated for a chat. On the upper level you find the librarians desk with a very nice “How can I help you?” sign on it, a massive amount of stacks and a few study spaces. The shelves are neat and black and by the backend there is a shelve that goes all the way to the roof and that have one of those cool shelve stairs attached to it. Boy did I have a lot of fun sliding over the shelves browsing the collection on that one.

The upper level of the library

A tooth-less library tourist climping the stacks

The stairs connecting upper and grown level

From the upper level you have a nice open view to the ground level. This levels holds the kids library with a very cool round shelve in the middle. Besides books for kids and some toys the library holds a very nice collection of hand dolls for use and play. The ground level also holds some cozy reading spots, magazines and a small vinyl collection.

Ground level seen from the upper level

Hand dolls!

What else to see in Jelling? Well, a lot actually. The whole area just breaths Viking history and the landscape around is just wonderful and hilly and inviting for walks. The National Museum of Denmark got a museum called Home of The Viking Kings which is really awesome and well-worth a visit. It is not one of those look-at-old-stuff-behind-glass museums but it really reaches out to the audience with some very cool interactive displays and storytelling. It is free of charge.

Just between the library and the museum there is a small pancake and waffle house were I’ll recommend a pit stop.




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