Danish Viking fortress to be reconstructed after project given approval

A major Viking fortress can be rebuilt on its original archaeological site after local authorities in the town of Slagelse gave the green light for the project on Monday.

Danish Viking fortress to be reconstructed after project given approval
Trelleborg is already home to a reconstructed longhouse and annual Viking festival. File photo: Sofie Mathiassen/Ritzau Scanpix

The municipal city council has approved funding for a project to rebuild a so-called ring fortress at Trelleborg, the archaeological site of a Viking settlement located near the modern Danish town.

Trelleborg is already home to a reconstructed longhouse and annual Viking festival, but fortifications will now return to the more than 1000-year-old site for the first time in centuries, TV2 Øst reports.

The project, Ny Trelleborg (New Trelleborg) is a partnership between the National Museum of Denmark and Slagelse Municipality and has been in the pipeline for some time, the broadcaster writes.

Work will reconstruct the former fortress, including its roof, to the site, along with a fortress gate and defence structures.

That will include palisades – high wooden walls – and a moat, recreating Trelleborg as it would have looked in the year 981.

Although it was a strong fortification, the Viking settlement was not used by contemporary Scandinavians for long, TV2 Øst writes.

Fortresses such as the one at Trelleborg are thought to have been in use for no more than around five or ten years.

Reconstruction of the site is expected to begin this autumn.

READ ALSO: Danish Viking ring fortresses were designed to fend off other Vikings

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France to compensate relatives of Algerian Harki fighters

France has paved the way towards paying reparations to more relatives of Algerians who sided with France in their country's independence war but were then interned in French camps.

France to compensate relatives of Algerian Harki fighters

More than 200,000 Algerians fought with the French army in the war that pitted Algerian independence fighters against their French colonial masters from 1954 to 1962.

At the end of the war, the French government left the loyalist fighters known as Harkis to fend for themselves, despite earlier promises it would look after them.

Trapped in Algeria, many were massacred as the new authorities took revenge.

Thousands of others who fled to France were held in camps, often with their families, in deplorable conditions that an AFP investigation recently found led to the deaths of dozens of children, most of them babies.

READ ALSO Who are the Harkis and why are they still a sore subject in France?

French President Emmanuel Macron in 2021 asked for “forgiveness” on behalf of his country for abandoning the Harkis and their families after independence.

The following year, a law was passed to recognise the state’s responsibility for the “indignity of the hosting and living conditions on its territory”, which caused “exclusion, suffering and lasting trauma”, and recognised the right to reparations for those who had lived in 89 of the internment camps.

But following a new report, 45 new sites – including military camps, slums and shacks – were added on Monday to that list of places the Harkis and their relatives were forced to live, the government said.

Now “up to 14,000 (more) people could receive compensation after transiting through one of these structures,” it said, signalling possible reparations for both the Harkis and their descendants.

Secretary of state Patricia Miralles said the decision hoped to “make amends for a new injustice, including in regions where until now the prejudices suffered by the Harkis living there were not recognised”.

Macron has spoken out on a number of France’s unresolved colonial legacies, including nuclear testing in Polynesia, its role in the Rwandan genocide and war crimes in Algeria.