Swedish Hill Fort

More than a thousand years ago, Stora Rullingen was a Viking stronghold

On the north-western part of Stora Rullingen there is a historical stronghold that was used by, among others, Sweden's Vikings about a thousand years ago. The hill fort is part of the property and consists of a dramatic hilly region with 30 metres high rocks in gneiss and Stockholm granite, which rise straight up out of the lake.

A defensive structure for its inhabitants and their most prized possessions

Hill forts were built at easily defended heights, with abrupt precipices and would be sought out by the area's inhabitants in times of unease. They would often bring their animals, foot and other items of value. The Swedish National Heritage Office has dated the hill fort to the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages. This means that the place has been used as a hill fort for no less than 3,800 years.

Lively international trade in the Viking settlement of Birka

It is possible that the Vikings defended themselves here against enemies attracted to the area by the wealthy Viking settlement of Birka, which lies approximately 15 nautical miles from Stora Rullingen. Birka was used by merchants from all over Europe and parts of Asia, where they traded valuable wares. Birka was founded in the 750s and was the Swedish Viking's wealthiest trading town on their home soil. Birka also lays claim to being Sweden's first city.

The hill fort's weapons gave Stora Rullingen its name

The Vikings lasted from around the 790s to 1100 AD. The hill fort at Stora Rullingen [literally translated as 'Big Rolling'] is said to have gained its name from the blocks of stone that the Vikings left ready up on the cliffs to be rolled down towards attackers. Several of these blocks of stone can still be seen today. No archaeological digs have been undertaken at Stora Rullingen in modern times. The formal name for the hill fort is Överselö 202:1.