On the journey from Bindeballe to Vejen you can discover many monuments from the Viking Age, including four large rune stones, or a large open-air market.
Before leaving Bindeballe you are recommended to visit Bindeballe Købmandsgård founded in 1897, where you can buy local specialities and visit Denmark’s largest living shop museum,
From here, the walking route goes through Spjarupgård Plantation, the outskirts of Tågelundgård Plantation and in a westerly direction towards Nordbæk Plantation, before again turning south.
When you are about 5 km north of Bække, the walking route passes a heath land conservation area with a number of rutted tracks. There is access from the rest stop on the Bække - Egtved road.
The 50 ton Hamborggård stone, left behind after the glaciers melted, can be seen north of Bække. It originated from the Åland Islands around 15.000 years ago. According to legend, Harald Bluetooth was having the stone dragged to Jelling, when he heard that his son Sweyn Forkbeard had rebelled against him, and instead left it where it was.
The route continues to Klebæk Høje, which conceals one of the Hærvej’s most interesting ancient monuments. Around 3000 years ago, during the Bronze Age, two grave mounds were constructed here. Later during the Viking period, they were expanded with a 45 meter long ship form, in the bow of which was a rune stone from around the year 900. There are many wheel ruts over the ship, showing the course of the Hærvej over the years.
In Bække, there are shopping facilities as well as tourist information during the summer months at the old bus station, which also has an exhibition on the Hærvej. When you are walking in Bække, you will see that the Hærvej takes you past the 400 year old Bække Kro, by Royal Privilege.
In front of the town’s 800 year old church is another rune stone, found in the ditch around the churchyard in 1807. The stone dates from around 925 AD, but its original location is unknown.
A little south of Asbo is Mannehøj, the remnants of a grave mound from the older Bronze Age. Previously, rows of grave mounds marked the ancient wandering from Bække via Asbo to Læborg.
After this, you walk north of Vejen, past Hundsbæk Plantation, where you can walk up one of the highest points in Vejen “Fru Mettes Bjerg” or Mrs. Mette’s Hill.
Immediately after the plantation, the route goes down to Læborg, where the land slopes south towards the Kongeå River. Just north of the 800 year old Læborg Church, is a restored rune stone, with a text describing Queen Thyra, a name which is also repeated on the stone in Bække. It is not however certain that the queen in question is royalty. The word “dronning” for queen was also used as a general mark of respect.
Just before Vejen, there is a grave mound slightly east of the bicycle route. The mound marks the halfway point between Viborg and Slesvig, and was known in the time of Christian IV as the Halfway Height.
The walking route follows the original Military Road, which has become the main street in Vejen. A large number of the grave mounds on either side of the road have long since been removed. The church in Vejen was built in the romantic style in 1896, but the remains of the original Middle Ages church can still be seen in the churchyard. The Hærvej passes under the railway line, which from 1874 meant that Vejen was considered a large town.
While in Vejen, you can visit Vejen Kunstmuseum (Art Gallery), which contains mostly sculptures, ceramics and paintings associated with the local sculptor Niels Hansen Jacobsen, as well as a special collection from around the 1900’s, and some works relating to the Hærvej. The museum is free of charge.
There is plenty of opportunity for shopping in Vejen, before continuing your journey along the Hærvej. Visit the tourist information office for information on what’s on in town.
TO THE NEXT STAGE: VEJEN - JELS