Silkeborg and Moesgård

Silkeborg is the largest town we’ve visited so far this trip. It’s a modern place, with a pedestrianised shopping street through the centre and, thankfully, plenty of parking.

We weren’t here to shop though. Our main target was the museum, which combines an old building housing the sort of stuff you normally find in local museums (local glass, local ceramics, and, quite randomly, a Danish living room from 1862) and a new building housing the really good stuff – Tollund Man and an exhibition (which sounded rubbish but was actually very good) entitled The Face.

Tollund Man must take the prize as the most photogenic bog body ever. He looks like he’s having a nice little snooze, and the cap still perched on top of his head is very cute. On the subject of his head, that’s the only bit that’s original; the body was “reconstructed” after it started to decay once removed from the bog.

The story here is that Tollund Man seems to have been a sacrifice to the bog around 2200 years ago, during the Iron Age. People used to sacrifice all kinds of things to the bogs: food, weapons etc as well as people. He’s been hung (remains of the rope are still round his neck) before being placed carefully into the bog.

We found a nice free camping spot to the South-East of Silkeborg near Lake Mossø.

The next day, we saw another bog body, Grauballe Man, at Moesgård. He’s nowhere near as lovely as Tollund Man:

(apologies for the poor pics; it’s very dark in there)

The poor bloke had his throat cut, which probably didn’t do much for his facial expression.

The museum at Moesgård was an amazing place, a modern museum that was expensive to get into (£33 for two of us) but you could see why. They had lots of innovative audiovisual “experiences” and interactive bits and bobs, but also all the old “stuff” was very well displayed. They also gave plenty of in-depth information if you wanted it, with screens all around the place showing archaeologists explaining the various exhibits. We did have to be a little bit selective on these in order to make sure we got round everything in one day.

It’s the only museum I’ve been to that managed to make the Stone Age interesting.

Here’s Mark looking at some of the “stuff”. Behind him is a huge midden of oyster shells. The guys paddling the boat on the floor are going fishing; they and the projection onto the wall behind are part of the story of what folk got up to in Stone Age Denmark.

We were in the museum until just before closing time at 5pm, much longer than we’d expected, and by the end of it were pretty museumed-out.