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Hagbards Gallows

Now you have made your way to one of the most legendary locations in Falkenberg. Long before Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, a similar story is said to have taken place here. These large stones from the bronze age are said to be vestiges of the legend of Hagbard and Signe.


Legendary Antiquity

Four standing stones tower up over the landscape. These are bronze-age graves and they perhaps also serves as cult sites. The stones feature interesting petroglyphs in the form of sun symbols, ships and cup marks. The antiquity gets its name from the mediaeval hiking legend of Hagbard and Signe.

You will find the antiquity right outside of Asige. You see it from the road and there is parking space. Information signs tell more about the location.

The Legend of Hagbard and Signe

The story was penned by Danish chronicler Saxo at the beginning of the 13th century. However, Snorri Sturluson, the famous Icelandic bard, tells us that the tale was heard from a man who lived in the 9th century. If so, then this is one of the oldest of the old Nordic sagas. In Saxo’s collection, we also find the story of the Danish prince Hamlet, so one might certainly wonder whether Hagbard and Signe may have inspired Shakespeare to write Romeo and Juliet.

Power Struggle, Vendetta and Forbidden Love

Of all the locations in the Nordic countries associated with the legend of Hagbard and Singe, Asige is the one that fits best. Here you can read a brief summary of the story:

“ The Norwegian prince Hagbard comes to Asige following a sea batter with the sons of King Sigar. The battle if fierce and undecided. Here he happens to meet Signe, the daughter of King Sigar. The young couple fall in love with each other, but due to a political conflict between their families, they are forced to keep their love a secret. In order to visit Signe in secret, Hagbard dresses in women’s cloths. He gets all the way to the bed chamber when one of Signe’s maidens senses the something is amiss. She tells King Sigar, who arrests Hagbard. Now the gallows await, but before this, the love-birds promise each other faithfulness until death. When the noose is placed upon his neck. Hagbard ask that they first hang up his coat; his wants to test Signe's love. Signe looks from her window and sees what she believes is Hagbard dangling in the gallows. She sets fire to the palace, hangs herself and burns inside with all her maidens. When Hagbard sees the smoke rising toward the heavens, he is no longer afraid to meet death and allows himself to be hanged, showing no fear. ”

 

Address

  1. Koordinates: 56.883412, 12.738056


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