Long ago, the inhabitants of Norway lived in warring tribes and villages. It was not until the 872 Battle of Hafrsfjord that the fractious clans of habitable Norway were united under a single ruler – King Harald “Fairhair” I. The astonishing victory was commemorated in 1983 by a memorial placed in the Hafrsfjord suburb of Madla, near the city of Stavanger, Rogaland. Many believe that the ancient battle took place on the 5.6 mile-long (9 kilometers) fjord. The memorial consists of three bronze swords, each approximately 33 feet (10 meters) tall, planted into a hill of solid rock near the edge of the fjord. The foremost sword represents the victorious King Harald I; the lesser two swords symbolize the two petty kings that were defeated in the Battle of Hafrsfjord. Norway’s King Olav V, who commissioned the piece, says that the work is a symbol of peace and shall never be removed from its bed of stone.
Sverd i Fjell at Dusk. Photo Source: (Ronel Reyes/Flickr)