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Nov 20, 2006

The Legend of Holger Danske


I was living on a street called Holger Danske Vej (Vej is pronounced as 'way' in Danish). And I was curious to know why would someone name a street on Holger Danske. In the catacombs of Kronborg castle (it is called the Casemates) I discovered the legend of Holger Danske.

The casemates of Krongborg Castle comprises a series of tunnels. You can walk through them, get a real experience of the cellars of ancient castles and get to smell history. There I saw Holger Danske in a deep grave slumber.

Holger Danske or Ogier the Dane (Danske means Danish) is a symbol of Danish pride, strength and bravery. Son of King Geoffrey, once upon a time King of Denmark, Holger Danske was a fighter of immense strength. It is believed that he has fought many a victorious battle for Denmark.

Like all legends he is glorified and commercialised. www.holger-danske.dk is the site of Danish furniture company. I also saw a bus company called Holger Danske and the history at casemates tells me that there are numerous other products in his name (bread, beer etc). Holger Danske sells in Denmark and I was tempted to pick up a t-shirt for June.

Interestingly as with any other legend there was lot of claim to his antecedents. But now Kronborg and consequently Denmark has the legal claim to the legend of Holger Danske. After Hans Christian Anderson, Holgar Danske seems to be the most loved Dane. The former writes in one of his tales

"But the most beautiful sight of all is old Kronborg, and in a deep, dark cellar beneath it, where no one ever goes, sleeps Holger Danske... He sleeps and dreams, and in his dreams he sees all that happens here in Denmark. Every Christmas Eve one of God's angel comes to him and tells him that what he dreamed is true; he may sleep again, for no real peril threatens Denmark. But should real danger come, old Holger Danske will rise in fury... and the mighty blows he strikes for Denmark will be heard throughout the world..."

There is something about legends that give me goose bumps even now (@ 32!!). I like believing these stories (and I truly hope they are true). It makes the world a little bit more fun. I cannot wait to be back in India and download the legend of Holger Danske on June. And I hope she believes in it till long.

8 comments:

Shuv said...

the amazing thing is how they maintain these things. shows the pride they take in their history. we fuckers just talk big about our past and culture. the status of the historical monuments is there for all to see.

kaushik said...

yeah its amazing.. real amazing.. and how they use to technology to do that.

yesterday i went to the viking museum. they have spent 5 yrs and a lots of money and technology to first excavate 5 ships of the 11th century and then rebuild them in exactly the way they were built.

Its amazing how much respect they have for themselves and consequently the surroundings. I think its a culture thing.

P.S. - Itna saara post aur sirif ek comment.. buri baat

Shuv said...

shedin discovery te dekhchilam admiral nelson je warship tay judho korto (it was due to him that the brits triumphed over the spaniards, dutch and french and we are speaking english now)..ki bhabe maintain koreche bishash korte parbi na.

Shuv said...

about comments..jedin likhbi strip show jabar experience shedin dekhbi comment er tsunami

kaushik said...

i went to this viking ship museum where they have reconstructed these 5 viking ships which they pulled out from the water... In a documentary being showcased there i came to know how they did it

1. First they cordoned off the portion of the sea and pumped out water (an area of 1 sq km)
2. The entire excavation was done by hand and water spray bcoz the wood was rotten
3. Each wood was numbered (and thousands of pieces) and they entire area mapped as to what was recovered from where
4. They were kept in chemical for a year or more
5. And then they started working on what was called the world biggest jigsaw puzzle. Piece by piece they reconstructed it

5 yr 50 people.. why was i born in India??

kaushik said...

Stripclub.. Nah! They are very crude. Not for someone like me. And just see someone dancing naked.. and to find her sitting on your lap and you unable to touch its more painful than not going there..

However Copenhagen has a gentleman's club called copenhangsaunaclub.dk. Thats more akin to my taste but it is about 2500 dkk (Rs.20000). By the same money I can take my entire family for gala holiday..

Shuv said...

dhur! family aar gala holiday pore hobe..apatoto ota kore aay..ami dhaar dichi, return in 20 easy instalments.

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