Do you have some extra time to spend at Oslo’s main airport, Gardermoen? Then you have time to visit Raknehaugen, which means “Rakni’s Mound” in English. This is the largest free-standing prehistoric monument in Norway. It dates to the Migration Age and has been the subject of three archaeological investigations. 77 meters in diameter and more than 15 meters high, Rakni’s mound in Ullensaker County in Akershus is the largest barrow in Northern Europe.
One knows that the pile is built up of palisade works to prevent soil mass from sliding out. The construction of the mound must have taken a lifetime to build.
In the surroundings, the area Hovin has registered a number of other tombs, including Hertelshaugen by Hovin school. The area is also undertaken various archaeological research which shows that the area is full of traces of settlements from the Iron Age. The name Hovin tells us little about the area’s importance and function in the past.
According to O. Rygh Hovin means “foot” a “pagan temple” in old Norwegian – particularly for farm names that are composed with god names (eg “Frøyshov” in Nes). A large amount of Iron Age finds in the area, place name, not to mention Raknehaugen which must have served as a regional gathering place for gatherings of social and religious nature, gives us the impression of an area of great importance in the Iron Age.
The landscape around Rakni’s mound has been of strategic importance. The riding track from Nannestad meets with the ancient road between Lake Mjøsa and the Oslo Fjord in the area. The ancient road towards the farm of Haug is one of the finest examples known of a hollow road in the Romerike area. Today, this is part of the Pilgrim route to Nidaros (Trondheim).
On this website, you’ll find information and facts about the monument. You can read how Rakni’s mound has inspired folklore, and also the stories about a message in a bottle and a pavilion! Rakni’s mound has been excavated three times. “Exhibition” displays pictures from the archaeological investigations. Under “Research” you can read more about the scientific results. You can also read about the surrounding landscape, and the role Rakni’s mound played in Iron Age society.
We do recommend a visit to the website. You can hike in picturesque surroundings – rich in culture, history, and animal life.
You can either take a taxi from the airport Gardermoen. It’s about 10 minutes drive to Rakni’s Mound. Or you can take Bus 855 towards Jessheim and hop off at the stop Gravhaugen. From there it’s about 10 minutes walking. There is no museum, but it’s a quiet and relaxing natural environment.