The runestone

Posted: July 14, 2013 in Jämtland (County), My photographs, The Great Lake Monster


My County Jämtland has got a long and rich history. Located on the island of Frösön in Lake Storsjön (The Great Lake) is this wonderful runestone, dated to ca 1030-1050. The runes have been translated to mainly be about the fact that Jämtland was Christianized at the time and how a bridge was built in the narrow straight a thousand years ago.

There is a twist. As you can see there is a dragon´s head in plain view and there is no other runestone in Sweden depicting such a thing. This runestone originally stood right at the shore, close to where the bridge would have been (there is a bridge at roughly the same place today as well), and we do have the mystery of The Great Lake Monster in this very lake. A local vicar wrote about this as early as 1635 when he put some local legends down in writing, which has survived and is now famous.

The Great Lake was connected to the sea 9000 years ago so any kind of large sized animal (family) that has made it through the years must have a local history that is at least that long. In my view, there is no reason to believe that this mystery suddenly popped up 400 years ago, although it was first noted in a way that has survived then.

Could it be then that this runestone simply depicts something that everybody who lived here knew of even back then? The interesting thing is that it seems to be chained by a lock as well.

Nobody really wants to talk about the runestone in this manner. I can understand that. But I think it is reasonable to keep an open mind regarding this stone and it might even be prudent to accept that we will never know the full story.

All we can do is marvel at the fact that it still stands, close to where it once stood, for all to see.

(My images)

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