Hedeby (Old Norse: Heiðabýr; German: Haithabu) was an important stronghold in Viking Age Denmark from the 8th-11th centuries CE and, along with Birka in present-day Sweden, it was the most important Viking trading center in Europe. During this time it flourished under the control of Danish Vikings. Today, Hedeby is located near the city of Schleswig, Germany on the Jutland Peninsula, but it was Scandinavia's southernmost entrepôt in the Early Middle Ages. Due to its favorable position at the nexus of the Frankish Empire and Danish kingdom, as well as the the Schlei River which connects to the Baltic Sea, the town of Hedeby attained great wealth as a mercantile settlement with extensive trading ties to western Europe, Scandinavia, the Slavic and Byzantine east, as well as the Arab World. UNESCO recognized Hedeby's importance in medieval European history, declaring its archaeological site as well as the Danevirke defensive system which Hedeby's fortifications gradually became a part of as a World Heritage Site in 2018.

More about: Hedeby


  • c. 900
    Viking Hedeby is at its height. It encompasses an area of around 24 hectares and has a population of approximately 1,500 people.
  • 1066
    Viking Hedeby is sacked by Polabian Slavs, after already having been sacked by Harald Hardrada of Norway a few years before. Residents relocate to Schleswig, and Hedeby's role as mercantile center ceases.
  • 2018
    The Viking trading center of Hedeby is made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018: the "Archaeological Border complex of Hedeby and the Danevirke".