In the village of Gudme, there are traces of two large halls of approximately the same size, interpreted as Gudme Prince's Hall and his God's Hall.
Both Iron Age halls are now marked with concrete pillars, providing an idea of their size. In its heyday, Gudme had 50 farms, generally larger than those in neighboring areas.
But Gudme was more than just a large town. During the same period, a significant trading site existed on the coast of the Great Belt just north of Lundeborg, now a charming small coastal town. Over a period of 500 years, merchants and especially craftsmen gathered each summer to trade, manufacture new goods, and repair the ships they arrived in. Combs were crafted, glass and amber beads were produced, and jewelry was cast in noble metals such as bronze, silver, and gold. Artifacts testify to trade with the Roman Empire.
The trading site at Lundeborg was undoubtedly protected by the princes of Gudme and must have contributed to consolidating the principality's power and wealth. The wealth is also evident in the significant offerings in the area, as demonstrated by a large gold find halfway between Gudme and Lundeborg. Discovered in 1833, it is the second-largest gold find in Denmark, consisting of about five kilograms of gold in various forms (bracelets, necklaces, rings), gold bars, Roman gold coins, and various gold "remnants."
Gods and the offerings to them must have played a tremendous role in the Iron Age people's lives, reflected in surviving place names to this day: Gudme (home of the gods), Gudbjerg (mountain of the gods), Galdbjerg (sacrificial mountain), and Albjerg (sanctuary mountain).
Gudme's greatness is further emphasized by the largest burial ground in South Scandinavia, known as Møllegårdsmarken, located precisely halfway between Gudme and Lundeborg. The approximately 2,500 cremation graves from the peak of Gudme's glory spread from an older Bronze Age mound. The graves are notable for not being particularly wealthy despite the size of the burial ground and the region's obvious prosperity.
You can explore the many treasures of gold and silver from the Gudme region at the Ancient Exhibition at the National Museum in Copenhagen.