Fagertofta Burial Ground

Fagertofta burial ground lays north of Nässjö on a banked meadow sheltered by a forest. The area was excavated and restored in 1940s – amost all graves date to the Iron Age. The burial site is also known as Domsätet, due to the presence of dommaringar*, and Hallängen – The Hall Meadow. Never heard of this place before. I’ve discovered it in an old book I’ve got from an antique bookshop.

The grave field contains 42 ancient stone formations varied in form, shape and size. Mostly stone circles (38, including 25 domarringar) but there is also a Bronze Age cairn (for cremation burials) and a mysterious three-armed barrow with an altar. What’s unusual, one of the circles is formed from 6 tiny dolmens, also known as “lying hens”.

By the gravel road leading to the site there is an old sacrificial well, Midsommarkällan. It was used in the past for ritual ablutions during Midsummer celebrations.

We approached the site during a very hot and sunny afternoon, so shooting conditions were far from ideal. I walked around the stones for a while, briefly composing my shots and waiting for clouds to set in. Maybe it was a symptom of a sunstroke, but I swear I could hear the chanting among the dolmen ring coming from the dark forest behind it. The official information leaflet does warn about “playing around” the stones – that can make one ill.

* Domarringar – Stone circles with odd number of stones (usually 7 or 9); often with an additional stone in the middle. The name might came from a medieval view that judge rings were a kind of court places where important decisions were made. With the odd number of stones, a judgment could always pass.

You can find more photos from this location in my Flickr album.

Midsummer ’20 – The Road Trip

  1. Oskarshamn – our trip starts here
  2. Kvilleken – a 1000 y/o oak tree
  3. Ryningsholms Gravfält – Iron Age grave field
  4. Fagertofta Gravfält and Midsommarkällan – Bronze Age grave field and a ritual spring
  5. Jönköping – where we spent the first night; great view over Lake Vättern
  6. Luttra Dolmen – truly majestic neolithic tomb
  7. Kyrkerörs Gånggrift and Ballersten – a neolithic passage grave and a stone with cup marks
  8. Silverfallet in Karlsfors – a small nature reserve with waterfalls
  9. Iron Wolf’s MC – pretty self-explanatory; not marked
  10. Askeberga Skeppssättning – stone ship build out of humongous stones
  11. Haga and Lunneslätt Dolmens – hidden in the mossy forest on beautiful Orust Island
  12. Trollhättan – we spent second and third night here
  13. Vitlycke Museum in Tanumshede – lots of petroglyphs here
  14. Greby Gravfält – biggest grave field in Bohuslän
  15. Ulmekärr Labyrinth – one of the best preserved Trojaborg labyrinths in Sweden
  16. Blomsholms Skeppssättning – a picturesque stone ship; as far north as we’ve got
  17. Hällristningar in Massleberg – a small panel with carvings hidden over the road
  18. Massleberg Dolmen – a neolithic tomb resting in the shade
  19. Hällristningar in Massleberg II – gigantic stone panel with very spectacular carvings laying on a slope
  20. Älgafallet – amazing waterfall on a border with Norway
  21. Nässjö – the butthole of Småland? I take it back now!

This road trip took us roughly 4 days. I’ve actually planned a lot (too much?) for us to see on our honey-moon-midsummer-road-trip. Some places didn’t work out – mostly waterfalls and some stone circles. Some other were a surprise as we’ve discovered them by accident. Extremely hot and sunny weather was perfect for a trip, though a bit tiring I’d say, but not so perfect for shooting. Everything went better than expected, we had a lot of fun and I’ve brought plenty of photos home. The greatest trip ever!