The Discovery Site of the Sun Chariot by

2023 Public Projects / Built in 2020 /

In our digital age the Discovery Site of Trundholm Sun Chariot offers a physical engaging and analog alternative way of teaching about one of the most significant finds in Danish and European archeological history. It activates an area on the local nature’s terms.

The discovery site of the Trundholm Sun Chariot has thus far been an inaccessible marsh area and an overlooked place, but with this project, visitors can step directly into the ancient past and learn more about one of the most important historic relics in Danish history, The Sun Chariot. The project has many exciting stories to tell about cultural history, archaeology, geology, and nature.

Here at the gateway to the Bronze Age, you can really feel the wings of history. Two corten steel walls rises high above the visitor. Lasercutted onto them a monumental relief unfolds the cosmology and myths of the chariot and life in the bronze-age 3500 years ago. The gate is the arrival point to the discovery site. It is 4 meters tall and respectively 10 and 14 meters long. High and long enough to be perceived as a portal; a feature serving as a robust welcome, landmark, information wall and art installation all at the same time.

Once through the gate, you move into a circular space adapted to the landscape. Along a winding path, you journey back in time through a Bronze Age-themed landscape on the way to the discovery site. Parts of the marsh has been untouched all these years, and with this project new wetlands are made – with the same character as the old bog. The gravel part of the path is risen 30 cm above the existing level with leftover soil from the restored wetlands, its winding shape is based on the decorations on the Sun-chariot. It is wide enough for two wheel chairs to pass. Willow trees were planted so can they grow big and old and add to the atmosphere of the untouched landscape of the bronze age.

The culmination of the experience is the exact spot where the Bronze Age people lowered the Sun Chariot into the Trundholm Bog. The cult and their rituals are illustrated on the walls marking exactly where a farmer thousands of years after found the chariot.

The story of the sun chariot is taught in every school. This installation illustrates how to combine nature restoration and history into an engaging experience – making an otherwise anonymous spot and to a lot of school kids somewhat boring history lesson accessible, engaging and alive. Along the way, the story of Denmark’s Bronze Age treasure becomes even more present by listening to the site’s very own podcast. The landscape installation engages students and grown visitors alike in an informative and tactile way, by combining historical information with a physical journey.

Architecture offices involved in the design: Kurtzweil, exhibition architect

Location: Odsherred, Højbye, at the end of Fuglebæks Å (it does not have an actual address).

Design year: 2018

Year Completed: 2020


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