Saturday, February 17, 2018

Chatelaine - a keychain or a mistress of the house

Antique figure with chatelaine
chatelaine jewelry

Named after the French word for "a lady who controls a great house," a chatelaine was the precursor to the keychain, the swiss army knife, the multitool, the tool belt etc. Attached to the waist of the dress, a chatelaine consisted of a series of chains from which hung keys, scissors, pen and paper, eyeglasses, whatever tools a lady thought necessary. They tended to be amazing pieces of jewelry.  Most major jewelers made or sold chatelaines, including Tiffany, Liberty,  Boucheron, Faberge and Lalique.

Chatelaines were quickly adopted by nurses and professional seamstresses who needed their tools handy. Purses were tiny and most dresses didn't have pockets. When pocket watches became all the rage, many chatelaines started out as watch chains with added accessories.

Each chain is mounted with useful household appendages such as scissors, thimbles, watches, keys, vinaigrette and household seals.The chatelaine was also used as a woman's keychain in the 19th century to show the status of women in a household. Similar jewelry was worn by Anglo-Saxon women, as seen from the
medieval chatelaine
burial record, but their function is uncertain. Chatelaines were worn by many housekeepers in the 19th century and in the 16th century Dutch Republic where they were typically used as watch chains for the most wealthy.  Ancient Roman women wore chatelaines with ear scoops, nail cleaners, and tweezers. Women in Roman Britain wore 'chatelaine brooches' from which toilet sets were suspended.

chatelaine Victorian.
The woman with the keys to everything important in the house was "the woman of the household". She was the one who would direct the servants, housemaids, cooks and delivery servicemen and would open or lock the access to the valuables of the house, having total authority over who had access to what. When a woman married a son and moved into his father's house, the son's mother would usually hold on to the keys.  But if the mother became a widow, the keys and their responsibilities and status were often passed to the oldest son's wife. In the case of the absence of a woman of the house, the controller of the keys was often a hired housekeeper.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Eat Healthy Nuts each Day.

Almonds are especially known for having a slimming effect and a special beneficial effect upon the fat of the stomach. But almonds are also a fine source for E- vitamin, a strong antioxidant, which both strengthens the immune system and takes care of the aging proces of your cells, when they are threatened because of oxygenation. In addition, the almonds have a high content of dietary fibers, iron and magnesium. The dietary fibres are good for you because they at the same time saturate and benefit the digestion, while the magnesium plays a part of your Heart Health.
Energy: 527 kcal.
Protein: 20,5 g
Fat: 39,1 g
Carbohydrate 29,5 g
dietary fibers: 9,2 g 

 Hazelnuts abound with E-vitamin which is a common term for a group of vitamins, which among others work as strong antioxidants. If you  eat 30 gram hazelnuts, the body's daily need of E- vitamin is covered. Besides this the hazelnuts have a fine content of the B-vitamin folic acid, which among others supposedly can prevent depression, blood clots and dementia.

Energy: 640 kcal.
Protein: 14,9 g
Fat: 54,4 g
Carbohydrate: 29,3 g
Dietary fibers: 8,2 g

Walnuts - if  you don't eat much fish it would be good for you to eat some walnuts, which have a fine content of the special omega-3 fatty acid ALA, which your body changes into the genuine and important fish oils EPA and DHA. Because of the fatty acids the walnuts attenuate inflammation in the body and lower the blood content of the dangerous LDL- cholesterol. Besides of the healthy fatty acids you'll also get lots of B6-vitamin, which is a part of a multitude of metabolic reactions - and which has an important function in the formation of the red blood cells.

Energy: 678 kcal.
Protein: 14,3 g
Fat: 64,3 g
Carbohydrate: 16,2 g
Dietary fibers 5,6 g


Pecans have a very high content of the mineral zink, which plays an essential role in the metabolism of the body and is a part of many enzymes and hormones. At the same time zink is important for the skin. Pecans have a high content monounsaturated fat, which works beneficially upon the cholesterol level. Besides the pecans have a high concentration of E- vitamin, which keeps the cell membranes healthy by creating a protection against the free radicals.
Energy: 707 kcal.
Protein: 9,2 g
Fat: 72 g
Carbohydrate: 13,9 g
Dietary fibers: 9,6 g

Pistachios are stuffed with dietary fibers and proteins - and they are a very good solution, if you are a little hungry and need a saturating snack. They are a good choice if you wish to keep the slim line. Besides they give you a shot of potassium, which is important for the function of muscles and nerves. They also regulate the heart rhytm and the blood pressure. The nuts have a high content of E-vitamin and riboflavin, which is a B-vitamin with a big influence upon your skin, nails and hair. A bonus is the high content of the antioxidant lutein which protects your eyes against the ultraviolet rays from the sun.

Energy: 566 kcal.
Protein: 20,6 g
Fat: 44,4 g
Carbohydrate: 28,0 g
Dietary fibers: 10,3 g

Cashew nuts have in general a high content of various minerals, like zink which is an important piece of the body's metabolism, but they also bring you magnesium, which is important for the nerve function, the metabolism and the muscles. The nuts also give you a fine supplement of iron, which is a part of the production of the red blood cells. Cashew nuts are rather caloric , but at the same time you'll get many heart-healthy fatty acids.

Energy: 597 kcal.
Protein: 15,3 g
Fat: 46,4 g
Carbohydrate: 32,7
Dietary fibers: 3,0 g

Peanuts are propped with niacin which both is a part of the metabolism of the body and plays an important role for the hormone production and the repair of the body's dna. In addition you'll get two strong antioxidants , E-vitamin and resveratrol (which is known from grapes). The experts have the opinion that resveratrol protects against aging and against cardiovascular diseases. Although all nuts in general are a fine source of protein, the peanuts have a high content which reminds about the protein content in meat, chicken and fish.

Energy: 576 kcal.
Protein 24,9 g
Fat: 42,7 g
Carbohydrate: 28,4 g
Dietary fibers: 7,7 g

Brazil nuts  are especially known for the huge content of selen. This trace element is a strong antioxidant which among others can protect you against cardiovascular diseases - and on the whole protect the body cells against damage and destruction. Selen supports your immune system and is also an important piece in the formation of metabolic hormones . Brazil nuts also give you a  supplement of E-vitamin, which strengthens your immune system and of potassium which lowers your blood pressure. 

Energy: 678 kcal.
Protein 15,0 g
Fat: 65 g
Carbohydrate: 13,8 g
Dietary fibers: 5,3

Photos from wikipedia
Source: Hjerteforeningen. dk, article in /2015

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Quote for the New Year 2018

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

C.S. Lewis 

photo gb/ Sculpture by the Sea

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Common Purslane / Sommer Portulak

Portulaca oleracea

Common Purslane
Common purslane, also known as verdolaga, little hogweed, red root, or pursley and khorfe is an annual succulent in the family portulacaceae, which may reach 40 centimetres (16 in) in height. Approximately forty cultivars are currently grown. The plant was cultivated as a kitchen herb since antiquity. Purslane is very rich in C-vitamin and the important omega 3 fatty acids, which strengthen the immune Systeme. The plant is also diuretic. 

It has an extensive distribution throughout the Old World extending from North Africa and Southern Europe through the Middle East and the Iran, Indian Subcontinent to Malesia and Australasia. Scientists suggested that the plant was already eaten by Native Americans who spread its seeds. How it reached the New World is currently unknown. It is naturalised elsewhere, and in some regions is considered an introduced weed

Mostly prostrate stems and alternate leaves clustered at stem joints and ends. The yellow flowers have five regular parts and are up to 6 millimetres wide. Depending upon rainfall, the flowers appear at any time during the year. The flowers open singly at the center of the leaf cluster for only a few hours on sunny mornings. Seeds are formed in a tiny pod, which opens when the seeds are mature. Purslane has a taproot with fibrous secondary roots and is able to tolerate poor compacted soils and drought.

A common plant in parts of India, purslane is known as sanhti, punarva, paruppu keerai (Tamil), gangavalli(Telugu) or kulfa (Hindi) 

Australian aborigines use the seeds of purslane to make seedcakes.

Greeks, who call it andrakla or glystrida  use the leaves and the stems with feta cheese, tomato, onion, garlic, oregano and olive oil. They add it in salads, boil it, or add it to casseroled chicken.

In Turkey, besides being used in salads and in baked pastries, it is cooked as a vegetable similar to spinach, or is mixed with yogurt to form a tsatsiki variant.

Similarly, in Egypt, it is known as reglah  and cooked as a vegetable stew.

Called Bakleh in Syria and Lebanon, is eaten raw in a famous salad called fattoush, and cooked as a garniture in fatayeh (triangular salted pastries).

In Albania, known as burdullak, it also is used as a vegetable similar to spinach, mostly simmered and served in olive oil dressing, or mixed with other ingredients as a filling for dough layers of byrek.

In the south of Portugal (Alentejo), baldroegas are used as a soup ingredient.

In Pakistan, it is known as qulfa and is cooked as in stews along with lentils, similarly to spinach, or in a mixed green stew.

Known as Ma Chi Xian (pinyin: translates as "horse tooth amaranth") in traditional Chinese medicine Its leaves are used for insect or snake bites on the skin, boils, sores, pain from bee stings, bacillary dysentery, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, postpartum bleeding, and intestinal bleeding.

Use is contraindicated during pregnancy and for those with cold and weak digestion

Nutrition and chemicals of the plant read wikipedia

Common Purslane/ Sommer Portulak is an old kitchen herb which was known back from the 1500s. The fresh shots can be eaten raw in salads etc. The taste reminds about mangetout peas, but with a sour touch. In old garden books it was often classified as a spice herb. Both leaves and stalks can be cooked and be mixed into mashed potatoes, in soups and sauces. The leaves act as a smotthing. The plant is suitable for vinegar pickling and it  can also be caramelized when fried in an oven.

Folk Medicine:

Harpestræng ab. 1300s: the juice from the herb to drink or the herb to crush and put upon the stomach against fever; the crushed herb upon an aching tooth or sick eyes; the plant to take with salt and wine against indigestion; purslane was the part of an ointment for abscesses and wounds.

Henrik Smid 1546: the juice from the seeds and destilled water from the plant against stomach-, liver- and kindey diseases. The plant and the juice against cough, shortness of breath and gonorrhea.
Purslane attenuates the superfluous unchastity.
Herb or seeds crushed and mixed with barley flour upon forehead and temples against headache.
Juice or destilled water from the plant with rose oil rubbed upon the forehead give a restful sleep. 

Simon Paulli 1648: put the plant on left side of body against pains from malaria. 

1700s: at the pharmacy was sold a sirup from purslane seeds for childrens' stomach pain.

The seeds were written into the pharmacopoeia in 1772.

In 1648 purslane /portulak grew in the Danish gardens, and the chefs used it in a salad. 
In 1800 purslane was used in soups, the chopped parts in kale soup.
The stalks were sugar candied like pumpkins, and vinegar pickled and used in a sharp sauce. 

Purslane counteracts drunkenness.
If the plant hangs above the bed peope don't get bad dreams.

Purslane in the fodder provides greater milch production in cows.

Source of the Denmark-text: 
V.J.Brøndegaard: Dansk Etnobotanik 1978-80, Folk og Flora, Portulak/ Portulaca oleracea 

photo and image: wikipedia.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Story about the Church Bell begins a long, long time ago.......

Oudrup kirke, Himmerland/gb

The first Christian churches had no church bells, and since Christianity was considered an enemy of the state, services were performed in private homes or in secret. When Christianity was acknowledged in the year 313, churches were built everywhere, but without bells, since the bell ringing was considered a heathen custom. Paulinus (+431), a bishop in Nola in Campania was said to be the first to ring bells, shaped as bellflowers to call people to prayers. According to legend he was inspired to this because he fell asleep in a meadow where he was awakened by small ringing bells carried by angels. It was also said that Pope Sabinianus (+ 606) introduced bell ringing to call together for communion .

Hedeby klokken
The oldest preserved church bell in Denmark is the Haithabu bell (Hedebyklokken) from the 900s. Haithabu became bishopric already in 948. The bell was discovered in an archaeological excavation in 1978 in the water outside Hedeby where the harbour was situated in the Viking period. The well-preserved bell is today a part of the exhibition in the Haithabu/Hedeby museum. A copy is at the Klokke museum in Jels, Jutland. The Hedeby bell was not the first church bell in Hedeby, already in 854 Haarik 2. gave the inhabitants permission to ring a church bell. The rests of this bell formed in 1998 the base of a reconstruction of the socalled Ansgar-klokke. In 829 Haarik 1. had given permission to build Denmark's first church at Hedeby. The churches were at that time of wood and the church bells were placed in a wooden tower by the church. The wooden church itself could not carry such a heavy bell.(see also next chapter about Scandinavia)

I in 1526 the Danish king Frederic 1. ordered that if a church owned two bells the biggest one had to be delivered for making canons - if the church had three bells the biggest and the smallest had to be delivered. In the whole country were gathered 1.180 church bells with a collected weight of 375 tons.

In folklore the church bells' booming sound could drive away all evil from the parish. A little scraped rust from the church bell was considered a help in many diseases. It was said that when Thomas Beckett was murdered, the bells of the Canterbury cathedral began ringing by themselves. In France the bells are not ringing on Good Friday. The story goes that the bells flew to the Vatican. On Easter morning the children run out into the garden to look for the the bells coming flying home from Rome.

Scandinavia:There are 2 written sources and 2 archaeological finds about the very first church bells in the North.

1) From the bell-producing Fulda kloster (built 744) the abbot Hrabanus Maurus writes to bishop Gauthbert in Birka that he very soon will send"unnam gloggam et unnum tintinnabulum". This happens around year 831.
Sct Patrick's bell
2) At Ansgar's visit by the Danish king Haarik in 855/856: "He (Haarik II king 854-870) even allowed that a bell must ring by the church, a custom which the heathens (Vikings) considered illegal". (from Vita Ansgarii chapter 32 by Rimbert who became Ansgar's successor as archbisop in Hamburg- Bremen archbishopric).

1) One of the archaeological finds is the rest of a bell from excavations at Hedeby (Haithabu), an excavation which was led by dr. Hans Dresche, a famous bell-expert and earlier leader of the Helms-Museum in Hamburg/Harburg. The find is a melted bell -bronze which has flowed out upon a piece of charred oak from which is also a piece of a Carolingian profile. The reconstructed bell's diameter is 23,5 cm, a height of 21,5 cm and wall-thickness 4 mm. Inclusive the trifora the height is 28 cm. The metal alloy contains much lead, which gives the bell a very dumb and short after sound.

It is on exhibition in the foyer of Norddeutsche Kirkenamt.

(Deutsche Glockspielvereinigung, Mitteilung 38. The bell has the name " Ansgar's Bell."

2) The other find is the famous bell-find from the former Hedeby (Haithabu) at Slien, which was the most important Nordic trading town and transit harbour between east and west in the Viking Age. The find was a complete and almost unused bell with armatur that lay by a row of harbour poles. Hedeby was known for its until 60 meter long wharfs. It seems that the bell simply was lost down into the muddy water when it was being transferred to ship-transport. The profile of the bell belongs to the style from ab. year 950 - and it was supposedly a precursor for the later, but still very old "beehive- bell". The bell is on exhibition at the Viking Museum in Hedeby.


The first very early missions in the North (Scandinavia) were done by Irish and English monks who  landed with their small skin-boats (curraghs) at the west coast of Jutland and also often went out to all corners of the world on a dangerous journey. The monks were travelling in small groups and one monk probably carried a tintinnabulum. These early travels in the 600s were missions or exile/pilgrim-journeys with the mission as a byproduct if they met other people.

The pilgrim-journeys arose in order to replace the earlier socalled bloody "red" martyrdom with the "white" martyrdom . The "white" martyrdom was an idea about the voluntary excile being the highest Ascetism. In England and Ireland were already at that time thriving culture centres. Christianity had appeared to be quickly absorbed in the society by the druids, and their strong connection to the clans gave the hermit-monks the possibility to go on their pilgrim journeys.

The population was estimated to only 1-2 millions in Scandinavia in the 600s, most of them lived in easy available areas like Denmark, Scania (Skaane), Viken (Oslofjord). Additionally lived people on the Baltic islands like Bornholm, Øland and Gotland and in the area around Mälaren (near present Stockholm). The rest of the North was probably almost no man's land, only inhabited by skridfinner
( named like this because they transported themselves by the help of skis.

There were no inhabitants at Iceland when the Irish/English monks arrived there. When the first Vikings later came to Iceland they called the monks papar, the Greek-Roman word for priest ( ref. to the Icelandic island, papay, where they probably lived. The biggest city at that time was Byzans with 500.000 inhabitants, and the concept priest was not an unknown territory to the Vikings who were familiar with travels across the great rivers to the East.

The meeting between monks and Vikings were probably often fatal to the monks, and a procedure was made in order to make the meeting safer. If a king or a chief ( who was already a Christian) wished to establish a mission in a socalled heathen country, a delegation was appointed where the leader was a high level cleric, mostly a bishop. It was important that the leader of a mission-delegation had a high title, if the title was low it would seem insulting and not give any protection.

The mission-delegation with a leading bishop seeked at first the chief or regent of the country in order to win his interest and get protection and accomodations. A country was considered Christian if the regent was baptized. Thereafter the monks went back to their klosters with local boys who were educated to go on mission back in their homeland. Another method was that the monks simply destroyed the heathen shrines, which usually were placed outdoors in a grove or a moor, but this method was very riscy. Deviant religious imaginations were traditionally accepted in the North, but not desecration or disrespect to the old sacred places of society. In ab. year 710 the English missionary brother Willibrord was on a northern mission to the Frisian king Radbord in "the land of the wild Danes" and to the island Helgoland (Forsiteland). He was welcomed very friendly in Frisland and with honour by the king of the Danes Angantyr (Ongendus), but he had no luck in converting anyone. However Angantyr gave him 30 boys to be educated for the mission. On their way home the entourage stranded at Helgoland, where they slaugthered the holy cows and desecrated a sacred spring. For this offense some of them suffered a horrible death. Willibrord and many other monks had the custom to practise vandalism on the shrines of the heathens whereever they met them.

Maybe there is a clue of some form of retribution for these monks' desecrations of Scandinavian shrines, when the Vikings then started the violent attacks and destructions of klosters and the sale of Christian slaves during the next 200 years' lootings and ravaging. The monastery at the tidal island Lindisfarne in the northeastern England was one of the first klosters exposed to a Viking attack on the 6th of June 793. Several other Irish and English klosters were also exposed to attacks and ravage in the following period. The year 793 is traditionally specified as the beginning of the Viking Age.

The monkary, which came a little later, was reigned more directly from the papacy - and they were
Ansgar preaching at Harald Klak's yard
competing with the Irish/English monks. One of these from the new monkary was archbishop Ebo of Reims. He was in the summer 823 on a mission in the land of the Danes together with bishop Halitgar of Cambrai and Willerich of Bremen. According to their own reports they succeeded in baptizing many people during the long summer stay in 824-827. Ebo did however not succeed in converting any Danish magnate or any Danish king. The monk Ansgar was more lucky a few years later. He was named "the Apostel of the North" and he took over Ebo's missionary work. The first Danish king, who was baptized was Harald Klak. In 826 he was driven out of the land of the Danes by the Godfred-sons - and he arrived with his wife and a large entourage of 400 men, and they were all baptized. This happened at the castle Ingelheim at Mainz. The baptism abroad was a political action from Harald Klak to secure the help of the emperor Ludwig the Pious. In return Ludwig demanded Harald's son Godfred to stay as a hostage and a guarantee. Ansgar had to go with Harald Klak to Denmark. He was accompanied by his friend, the monk Authbert. They brought both church things and maybe a tintinnabulum in their luggage. 
In 827 Harald Klak had to escape southwards to his vasalry in Rüstringen in east Frisland between the rivers Ems and Weber, a county which was given to HK as a christening gift from the emperor. Ansgar and Authbert had to stay with Harald Klak and to follow him back to the Christian region. Here they bought children and established a Christian school for the boys, but only outside the land of the Danes. Brother Authbert got sick in 827, he went back to the kloster and died. In the same years delegates came from Svitjod (Sweden) to the emperor at the Reichstag in Worms. The delegates mentioned people in the northern part of Scandinavia who longed for a Christian worship.

Ansgar agreed to go to Sweden and was followed by a priest named Vitmar, while Harald Klak now had a priest called Gislemar. In 830 the travel began up to Birka in Sweden, but not on the usual and quick transit road west-east across Slesvig to Hedeby. This route was on the river Eider (called Fifeldor, later Egifor, Ægirs door, the sea god= the port of the sea) and up the side river Treene to Hollingsted with a reload to waggons and then a drive of 2 Danish miles (14 km) across land to the bottom of the Slien, in Hedeby was reloaded to ships and the sea travel to the east.

The Danish king Haarik I was Harald Klak's enemy, therefore Ansgar was not at all welcome to use the transit route across Slesvig to Hedeby. The ship had to sail around Jutland where it was attacked by Vikings on the halfway near the present Gøteborg. Ansgar and several others survived, they jumped overboard and swam to the coast. 40 books , all the luggage with the church things and the emperor's gifts were lost. If they had brought a bell and a tintinnabulum too they disappeared into the sea. Some of the merchants went back home, since they had lost their stocks, but Ansgar and Vitmar continued on foot through the land of the Goths, off and on taken onboard boats - in this way they crossed the big Swedish lakes. Finally they came to Birka where they were welcomed in a friendly way by king Björn. Birka was situated to the east on the birchtree-island Björkö. The trading town was at that time half the size of Hedeby. The king gave permission to the monks to preach and the king's friend and advisor, Herigar - who was the chief of Birka - was baptized and built a small wooden church by his farm.

Birka /museum)
Ansgar and Vitmar got in contact with several Christian prisoners who wanted to hear the evangelium. The prisoners were probably slaves from the southern regions since Birka was not at war with anyone, but the Vikings made a good profit by taking slaves on their lootings and transmit them to fx Byzans . Hedeby functioned as a transit harbour for this affair. Sweden or Svitjod meant at that time the region around Mälaren (near the later Stockholm). Ansgar and Vitmar stayed at Birka for 12 years and went back in the end of 831 with a runic letter, a message carved in a wooden stick from king Björn as a proof that they had accomplished something.

Ansgar was devoted to archbishop of the North in 831 with residence in Hamburg/ Hammaburg. He also got a kloster Turholt in Flandern as a refuge since Hedeby was dangerous place. At Turholt he established a boys' school for Normannic boys from the slave markets.There were peaceful times for a couple of years in Hamburg, but then a Danish fleet arrived to Frisland where they ravaged and looted the area and the town Dorestad each year. Haarik I Godfredsen (814-854) was king in Denmark, and he was not at all amused by the situation, so he was busy in sending messages to the emperor,ensuring him that he had nothing to do with these attacks. The exiled Harald Klak was - although christened - active in these loottings, and some of them probably came from the vasalry he had in east Frisland.

After the emperor's death in 840 the kingdom was divided in three parts, and the situation grew worse for Ansgar. His bishopric was by Ludwig the Pious' death now under king Ludwig the German as a part of east Franken. Ansgar's Turholt was now under Charles the Bald. Charles tried to befriend the very looting-active Regner Lodbrog (Reginar)by giving him Turholt. So Ansgar lost Turholt - and Reginar, who was not a friend of the Christians, closed the boy school and sent the boys out on field work. Ansgar's assisting monks left him and went home to old Corbien. Later Charles the Bald got angry with the uncontrollable Reginar and took back Turholt.

Emperor Lothar gave in 841 Harald Klak more land: Dorestad, the island Walkeren and the rest of Frisland as an attempt to stop the lootings which Harald did together with the Danish Vikings. In those years were many lootings - many klosters and churches were destroyed or exposed to ravage and many Christians were taken prisoners and sold as slaves.Ludwig the German went up to the other side of the Elben by the Abodrites to incorporate their country into his empire and to make them his taxpayers. This was too much for the Danish king Haarik I who considered both the Frisian and the Abodrites his taxpayers. He rearmed with 600 ships and sailed up the Elb to Hamburg which was plundered in 845. Ansgar's archbisopric was burnt down with the large "handwriting " library which Ludwig the Pious gave him. The Danes drove out Ansgar from the town, but a pious lady gave him the farm Ramsola ( about 30 km from Hamburg). In 847 Ansgar got instead the archbishopric Bremen which was put together with the rest of the archbishopric in Hamburg. After this Bremen- Hamburg was archbishopric in the North until 1104.

Regnar Lodbrog
One of the main persons behind the lootings was Regner Lodbrog. Historically speaking he returned home to king Haarik I's residence bragging with all the silver and gold he brought. Hearing this bragging were also Frankisch diplomats . The mightiest man in Saxony was their spoaksman. The presence of Franks by king Haarik indicated that they together with Haarik were clearing the outstandings with the Abodrites' tax and the burning of Hamburg. It seems however that the Viking, Regner Lodbrog was infected with a disease, many members from the expedition were also sick. According to the Franks Regner Lodbrog got a very unpleasant, but well-deserved death. King Haarik considered this a bad omen and took the opportunity to execute the Vikings who were not already dead from the disease. He released their Christian prisoners.

As the road was now cleared king Haarik sent for Ansgar and allowed him to build Denmark's first church and a house for the priest in Hedeby in 849. It was the first time in Denmark that Christianity was allowed in this way. There was however no permission for bell-ringing. In Hedeby was an active heathen opposition against Christianity, but Ansgar's church was built, and it was tolerated that the priests did missionary work, but Jarl Howi in the lead of the leading circles of the town forbid bell-ringing. Haarik shared in 830 the power with 2 nephews, but the Viking lootings went on. Ansgar visited often king Haarik in the king's last years.

replica, Viking church, Moesgaard, Aarhus/gb
In 854 came an army to Denmark led by Guttorm, possibly a nephew of Haarik. Almost the whole royal family and the nobility were killed in the 3 days long battle which followed. King Haarik I and Guttorm were killed - and a little boy was now king Haarik II. Jarl Howi and the leading circles in Hedeby took the opportunity and closed the church in Hedeby and drove out the priest. Denmark's first church was closed 5 years after the building. 

A messenger came in 855 from the new king Haarik II to Ansgar. Jarl Howi was thrown out of town. Ansgar went back to Hedeby ca. 856 and was welcomed by king Haarik. Christianity was again allowed, the church opened and the priest came back. Haarik gave permission to ring one bell in Hedeby. Ansgar got a piece of land in Ribe for the building of a new church and a house for a priest. The priest was allowed to do missionary work, but there was no permission for bell-ringing.

Ribe was founded between 704 and 710.

In general the mission tried to achieve allowance to build a church at places where Christian
Viking town/museum
merchants were, like in Hedeby and Birka. Hedeby was mentioned for the first time in 810; it was established as an international trading center. Hedeby and Birka were the largest cities in the Viking period and the most interesting areas for the mission. Birka was a fortified international trading center with own rights. It was situated inside Skærgården inside Mälaren, the fjord outside the present Stockholm and east of Björkö.

Ansgar sailed to Birka in 828 and went back to Saxony in 831. After Ansgar and Vitmar left Birka in 831, bishop Ebo sent a sister's son, bishop Gauthbert to Sweden together with the priest Nithard. Gauthbert was by Ebo equipped with everything for his important office, and there might have been bells in the luggage, according to information from the Fulda kloster.

In Sweden bishop Gauthbert was driven out of Birka by an exited crowd of people ab. 837-842. He might have bothered or purged the great heathen temple in Uppsala. His priest Nithard was killed. The expulsion of Gauthbert took place at the same time as king Haarik I's dissatisfaction with Ludwig the German's tax prints from the Abrodites and the retributive actions against Hamburg and its bishopric. Gauthbert became bishop in Osnabrück and did not go back to Sweden again. During the years 845-851 there was no priest in Sweden. After this pause of 7 years Ansgar sent in 851 a hermit Ardgar( or Hardegar) to Birka as a priest and to assist Heringar. When Heringar died in 851 the hermit went back home.

Ansgar went to Sweden in 852 together with the priest Frimbert (Erimebert), a nephew of Gauthbert and brother of the killed priest Nithard. They went together with a priest of Danish descent, Anfrid. Bishop Gauthbert was still missionary bishop in Sweden, a title he got from Ebo. This time the travel went via the transit route Hedeby and took only 20 days. The new Swedish king Olaf welcomed Ansgar in a friendly way; the king was baptized, and church and priest were allowed again. Ansgar went back home. Gauthbert's two delegates went back from Sweden 3-4 years later. Gauthbert died in 860. The next to be sent to Sweden by Ansgar was Ragebert, but he was attacked by Danish Viking pirates and died. A priest Rimbert of Danish descent was then sent to Sweden

In the northernest mission of Sweden - which probably was not a popular place of deployment - the mission died out with archbishop Unnes 17 september 936, and the land became heathen again. There was a pause of at least 100 years - and thereafter came the other competing Christian mission, the English missionaries and resumed the work. First of all Sct. Sigfrid who became bishop of Växjö.

The largest church bell in the world is the Zar bell, cast in 1733-35 in Moscow. It is now on exhinition at the Ivan Velikij bell tower in Kreml.It weighs 200 tons, is 14,6 m tall and with a biggest diameter of 6,6 m.

photo wikipedia
photo + text: grethe bachmann