Ales Stones – a cultural narrative - Sweden’s best-preserved ship tumulus, made up of 59 standing stones, is located high up above the village of Kåseberga in Österlen. Who erected this megalithic monument around 1,400 years ago, and why?

Ales stenar
© Foto: Anders Hjemdahl
Ales Stones

In between the sky and the sea in the hills above Kåseberga, just east of Ystad, you'll find one of Sweden's most enigmatic sights; Ale Stones. Some believe that the 59 stones is a burial monument. Others claim that the stones has served as an ancient astronomical clock , as they are positioned so that the sun goes down at the northwestern stone in summer and rises exactly at the opposite stone in winter.

Cow at Alesstenar
Grazing cow at Ales Stones

However, there is consensus that the stone ship is the largest and best preserved in Sweden. The 59 stones are placed with the formation of a ship and is 67 meters long and 19 meters wide at its widest point. The monument is believed to be originated from the early Iron Age (500-1000 AD).

One thing is for sure: You can not help but feel the history when you are standing on the hill 37 meters above the roaring Baltic Sea, looking out over the monument. The historical uncertainty invites you to make up your own theory about why these stones were placed here over 1,000 years ago. Gaze out over the beautiful rolling landscape and the blue Baltic Sea, or look up at the sky , which is often full of paragliders, who benefit from the lift of the wind through the steep hills. 

Tip! End your day at Ale Stones by going down to the harbor in Kåseberga and taste the local herring from one of the many smokehouses.


Ales stenar
Cow peeking out behind Ales Stones


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