Lejre is a town with a population of 2,379 (1 January 2014) in Lejre Municipality (Danish, kommune) on the island of Zealand in east Denmark. It belongs to Region Sjælland. The town's Old Norse name was Hleiðra. The municipality has an area of 240 km² and a total population of ca. 26.989 (2014). Its mayor is Mette Touborg, representing the Socialist Peoples Party. The municipal seat is Kirke Hvalsø.
Lejre was the capital of an Iron Age kingdom, the Lejre Kingdom, which was, according to legend, ruled by kings of the Skjöldung dynasty; it is assumed to be the predecessor of medieval Denmark. The legends of the kings of Lejre were written down in the 12th century Chronicon Lethrense. Lejre is assumed to have been the location of Heorot, the royal hall mentioned in Beowulf and other myths set around the year 500. Archeological remains of large halls from this period have been found, as well as a sculpture supposed to depict Odin, known as the Odin from Lejre.
The municipality is home to the Land of legends (Sagnlandet Lejre), a center for experimental archaeology and education, which includes reconstructions and recreations from different periods of Denmark’s history— from pre-history to the Viking Age. The centerpiece of the facility is an Iron Age village reconstruction, complete with sacrificial bog. The center is open to the public.
Ledreborg Palace, 19th century drawing
- Land of legends (formerly Lejre Experimental Centre)
- Tadre Mølle (Old Watermill)
- Historical Reference from The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg, Chapter 17.