Exploring the Kingsroad

The Vang Rune Stone


Vangssteinen by Vang church is a rune stone from the early 1000s.

It is also partly a picture stone as it features extensive animal ornamentation.

Along its right side, the following is inscribed in Younger Futhark (short-twig runes):


In old Norse, this is:

Gása synir reistu stein þenna eptir Gunnar, bróðurson

Translated to modern English:

«Gåse’s sons erected this stone for Gunnar, (their) brother's son»

The picture features serpentine lines and leaves forming a cross, or maybe a stylized tree. At the top is a stylized lion-like creature. All the decorations are in classic Ringerike style.

Similar pictures have been found on part of a stone from Ål in Hallingdal.

Vangssteinen is often compared to the Jelling stones in Denmark on which some of the decorations are similar.

The stone is of schistous nature. It is irregular in shape, and is 2.15 m high, 1.25 m wide, and 8–13 cm thick.

The stone was standing outside Vang Stave Church until the 1840s. It was moved to its current location by Vang church when the stave church was demolished and taken to Karpacz in Poland.