Was an article in a Norwegian newspaper today about what I believe is the last Norwegian king to attempt a foreign invasion, namely the invasion of Harald Hardrada of England in 1066. (Hardrada means ‘hard ruler’) as his rule was supposed to have been very harsh.
The story of Haralad Hardrada has always facinated my as he played a part on my important events in Norwegian history, like participating in the battle of Stiklestad in 1030. This battle is famous in Norwegian history as it was the battle which basically turned Norway into a Christian country, even though the army fighting to keep the faith in the Norse gods won the battle and managed to kill the king later known as Olav the Holy.
In 1034 Harald Hardrada had travelled to Constantinopel and took service for the Byzantin emperor, which was where he gained his battle experience and wealth. In 1045 he returned to Norway and became co-ruler for a year, before gaining sole kingship. Harald Hardrade is also known as the founder of Oslo, which is today the capital of Norway, which is why a
statue of him decorate the city hall.
Anyway the story in today’s paper was about the Battle of Fulford which I had to admit I didn’t know about. The battle of Fulford preceded the more famous (and for Harald Hardrade final battle of Stamford bridge. The battle of Stamford bridge preceding of course the even more famous battle at Hastings in which Harald Godwinson (the then king of England) was beaten by William the Conqueror.
It seems the battleside of the battle of Fulford is actually preserved today in a condition almost identical to the one of 1066, with an english society working to have it preserved as there is a recent effort to build a road and housing over the site.
So if you are in that area lend your support to the Battle of Fullford group :)