Vitlycke Rock Carvings, Tanumshede
The rock carvings at Vitlycke are among the best known in Sweden, and attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world every year. People began making the carvings here in the late Bronze Age, about 1800 B.C. Over the following centuries, people returned to create new carvings on this religious site, and the last carvings were made just before the birth of Christ.
The best known of the pictures is that of the bridal couple in the upper part of the rock face. The scene depicts the holy wedding, or an intercourse between the god of fertility and a woman, and its purpose is to safeguard fertility for man and animals. This ritual was probably carried out every year around 1st May, with cult priests and priestesses replacing the gods.
Altogheter there are close to 500 figures on the panel. The most predominant are figures of ships, which were perhaps a symbol of the journey to the kingdom of death, or even a symbol of power- since the ships carried the imported bronze artifacts that gave status and prestige to the chieftans and their families.
By following the marked paths, you can reach a number of smaller carved rock faces that are painted and signboarded. One of the paths leads up to the summit were you will find tow huge Bronze Age cairns, and from were there is a fine view over the Tanum plain.
Vitlycke museum is open:
May - August Mon - Sun 10 am - 6 pm
September Mon - Sun 10 am - 4 pm
1 Oct -3 nov Tuesday - Sunday 11 am - 4 pm
Other times: pre-booked arrangements.
E6: Road 163 to Tanumshede. At the church turn right and then left signpost to Vitlycke museum. Drive 2 km, Vitlycke museum on the left side, rock carvings on the right.