Guide to the Stones

Rolf Grankvist

The plaza at Shilshole consists of 14 basalt stones with runic-like art by Jay Haavik, who was inspired by the rune stones in Scandinavia from the 10th to the 12th centuries. Each stone in the plaza depicts a Viking-inspired motif, proceeding clockwise from the bow stone:
  1. The idea for the design came from the picture stones from Gotland Island, Sweden.
  2. Dragon motifs similar to those found outside the Urnes Stave Church, Urnes, Norway.
  3. A Bronze Age boat motif, also found on the picture stones from Gotland, Sweden.
  4. A biting snake motif often found on picture stones from Gotland, Sweden.
  5. A spiral whorl, possibly depicting the sun, with fighting horses is a familiar theme from the Gotland, Sweden stones.
  6. A dragonlike image often seen on weather vanes from the Viking era.
  7. The Urnes Stave Church, Urnes, Norway, has interior abatements with similar motifs.
  8. Harness mounts Jound in Sweden have similar animal or birdlike images.
  9. A dragonlike image similar to one on the west gable of the famous Urnes Stave Church is above, with the lion image below from the Stave Church portal.
  10. A dragonlike motif from the Viking era inspired by a paper-cut design by contemporary artist Rick James.
  11. Above are creatures from the Oseberg Viking Ship, now in the Viking Ship Museum, Oslo, Norway. The prow of the ship is below.
  12. A quatrefoil loop from a picture stone, Gotland, Sweden. This image is also the tourist information symbol in Norway.
  13. A dragonlike image with wings often seen on Norwegian stave church portals.
  14. An image of the famous Oseberg Viking ship and a motif from the interior of the Urnes Stave Church.