Hammershus, situated on the northern tip of Bornholm (called Hammeren), is Northern Europe’s largest medieval castle/fortification. The ruins are situated 74 meters (243 ft) above the Baltic Sea. Historians think the castle was built at the beginning of the 13th century as a royal residence for Vlademar II of Denmark and a base for the Danish crusades.

The fortification consists of the base castle residence and accompanying Mantel Tower, and includes a great stonewall stretching 750 metres (2,460 ft) around the castle grounds.

 Hammershus has a long history of power struggles, taken by Lübeck in 1521, Sweden in 1648, and recaptured by Denmark that same year. In addition to power struggles, Hammershus also served as a prison on several occasions. Hammeren, one of the highest points on Bornholm, offers stunning views of the Baltic Sea.

After your tour, stop in the cafe for locally made Bornholm soft ice! Also, entry into Hammershus is free.


Bornholm, Denmark

Bornholm is a small Danish island located off the southern coast of Sweden. Called  “Solskins Øen” in Danish (the sunny island) Bornholm is a popular tourist spot for Danes, Germans, and Swedes. The island is accessible by ferry and plane, although since Cimber Airlines went bankrupt most people opt for the ferry. Find information about train and ferry travel here.

We caught the train from Copenhagen central station to Ystad, Sweden, about a five minute walk from the train is the ferry terminal. The whole trip takes about 3 hours, and it’s a beautiful journey through the southern Swedish countryside and then onto the ferry bound for Rønne, Bornholm. After docking in Rønne, most people travel to the smaller villages of Svaneke, Gudhjem, Allinge and Nexø.

In addition to beaches and bicycling, Bornholm is known for high quality seafood and smokehouses, called røgeri in Danish. Every village has at least one røgeri, which are easy to spot with their tall chimney’s and the smokehouse scent drifting through the air. The photos above are show the village of Allinge and Allinge Røgeri.

Ekkodalen or Echo Valley, is Denmark’s longest rift, stretching 12 kilometers from Vallensgård Mose to Salutana on the Northeast coast of Bornholm. Cows have grazed here since the royal edict of 1658, which gave peasants permission to use the land free of charge.

Stay tuned for another post about Bornholm’s historic round churches and the 13th century castle Hammershus!

Fælledparken Skatepark

Fælledparken, located in the Østerbro neighborhood of Copenhagen, is undergoing a major renovation thanks to a 154 million kroner ($ 27,000,000.00) donation from the AP Møller Foundation. Fælledparken is one of the larger parks in Copenhagen and is known for its wide open space, perfect for playing soccer, frisbee, grilling, etc.

One of my favorite features of the renovation is the new skatepark, designed by Nordarch. The skatepark is one of the largest in Northern Europe and fits beautifully into the landscape. Skateboarders have a difficult time finding space to practice, and the city of Copenhagen has created a top-notch skatepark for them to enjoy.

Constructed in concrete with a total of 55,000 square feet/ 4,600 square meters, the skatepark contains street areas, bowl areas, a vert ramp and a large seating/hang out area for spectators and visitors. Skateboarders seem to enjoy the park, every time I pass buy it’s buzzing with activity.

To see concept, construction, and completion photos visit the Nordarch website.

Address: Fælledparken, Edel Sauntes Allé, København, Denmark

whisk me away

Today I stopped in the lovely Normann Copenhagen Flagship store on Østerbrogade. If you are traveling to Copenhagen you must stop by; the shop is filled with marvelous products from both well known and new designers. My favorite thing about Normann Copenhagen is they change the window display every day which is a treat for the eyes!

My favorite product in Normann Copenhagen is Beater, a collapsable space-saving whisk in an array of colors by German design trio Ding3000. If you are in the market for a new whisk consider this one. Check out Normann Copenhagen’s website here.