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 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!
I grew up in Nashville, TN, home to a great farmers market and not far from the countryside. As a child my mother used to take us to a roadside farm stand on highway 100, where we bought seasonal, local produce. Not sure if it’s still there, but I hope so!
Here in Denmark, farming is still a big part of life, and roadside stands are very common. The stands come in all shapes and sizes, and in the summer you will find, potatoes, strawberries, peas, flowers, honey and handmade crafts. However, one quality sets these roadside stands apart from their American counterparts – Trust – no one works the stands, just drop your payment in the locked metal box. It’s refreshing to see honesty and trust still exist, and hopefully no one takes advantage of it.