nst.dk uses cookies to make the site simpler.Find out more about cookies

1. Ekkodalen

Ekkodalen is part of Bornholm's longest rift valley, which starts at Saltuna to the east and cuts through 12 kilometres of the countryside to Vallensgårds Mose (“Vallengård’s Bog”). In fact, however, it is even longer as its continuation can be measured underground all the way to Arnager in the west. It therefore cuts all the way across the island.

Ekkodalen is up to 70 metres wide and, at the northwest, it is bounded by up to 20-meter-high vertical rock walls, known as the steep slopes. On the steep slopes, you find a more than 200-year-old preserved forest of durmast oak. At the bottom of Ekkodalen, the brook Læsåen runs through the meadow known by the old name Eskeviske. The meadows are grazed by cattle to keep control of trees and underbrush, so that visitors may enjoy the spectacular rocky areas.

Ekkodalen is probably best known for its echo, which is caused by sound being reflected by the steep rock walls.

The best place to experience the echo of Ekkodalen is at the spring of H.C. Ørsted which is located a little way to left along the path from the parking lot at the old restaurant Ekkodalshuset, where you also find Cafe Genlyd (in Danish).

2. The spring of H.C. Ørsted

The spring of H.C. Ørsted is a natural spring, which was stone-lined by Hans Rømer, the creator of Almindingen, in memory of the famous physicist H.C. Ørsted, who visited Bornholm in 1818. The year-round water temperature is approximately 7-9 degrees. The water is clean and safe to drink.

3. Fuglsangsrenden

Fuglsangsrenden is a path leading along the Ekkodalen escarpment, which was created by water that has worn and eroded the cliffs since the ice age, which has formed today’s natural passage, albeit helped along by steps installed in several places. On the rock at the foot of the path, you find a memorial for a scout from Southern Jutland, Johannes V. Andersen, who fell to his death in 1947. A little further up is a memorial to Hans Rømer, who recreated Almindingen during the period 1800-1836. Rømer is remembered by a poem by Vilhelm Bergsøe carved into the escarpment. It says:

"Vildtet skabte han hjem og mennesket skygge
Tusinde sangfugle nu i hans højsale bygge
Døde natur, af ham fik du livet tilbage.
Hvo som af død skaber liv, kan døden ej tage."

Translated:

"He gave the game a home and gave people shade

A thousand songbirds now nest in his hall

Dead nature, he gave you back your life.

Whoever creates life from death, death cannot call."

Read more about Hans Rømer here (in Danish)

4. Dronningestenen and Loklippen

4

These are two nice viewpoints overlooking Vallensgårdsmose and southern Bornholm. At Loklippen you will find tables and benches.

5. Rytterknægten and kongemindet

5

Located at 162 metres above sea level, Rytterknægten is the highest point of Bornholm. In 1856, a stone-built lookout was installed on Rytterknægten to commemorate the visit by King Frederik the 7th of Denmark and Countess Danner five years previously. The memorial was funded by money collected from the population. The King and the Countess also participated in the inauguration of the lookout, which was named Kongemindet.

Gradually, the forest grew up around Kongemindet and the view disappeared. Then, in 1899, another lookout was added on top, this one constructed from steel. The two towers measure 22 metres in total, which means that when you stand at the top, you are 184 metres above sea level and, on a clear day, you can see most of Bornholm and Ertholmene as well as Skåne.

The stone lookout was designed by architect Gottlieb Bindesbøll, whose principal work is Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen. The steel tower was designed by his son Thorvald Bindesbøll.

6. Gamleborg

Gamleborg in Almindingen is the oldest castle of the kingdom on Bornholm, and the oldest known stone structure on the island. It is located on an inaccessible outcrop at the edge of Ekkodalen. The castle plateau is surrounded by sizeable ramparts and, around 1100 AD, the castle was further reinforced by a massive granite stone wall. The oldest findings linked to the castle date back to the 10th century, i.e. from the time of Gorm den Gamle and Harald Blåtand (Harald Bluetooth). The findings of many different types of objects suggest that, in the 11th and 12th century, the castle housed a permanent garrison.

We know from written sources that, in the year 890, Bornholm had its own king and that, at the time of Harald Blåtand (940 AD – 986 AD), the island was subject to Danish rule. However, whether Gamleborg was constructed by the Bornholm king, the Danish king or a third person we do not know.

In the middle of the 12th century, Gamleborg was abandoned, probably in favour of Lilleborg, which is located approximately 700 metres further to the north-west.

Read more on the castles here (in Danish)

7. Rømerminde

In memoriam of Hans Rømer, Forest Supervisor, who recreated Almindingen during the period 1800-1836. Rømer himself had the stone fence built and it formed the basis of his first plant nursery, which was founded in 1803. The white house opposite was also built by Rømer and was used as a tool house and for the storage of seeds and beech mast. The house is constructed from Lilleborg granite blocks.

When he started his work, Hans Rømer was not a popular man in Bornholm. The peasants were dissatisfied with Rømer's stone fences, which put an end to the common right of usage that had been customary since the Middle Ages. This meant that the peasants could no longer put out their horses and cows to grass in the summer nor let their pigs eat acorn and beech mast in the autumn.

Over time, however, the forest grew on the islanders and, in 1893, "a grateful posterity" erected a granite obelisk adorned with a bronze portrait of Rømer. The obelisk is located in his old plant nursery. Its inscription says:

Hans Rømer Skovrider i Almindingen 1800-1836
En taknemmelig Efterslægt rejste dette Minde 1893
Med Dygtighed og stor Udholdenhed forenede han den varmeste Kjærlighed til den Virksomhed, han var kaldet til, og skabte derved denne herlige Skov .

Translation:

Hans Rømer, Forest Supervisor of Almindingen, 1800-1836

A grateful Posterity erected this Monument in 1893

With Skill and great Stamina, he dedicated the warmest Love to the Work, to which he was called, and thus created this lovely Forest.

Read more on Hans Rømer here (in Danish)

8. Hallebakken

The area between Rømersminde and Christianshøj is called Hallebakken. This area was part of the only 165 hectares of remaining when Hans Rømer, Forest Supervisor, took up office in the year 1800. The forest then consisted of hornbeam copses and bushy, knotted oak forest. Together with Jomfrubjerget and the area around Christianshøj, Hallebakken is the oldest forest of Almindingen.

9. Christianshøj

9

Christianshøj was named in memory of a royal event, namely the visit of Prince Christian Frederik, later known as Christian the 8th, to Bornholm in 1824. On that occasion, a public celebration was arranged in the forest. It was a big event, as Bornholm had not received a royal visit since 1686, when Christian the 5th initiated the newly-constructed fortress on Christiansø.

Reportedly, 10,000 people, or half of the island's population, took part in the celebrations.

For the occasion, Hans Rømer, Forest Supervisor, built a wooden pavilion. This was later replaced by a stone-built forest dwelling, which today forms part of the inn Christianshøjkroen.

The following year, Prinsestøtten, a memorial to the occasion was erected and the area changed its name to Christianshøj.

The many big oak trees on Christianshøj are the oldest trees in Almindingen. When, in 2009, one had to be felled for reasons of safety, its growth rings showed that the tree was more than 400 years old.

10. Jomfrubjerget

10

Jomfrubjerget is one of the highest points of Almindingen and is located right in the centre of Bornholm. It is a popular attraction with both evening sun and a beautiful view of Åremyr, which you can enjoy from benches and tables installed there while baking stockbrood over a bonfire.

In 1891, when Bornholm was on the cusp of becoming a tourist attraction, a magnificent summer hotel was built on the flat plateau at the top of the hill. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1974.

The only remnants of the original forest of Almindingen are found on Jomfrubjerget, in the area around Christianshøj, and on Hallebakken.

11. Lilleborg

Lilleborg is one of the oldest royal medieval castles in Denmark. It was probably constructed by the Danish king Svend Grathe around 1150.

There are no written references to Lilleborg at that time, however, findings at the site show that the castle served as a military facility, an administrative centre and as the residence of the king's bailiff and his family and servants. A relatively large number of keys and parts of locks indicate that the castle has housed a lot of valuables ​​that were locked away in the chests or secured away behind the gates of the castle. Some of these valuables might well have been taxes collected.

When the castle was built on top of the 16-metre-high escarpment, it was surrounded by water. It was built as a ring fortress, which means that a circular wall surrounded the courtyard, which contained different buildings for living and working. Outside the circular wall was what was known as a barnyard; a breeding farm housing the livestock and agricultural tools and products.

Lilleborg was destroyed and set afire in 1259 by the archbishop of Lund.

12. Rokkestenen

12

Rokkestenen is a large erratic boulder, which was left by the ice around 10,000 years ago. Legend has it that it rests on a diamond, which is why it rocks. The other large erratic boulder, Munken, which is found on Rokkestensvejen, does not rock. There are several beautiful woodland lakes in the area around Rokkestenen, including Kohullet with its crystal-clear waters and Puggekullekær. “Pugge” in “Puggekullekær” probably originally refers to the term a “puge”, which means “troll” in the distinct Bornholm dialect. “Kulle” is a “hill” or a “flat rock face” (and “kær” is the Danish word for “pond”). Therefore, “Puggekullekær” means something along the lines of “the pond at the troll’s hill".

13. The Arboretum

Segen Arboretum is a garden of forest botany, a collection of trees, in this case over 100 different species. The Arboretum was founded in the 1930s by Valdemar Sejer, Forest Ranger. His idea was to create a collection of trees and shrubs growing on the 55th latitude, which is the latitude of Bornholm. At the same time the bushes and trees were non-native to Bornholm. After Sejer’s involvement ended, the Arboretum was allowed to fall into decay; however, in the 1980s, it was renovated and expanded to include trees from primarily North America and Asia. The North American trees were planted in the northern part of the garden, and the Asian, especially the Japanese and Korean, were planted in the southern part. Today, illustrations describing select trees have been put up.

The Arboretum features three marked routes: The red route takes you through the original smaller part of the Arboretum. Here, you sense Sejer’s original idea, although most of the trees and shrubs, which were then uncommon, are available from your local nursery garden today. The blue route takes you through the entire Arboretum and may be completed in about fifteen minutes.

14. Orkanskoven

Orkanskoven_Almindingen_22-2-2015_2_foto Michael Stoltze.JPG

On 17 and 18 October 1967, a heavy storm hit Bornholm. It reached full hurricane strength and caused massive damage. In Almindingen, over 20,000 trees were knocked over, a total of almost 90,000 cubic metres of wood. Many were beech as, at that time of the year, the beeches had not yet lost their leaves and were therefore easy targets of the wind.

Most of the wood was removed from the forest and cut up. However, as an experiment, in this small 3½-hectare area of Almindingen, the fallen beeches were left.

Although the beeches have been lying down since then, most are still alive. They have formed new trunks and the horizontal trees look like boats with a lot of masts. The trunks of many of the living, fallen trees very slowly decompose from the top. They look like long, narrow canoes. As the hurricane tore the trees up roots and all, the floor of the forest is full of large clumps of roots with soil and stones and corresponding hollows. Between the big beeches, of which only a few are still standing, a significant number of birch trees have sprouted and grown since 1967. You will also see some willows, alder, ash and cherry.

Read more on Orkanskoven (in Danish)

15. Røsegravfelt

Røsegravfelt consists of two major stone-supported burial mounds and about 60 smaller mounds of stone as well as a few menhirs. The stone mounds originate from the late Bronze Age and the early Iron Age (700-200 BC). Studies conducted in 1880 showed that the tombs were poor and consisted of only bone remnants and broken pottery.

Put simply, the stone mounds are piles of stone, which have served as small tombs in connection with funerals.

Other stone mounds are simply collections of stones from the fields, which arose when the ancient farmers cleared the ground and prepared it for cultivation. Such stone mounds are called clearance mounds. In Denmark, these stone mounds are particularly prevalent in Bornholm. Røsegravfelt is the best kept one in Bornholm.

16. Udkæret

16

Udkæret, just south of Almindingen, is one of Bornholm's finest bird sanctuaries. During the migrations periods of spring and autumn, Udkæret is a resting- and feeding site for many waterfowls and waders. In winter, it is a good place to spot birds of prey. Both migratory sea eagles and ospreys are frequent guests along with local birds, such as marsh harriers and peregrine falcons.

Udkæret is an old wetland area, which was once drained and reclaimed for agriculture. However, around the millennium the drains were stopped and water was allowed to reclaim the land.

On warm evenings in May, Udkæret resounds of the croaking of hundreds of frogs and, in the April and September twilights, large numbers of bats may be seen.

There is a bird-watching tower overlooking Udkæret, which is accessed via the driveway to the private campsite Gulbakkehave.

17. Koldekilde

Koldekilde is a natural spring. The water temperature is always around 7-9 degrees, it is clean and safe to drink. Koldekilde is one of the island's ancient holy springs. In the past, people gathered at the spring at the midsummer celebration of Saint Hans to drink the water, which old records describe as "very sweet and clean". According to popular belief, the water from holy springs was healing and especially at midsummer. The belief in holy springs is traceable to pagan times, however, we do not know how long Koldekilde has been considered a holy spring.

However, we do know that it was in use for a long time: as late as 1815, at midsummer, Koldekilde was covered by an arbour made from fresh green branches. A record from that time states that a lot of people were gathered around the spring. Some walked in the woods, others sat around their picnic baskets. Still others listened to flute music, while some gathered at the wagons that sold brandy.

From the mid-1850s, the newly established Bornholms Landøkonomiske Forening (Ed: The Association of Bornholm Farmers) held a country show in the area around the spring, but eventually space became too limited, and the country show was moved to Hareløkkerne.

18. Rømersdal

18

Rømersdal is the name of the 200-year-old forest supervisor’s residence situated in Ekkodalen. The farm was built by Hans Rømer, who also named it after himself.

Rømer bought the property in 1803. At that time, it was a mud-walled thatched hut with various extensions called Eskeviske, named after the meadows at the bottom of Ekkodalen. Rømer tore down the buildings one at a time and built a new instead.

Today, Rømersdal is the home of the island's Resident Forest Superintendent as well as the seat of the Bornholm administration of the Danish Nature Agency.

19. Christianshøj Trinbræt

19

Christianshøj Trinbræt is situated in the T-junction, where Almindingsvej meets Segenvej, and is a memorial of the time when Bornholm had railways. The red wooden building was designed by the architects Kay Fisker and Aage Rafn.

Skovtursbanen, as it was first named, between Åkirkeby and Ekkodalen was opened in 1901, the year after the first Bornholm railway between Rønne and Nexø had been put into operation. Skovtursbanen operated five daily departures during the summer. In 1916, the railway line was extended to a terminal station in Gudhjem. From then on, the train operated throughout the year.

The railway line was decommissioned in 1952 and, in 1968, the Rønne-Nexø line was also decommissioned.

Christianshøj Trinbræt was left in place and, today, it contains a small exhibition on railway services and Almindingen.

20. Hareløkkerne

Hareløkkerne is the name of the parcels of land that once belonged to a forest ranger named Hare. In the middle of the 19th century, part of the area was made a country showground, which remained in use until 2012 when the last country show was held.

In 1960, a racing track was constructed. More than 10,000 guests attended the first race, and horse racing is still popular in Bornholm. Racing takes place from April to October.

Opposite the racing track, you find Almindingen’s fenced dog play area as well as a nature playground.

21. The nature playground

The nature playground in Hareløkkerne is suitable for toddlers and older children. Toddlers can play in a "playpen area" lined with wood chips and featuring a mud kitchen. For the slightly older children, there is a balance course and the climbing frame, "Lindormen". There is also a music area, open lawns, swings, and two bonfire- and picnic areas: the bonfire-tipi and the bonfire-hut.

Behind the playground, you find Musestien, a path with carved wooden figures, suitable for children aged 3 and over accompanied by an adult. Using the links below, you may listen to the story of Mark-the-Mouse on your smartphone and walk the path with him (in Danish).

The mouse Cave

The Mouse

The Nuts

The Cones

The Buzzard

The Snake

The Owl

The Cat

The Squirrel

The installations along the path may also be experienced and played with without the use of a smartphone.

22. Bastemose

Bastemose is the largest bog in Almindingen. It is also the one richest in species, in terms of both birds, plants and insects. The nature of Bastemose may be experienced from a bird-watching tower and from a walkway over the waters of the bog.

From the bird-watching tower you may experience a multitude of birds, including cranes, marsh harriers, grey geese and mallards. One may also be so lucky as to spot ospreys and sea eagles, which are regularly spotted in the bog.

Read more about the birds in Bastemose

On the walkway you may get really close to the flora and fauna of the lake. The swans and their grey cygnets often feed close to the walkway, and you may experience hobbies and red-footed falcons hunt dragonflies in the air in May-June and hear the deep, hollow calls of the bittern in the forest of reeds. Close to the walkway, you will see patches of water lilies, water soldiers, horsetails and the beautiful bogbean, which sports large red and white flowers in May. The walkway is one of the best places in Denmark for spotting dragonflies - both the large mosaic dragonflies and the smaller, blue, red and metallic-green damselflies. The larvae of the protected and rare green mosaic dragonfly are specialised at living between the leaves of the water soldiers and are quite numerous here. At the bottom of the shallow waters, you find great numbers of the larvae of the largest caddis fly in Denmark - the large integripalpian caddis fly. The larvae build their up to 7-centimetre-long houses of pieces of leaves, which they chew off dead reed leaves lying in the water. This is the reason for there being holes in the leaves in the spring.

You may access the bird-watching tower and the walkway from the parking lot at Segenvej.

Bastemose was named after the bast fibre of the linden tree, which was an indispensable household item in the past. For the same reason, the forest area, in which the bog is located, is called Lindesbjerg.

23. Enebærskoven

Enebærskoven is a small part of Almindingen, which was never planted. In other words, the area looks pretty much like the time when Almindingen was a moor, and was grazed down by the farmers' livestock every summer.

As the name suggests, Enebærskoven (“Juniper Forest”) is dominated by common juniper; however, you will also find self-seeded birch trees, aspen, Scotch pine and, of course, heather.

Today, sheep also graze in Enebærskoven. In this way, the original character of the landscape is preserved, as an illustration of how the entire moor and, thus, Almindingen looked from the Middle Ages until the beginning of the 19th century when the forest was planted.

24. The Bison Forest

In Svinemosen, you will find European bison, also known as wisents. The animals are fenced in but roam an area of about 200 hectares.

The bison herd of six cows and one bull arrived at Almindingen from Poland in June 2012. Already the year after, the first calf was born and, since then, the herd has grown by the year. The bison fill a nature vacancy, as Bornholm is not home to any large animals, such as red deer, wild boars or beavers which, through their behaviour, create open areas in the forest.

The influence of the large animals on the forest maintains a forest with different trees, varying in age and size, and contributes to the creation of natural habitats that have virtually disappeared from Danish forests. Natural habitats that are the home to a significant number of both herbs and species of insects that would otherwise not survive.

Bornholm was chosen to be the home of the animals as part of a conservation project for the European bison. After World War I, this species was virtually eradicated and there were no wild bison left in Europe. However, 54 animals were living in captivity. These 54 animals have today grown to more than 4,000, including the ones living here in Bornholm.

Bison are usually not dangerous; however, it is recommended to keep a distance of at least 100 metres to avoid dangerous situations. It should be noted that female bison with new-born calves are significantly more aggressive than usual.

Visitors are requested to stay on the paved and gravelled paths and the marked routes. Dogs may be walked but must, naturally, be kept on their leash.

It is possible to visit the bison forest by car as cattle grids are installed at both ends of Chr. X's Vej.

In the bison enclosure, you also find Svinemosen, which is a nice bird sanctuary with, amongst others, breeding cranes. You will find a bird-watching tower just where the road reaches the bog. In 2013, the road was named Prinsgemalens Vej (“The Prince Consort’s Road”) and two benches were set up with a view of the bog. They are called Prinsgemalens Bænke (“The benches of the Prince Consort”). For the past 40 years, Prince Henrik has visited Bornholm for the spring buck hunt, and he is particularly fond of Svinemosen.