History - Himmelbjerget and Slåensø


A look in the rear-view mirror: geology and history

300,000 are hardly mistaken. This is the annual number of visitors to Himmelbjerget and the surrounding area. No-one any longer believe - as was the case well into the 1800s until the nationwide survey of heights in 1847 - that Himmelbjerget is the country's highest point. Consequently, the large number of visitors must be due to something completely different, namely that Søhøjlandet is something special. The reason is its geological past.

Søhøjlandet is intersected by two major east-westerly valleys: in the south Mossø-Salten Langsødalen, and in the north Ravnsø-Knudsø-Julsø-Borre Sø-dalen. The subglacial stream trenches were probably formed before the ice ages along cracks deep in the underground. During the ice ages, the valleys became guidelines for both the glaciers and the meltwater, creating the flat plains at the bottom and cutting the steep slopes we now experience as hillsides. But at the same time the valleys were partially filled, fortunately, however, no more than there being sufficient depth for large lakes, and this is, in fact, Denmark's largest continuous freshwater area. The ice melted away and left the steep and bare sides of the valleys. Erosion by rainwater led to gorges being formed, resulting in the very hilly terrain of Himmelbjerget as well as Slåensø and Borre Sø. The hills now known as Himmelbjerget, Bines Kol, Skriver Kol, Kongestolen, H. C. Andersens Høj and Åsen are all so-called fake hills (Old Danish: "kol"). The geological term means that the hills were formed by the surrounding material being eroded. For example, Himmelbjerget does not look particularly tall when you arrive from the south.


Søjhøjlandet included in the Danish nature canon

Below is the committee's reason for selecting the area:

"Søhøjlandet in Central Jutland is a large and varied ice-age landscape comprising the country's highest hills and a whole network of valleys, amongst others, the valleys of Gudenåen. The history of the formation of the landscape is complex and has resulted in the high hills, chains of lakes, kettle holes, deep valleys and terraces with meltwater sand. After the last ice melted, Gudenåen has cut deep into the terrain. The waterways contain a rich plant and animal life, including green drakes, mayflies, edible frogs and otters. The sprawling forests of Søhøjlandet contain areas of natural forest and is the home to, amongst others, black woodpeckers and red deer. There are many fine commons and inland moors ... "

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