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Sights on Møns klint

Møns Klint is a place of extremes. It is a wild, white world of chalk and raging natural forces. Adjacent to Møns Klint is Liselund Park - a fine example of man’s shaping of the landscape. Add to the mix the world's fastest animal, Denmark's largest selection of wild orchids and a forest with over 400-year-old beech trees; Møns Klint has it all.


1. Møns Klint

Møns Klint is part of the vast chalk bed upon which large parts of Denmark rest.

The chalk is made up of the skeletal remains of animals that lived about 70 million years ago. At that time, there was a tropical sea where Denmark is now. This sea was populated by microscopic algae with a skeletal structure made up of limestone plates, also known as coccoliths. When the algae died, the limestone plates settled on the seabed. Over millions of years a thick layer of chalk formed. Animals such as squids, sea urchins and mussels also lived in the sea. You may find fossilised remains of marine animals embedded in the chalk and lying on the beach, especially sea urchins and narrow, oblong stones called thunderstones. A thunderstone is part of the shell of a prehistoric squid.

The old seabed was raised vertically

After the Cretaceous Period, our planet went through a dramatic change. The continents rose from the sea and mountains were created. When the last ice age reached Denmark approximately 12,000 years ago, the thick layer of chalk had already risen above the surface of the sea. The enormous forces of the ice peeled flakes up to 50 metres thick off the old seabed and pushed them together. The result was Høje Møn. Black stripes of flint are visible in the chalk layers. They show how the layers were folded by the pressure of the ice. After the ice melted, landslides both large and small occurred over time, which have shaped the cliff we see today.

Denmark's highest cliff

Møns Klint is the highest cliff in Denmark. If you walk north along the trail from the parking lot at the GeoCenter, you will reach the highest point - Dronningestolen (“the Queen's Chair”). Here, the cliff forms an almost vertical 128-metre drop to the beach. Once, the edge was shaped like a chair. Legend has it that the wife of Klintekongen (“the Cliff King”) sat in it and looked for her husband when he was out on raids. According to popular belief, the Cliff King was Odin’s successor and ruled over Høje Møn. A camera is located at the Queen’s Chair, so you can enjoy the view on a screen inside the GeoCenter.

Read more about the Cliff King here

See the face of the Cliff King

200 metres further north you will find the fantastic viewpoint at Forchhammers Pynt. To the north, you can observe how the layers of flint were folded into the chalk as the ice pushed the cliff upwards. A little further ahead, you come to the face of the Cliff King. It is a 10-metre-tall profile in the cliff. You may climb the steps at Røde Udfald and walk back along the beach. Another way of viewing the cliff, both from above and from the beach, is by walking south from the GeoCenter. Here you pass the remains of Freuchens Pynt (“Freuchen’s Headland”), which fell into the sea in 1998. The headland is named after the famous arctic explorer Peter Freuchen, whose cousin was the priest of the local church.

Climb the longest staircase in Denmark and look for the peregrine falcon

At Sandfaldet and Sommerspirspynten, you may enjoy the view, the greatness and the silence. The headland Sommerspiret fell into the sea in 1988, but the place is still interesting. The peregrine falcons often sit here and watch for prey.

Grårygtrappen leads down to the beach, where you may walk back to Maglevandstrappen between flint pebbles, a selection of erratic boulders, fossils and sandy beaches. Note that the two stairs have 468 and 497 steps, respectively! Maglevandstrappen is the longest staircase in Denmark.

The cliff is alive – so use your common sense

The cliff is dynamic coastal nature which is influenced by wind and weather throughout the year. Rockslides occur when pieces or blocks of chalk loosen and fall. Or when large amounts of rainwater wash mud, clay and chalk into the sea. Both types of slides occur every year. The risk is greatest during winter and spring. Use your common sense - and enjoy a world-class natural phenomenon.

Remember that

  • all traffic in the area is at your own risk
  • barriers must be respected

It is prohibited and associated with danger to life and limbs to

  • climb the cliff outside stairs and trails
  • throw stones and other objects over the edge

 


2. GeoCenter Møns Klint

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At GeoCenter Møns Klint you may take an interactive journey some 70 million years back in time to the Cretaceous Period and meet the marvellous life that forms the base of Møns Klint. The journey begins at the bottom of the Cretaceous sea with sharks, octopuses, sea urchins and a 14-metre-long killer lizard. The time travelling continues through the Tertiary Period, when the continents were on the move. And during which a giant natural disaster wiped out two-thirds of all life on earth. The Quaternary Period was the epoch of the Ice Ages. On this leg of the journey, you may help to push the chalk strata in the same way that the ice did when creating Møns Klint.

In the section on the present day, you may become more aware of the unique natural heritage of Møns Klint. It is the place in Denmark where you can find the greatest number of rare animals and plants. At GeoCenter Møns Klint, you may experience some of these up close and test your knowledge and creativity in a variety of competitions and games.

GeoCenter Møns Klint was opened by Queen Margrethe in 2007. The Queen is also the patroness of the centre. GeoCenter Møns Klint is owned by a private, commercial foundation and provides nature and cultural services on behalf of the Danish Nature Agency. The wing-shaped building was designed by PLH Architects.

Read more about GeoCenter Møns Klint (in Danish)


3. Timmesø Bjerg

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On Timmesø Bjerg (“Timmesø Mountain”), you find some of the oldest beech trees in Denmark. Several are more than 400 years old. The leaves on some of the trees are more yellow than green. This is because they lack important nutrients such as iron and manganese. The layer of soil is very shallow, and the chalk is not far down. The chalk prevents the trees from absorbing iron. The forest at the top is natural forest and has been there for a long time. Here, nature is left to take care of itself.

However, Timmesø Bjerg also hides the remains of earthworks on the north and west side of the ‘mountain’. Recent studies indicate that, during the Bronze Age of approximately 800 – 500 BC, Timmesø Bjerg served as a refuge. The more than 100 burial mounds in Klinteskoven and the finding of burial sites in Brusende Haver on the south coast show that Møn was once a rich community. The Baltic Sea was a main thoroughfare, and when strange boats showed up out at sea, people on the eastern shore of Møn probably sought refuge on Timmesø Bjerg. The southern and eastern sides are so steep that it would not have been necessary to construct ramparts as a means of defence. Similar refuges are known from Sweden, Poland and the Baltic countries, amongst others.

Read more on Timmesø Bjerg (in Danish)


4. Liselund Slot and Park

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Liselund Park is Denmark's best-preserved, romantic garden. Its fairy-tale and landscaped nature forms a stark contrast to the wild nature of Møns Klint. In Liselund Park, nature is pure illusion. The style, which encompasses soft lines, lakes, streams, waterfalls, exotic trees and small buildings, was very popular in the late 1700s when Liselund was built.

The pleasure castle and the surrounding park were constructed by Antoine de Bosc de la Calmette as a pledge of love to his wife, Lisa. Calmette was born in Lisbon, where his father was a Dutch ambassador. Antoine came to Denmark with his parents when he was a child and, as an adult, he was received into the Danish nobility and given the title of Privy Council - the King's confidential adviser - and the county governor of Møn, amongst others. In 1784, he and his wife bought the property, which was named after Lisa.

Calmette was a skilled painter and illustrator and designed the layout of the garden himself. The two-story, thatched main building was completed in 1793. But Antoine and Lisa did not get to enjoy their pleasure castle for long. He died in 1803 and she followed suit two years later. Liselund was sold but the couple's daughter-in-law lived in the palace until her death in 1877. By then, she had long become a living legend because she was always dressed in white and mostly surrounded herself with white animals.

Liselund is managed by the National Museum of Denmark. Please take note of the signs with the code of conduct for the park.

Read more and download a leaflet about Liselund (in Danish)


5. Klintholm Gods and Klinteskoven

The estate Klintholm Gods has belonged to the Scavenius family since 1798. The present owner is the 7th generation on the estate and took it over in 2007. Møns Klint and the eastern part of the forest Klinteskoven belonged to Klintholm Gods until the area was sold to the state in 1980.

The estate operates within agriculture, forestry and tourism, including Camping Møns Klint, several restaurants and a supermarket.

In Klinteskoven, deciduous forest runs into coniferous forest and the forests offer great experiences with lakes and steep hills, rounded valleys and swamps. The rugged terrain continues to reveal new experiences and there are rich opportunities for studying both flora and bird life. In the area between Klintholm Gods and Havrelukke, there are more than 100 Bronze Age and Iron Age burial mounds. There are also traces of so-called high-backed fields – undulating lines in the forest floor created by the medieval farmer’s heavy wheel plough.

The part of Klinteskoven which is adjacent to the estate is private. However, you are free to roam here from 6 am until sunset as long as you keep to the roads and paths.

Read more on Klinteskov's burial mounds and other ancient monuments (in Danish)

Read more on Klintholm Gods (in Danish)


6. Høvblege

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At Høvblege south of Klinteskoven, you may find all of nine species of wild orchids and many other rare plants. They thrive here in the open, hilly terrain due to the high content of lime in the soil. On the sun-drenched southern slopes, the chalk is found all the way up at ground level. The soil is therefore unfit for cultivation and Høvblege has been an open pasture area for more than 100 years. Also, the butterfly known as large blue lives here - its only habitat in Denmark.

This type of landscape, called a common, is generally on the decline in Denmark. Høvblege and Jydelejet north of Klinteskoven are some of the finest examples we have. The areas are grazed by cattle belonging to the local grazing association.

Occasionally, however, people with machines are required partake in the care of the commons. In 2007-08, the Danish Nature Agency cleared larger commons of trees, shrubs and blackthorn bushes to lend a helping hand to the extraordinary plant and animal life. The project was supported by LIFE, the EU nature conservation programme.

Høvblege is a chalky hill crest with Kongsbjerg as the highest point, measuring in at 135 metres. From here, you have a formidable view of the Baltic Sea. From the top, you can also look down into Kongens Køkken and Slumrehule. These are the names of the two depressions south of Kongsbjerg. Here, according to legend, you can meet Klintekongen on horseback.

Høvblege and Mandemarke Bakker have been owned by the state since 1992.


7. Jydelejet and Havrelukke

Jydelejet north of Klinteskoven is a softly rounded valley that cuts through the landscape behind the cliff. Because of the area's abundance of rare plants and animals, it has been known and visited by botanists and zoologists for more than 100 years. For centuries, Jydelejet was used for grazing and, today, the area still looks just like the common portrayed by Danish, early-19th-century painters. Here, too, the chalk is found just below the soil and forms the basis for orchids like pyramidal orchid, white helleborine and royal helleborine. In 2007-08, areas of Jydelejet were cleared of trees and shrubs to preserve the special nature of the common. The project was supported by LIFE, the EU nature conservation programme. The journey through Jydelejet to the edge of the cliff is very beautiful. On the way, you will pass Møn's highest point Aborrebjerg, 143 metres above sea level. In clear weather, you can see from here all the way to Stevns in the north and Farøbroerne and Mønbroen to the west.

Journeying from Havrelukke through Grimsdalen to the cliff gives you a taste of everything that makes Møns Klint famous. There are commons with orchids, natural forest where insects, mosses and mushrooms thrive among the dead trees, the birds, the ancient monuments, and peace and quiet. Here, you may have the forest all to yourself. The journey leads to the coast at Sandskredsfaldet. The cliff is less steep here than in other places, but the view is good. And maybe you will see the peregrine falcon fly by.

On the way back, you pass Svantesestenen. According to legend, the large granite boulder ended up here because of a Swedish witch. She was angered by the advance of Christianity and actually aimed at the tower of Magleby Kirke. However, the stone rebounded and landed in the forest.