History - Møns Klint

The foundation of the cliff was laid by algae at the bottom of the sea some 70 million years ago. The steep walls of chalk were then formed by the ice and High Møn was created. And great natural forces still rebuild the cliff. The most recent rockslide occurred in 2007 when Store Taler crashed into the ocean.

Høje Møn rests on the remains of a tropical ocean

The foundation of Møns Klint was laid in the sea some 70 million years ago. At that time, there was a tropical sea where Denmark is today. The sea was populated by algae with a skeleton made from limestone plates. When the algae died, the limestone plates settled on the seabed where a thick layer of chalk formed in the course of millions of years.

The cliff was peeled, bent and folded by the ice age glaciers

Since then, dramatic changes occurred in the appearance of our planet. The continents rose, and mountains were created. The old seabed of chalk had risen above sea level when the last ice age reached Denmark some 12,000 years ago. The ice peeled huge flakes off the old seabed. The flakes were up to 50 metres thick and were bent, folded and pushed together by a huge pileup. This was how Høje Møn came to be.

Many burial mounds from the Bronze Age in Klinteskoven

Man settled early on Møn. In Klinteskoven, in the area between Klintholm and Havrelukke, more than 100 burial mounds have been found, which were constructed during an 1,800-year period. Most are from the Bronze Age, but there are also remains of an oblong mound from the Neolithic period. So-called high-backed fields showing traces of the ploughs of the medieval farmers provide additional proof of early settlements.

People sought refuge on Timmesø Bjerg

Because of the terrain and the unobstructed view of the sea, Høje Møn was a great place to seek refuge in troubled times. At the top of Timmesø Bjerg, you find the remains of a refuge surrounded by steep slopes and ramparts. The stronghold dates from the Bronze Age, approximately 800 - 500 BC, but the mound was used as a gathering place already during the Neolithic period, i.e. at approximately 3,000 BC. During an excavation in 1946, the National Museum of Denmark found traces of palisades on the top rampart. Also, ammunition - in the form of stones the size of a hand or the head of a child - were kept on the ready.

The king pledged Møn to a wealthy Dutchman

Through the Middle Ages, Møn was owned by several noble families whose property was since gradually taken over by the Crown. From 1631 onwards, the King was the only landowner on Møn, which led to the island suffering some turbulent years. For 20 years, it was thus pledged to a wealthy Dutchman. Later, Møn was used as a quarter of the Royal Mounted Guards.

The scavenius family takes over Klintholm Gods and Møns Klint

In 1769, the lands of Møn were divided into five estates and sold. One of the five estates was Klintholm Gods which, in 1774, came into the ownership of a merchant from Stubbekøbing. He put the first buildings on the property. The name Klintholm also originates from that time. However, the merchant did not get much pleasure from the property. He died in 1797 and, the following year, his widow sold everything, including Møns Klint, to Jacob Brønnum Scavenius.

Høje Møn was designated an area of outstanding beauty in 1983

Klintholm Gods still belongs to the Scavenius family, who originally owned the cliff. In 1980, however, after a case on the issue of preservation and long-term negotiations, it was decided to sell Møns Klint together with a slice of Klinteskoven, Jydelejet and Høvblege, a total of approximately 440 hectares, to the state. The entire cliff and the natural areas behind it were designated an area of outstanding beauty in 1983.

Read more on Klintholm Gods (in Danish)

GeoCenter Møns Klint provides information on nature

In 2007, GeoCenter Møns Klint, which is constructed on the cliff’s edge, opened. The centre, which is owned by a private foundation, provides information on the nature of Møns Klint on behalf of the Danish Nature Agency. The activities of the centre take place both indoors in the large exhibition and in the form of guided tours on and around the cliff.

The sea eats away at Møns Klint

Høje Møn and the cliff, especially, are under constant transformation. Here, the forces of nature never rest and slides constantly change the appearance of the cliff. On average, approximately 2-4 cm of the cliff disappears each year. With that development, all of Høje Møn will have been eroded in some 50,000 years.

The rockslides occur with great force

Some changes occur suddenly and cause severe changes to the coastline. In 1905, one-third of Liselund Park, some 40,000 sqm slid into the sea, and great cultural values ​​were lost. Sommerspiret, which was a favourite motif of the Danish painters of the early 19th century and which, for generations, had been regarded as the landmark of the cliff, disappeared in 1988. In 1994, a rockslide near Dronningestolen meant the loss of a French tourist’s life as she walked on the beach just as the cliff slid. One of the biggest slides in recent times occurred in 2007, when Store Taler with up to 500,000 cubic metres of chalk, clay and soil together with approximately 100 beech trees pounded 300 metres into the Baltic Sea.

Today, the Nature Agency manages approximately 540 hectares of forests, bogs and other nature areas at Høje Møn.

About the name

The name Møn or Møen was recorded for the first time in 1135. The name probably originates from the old Danish word 'mo', which means the existence of chalk.