1. Hammerknuden

Hammerknuden or just "Hammeren" is a giant piece of granite bedrock that forms the north western tip of Bornholm.

It rises to 82 meters above sea leve at the highest point at the lighthouse Hammer Fyr (in Danish).

Hammerknuden was formed by glaciers during the ice age. The glaciers moved in from north east to south west and wore down the rocks resulting in a gently rising coastline with skerries to the north and east. To the west where the rock was sheltered from the moving ice only the sea have eroded the rocks. Here the granite rises steeply and provides a good nesting area for numerous sea birds. In many places the rock surface still show the scars from glacial abrasion in the form of long lines.

Where the soil is thin above the bedrock and water is sparse you will see rocky heath with heather, crowberries, juniper and common broom. In other places mixed forest, wet heath and lush valleys can be found. These varied habitats in such a limited area results in a great variety of plant and animal species.

Human activity have marked Hammeren through centuries. The most visible signs of this are the ruins of the church Salomons Kapel (in Danish) as well as the two lighthouses and several quarries.

Hammerknuden is separated from the rest of Bornholm by a rift valley. Bornholms largest lake Hammersø (in Danish) is situated in the bottom of this valley.

There are numerous footpaths on Hammeren. One popular hike follows the marked path along the coast and back via Hammersø.


2. Hammer Fyr lighthouse

Hammerfyr is situated at the highest point on Hammerknuden, 82 meters above sea level. Adjacent to the lighthouse you find the lighthouse keepers house and lodgings for asistant light keepers. The lighthouse was built in 1872 from local granite and guided the ships on the Baltic Sea until 1990 when it was decommissioned. The lighthouse now belongs to the Danish Nature Agency and is accessible to the public when weather permits.


3. Krystalsøen

Krystalsøen (The Crystal Lake) is a small lake situated on a high plateau in an old quarry. The quarry used to be called Sibirien (Siberia) due to the barren, cold and windy conditions experienced in the winter. This is the oldest quarry on Hammerknuden. Quarrying began in 1872 to supply stones for Hammer Fyret lighthouse. From the plateau there is a great view over the lakes Opalsøen and Hammersøen as well as Sandvig and the surrounding landscape.


4. Opalsøen

Opalsøen (The Opal Lake) was created by the quarrying activities and shows how big this industry used to be. The nearby harbour Hammerhavn was built in 1891-92 and was used to ship the stones. The quarry employed hundreds of men and the whole area between the quarry and the harbour was occupied by buildings for administration, steamworks and smithies. The granite was transported to the harbour via minecarts and broken down to cobblestones and chippings before being shipped off. The quarry was active from the 1880s and until 1970 where the industry ceased due to conservation efforts. Now the old quarry functions as a recreative area - swimming is allowed and the bravest swimmers jump into the lake from the steep cliffs.


5. Hammersøen

Hammersøen is Bornholms largest lake. Fishing is allowed with a special fishing license.

The depth is up to 13 meters and the lake is situated 8 meters above sea level. Bathing is not allowed.


6. Hammerhavn

The harbour Hammerhavn in Sænebugten (Sæne Bay) was built in 1891-92 to ship stones from the quarries. Today it is a small marina and in the summer guided boat tours departs from the harbour. Read more at: www.hammerhavnensbaadfart.dk (in Danish).


7. Salomons Kapel

Salomons Kapel (Solomons Chapel) is the ruins of a small church from the 1300s. The chapel was probably built in connection to the large herring market at Hammerknuden and was built next to a holy spring. The herring trade was a big industry in medieval Europe since the catholic church did not allow the consumption of meat during the many annual fasting days. Fish was allowed however, so the salted baltic herring was exported to much of Europe.


8. Hammerodde Fyr

The lighthouse Hammerodde Fyr was built in 1895 as a supplement to Hammer Fyr. The tower is 12 meters tall and are used both as a lighthouse and for observing ships. The lighthouse signals with two flashes every tenth second.


9. Langebjerg

Langebjerg (Long Hill or Long Mountain) can be seen in the foreground on the photo above. It is a long hill with exposed bedrock. According to a childrens book from 1946 the hill is home to the troll Krølle Bølle and his family. The Elder-Flowered Orchid (dactylorhiza sambucina) grows on Langebjerg. This orchid is quite rare in Denmark.


10. Hammershus Castle

Hammershus Castle is Denmarks largest castle ruins. The castle is situated on a lonly rocky knoll 70 meters above sea level. Archaeological surveys indicate that the castle was built around 1300 A.D., probably by Arch Bishop Jens Grand. At that time most of Bornholm was owned by the church, and there was hostilities between church and crown. Hammershus became strategically important in the struggle between church and king that lasted for centuries. The castle changed hands now and then but it always ended up in the churchs possesion. But from 1525 the castle was in the hands of german merchants and later the crown. During a brief occupation it was under Swedish control.

The castle housed the commander's household as well as soldiers, judiciary and prison and it was here the taxes was collected. So the commoners on Bornholm did not look kindly upon the castle.

When cannon became common in the 1600s the castle became obsolete as a defensive position. Instead it became a state prison and garrison, and in 1743 it was abandoned alltogether. Soon the locals started gathering stones from the castle and these stones can still be found in many a building all over the island. In 1822 the castle became a cultural heritage site but by then it was already a ruin.

The area around the castle is home to about 50 plant species that was imported by medieval monks and used for medicinal purposes or as a food source. Combined with the many different wild species this makes Hammershus one of the most notable botanical sites in Denmark.


11. Hammershus visitor's centre

East of Hammershus the new visitor's centre is open to the public from 2018. Admission is free and the centre offers a look into the castles long history and serves as a resource for education. The dining area has a splendid panoramic view over the castle.


12. The Lion's Head and The Camel Heads

The Lion's Head and The Camel Heads are rock formations situated at the foot of the steep cliffs below Hammershus Castle. The Camel Heads (pictured) portrudes from a small skerry and can be seen from land. To the north of The Camel Heads the The Lion's Head tower above the waves. It is best viewed from the sea. In the summer you can see these impressive rock formations on a guided boat tour departing from Hammerhavn.


13. Hammersholm

This old building is from the late 1700s. The long, timber-framed residential wing is typical of Bornholm. In the area between Hammersholm and Madsebakke burial mounds and petroglyphs bear witness to prehistoric human acitivity.


14. The petroglyphs

In the area between Hammershus and Allinge-Sandvig hundreds of unique petroglyps from the bronze age (1100-500 B. C.) can be found. The exposed bedrock at Madsebakke is known for its many petroglyphs and is the largest site in Denmark. Here you can see carvings showing ships, wheel crosses, feet and cup marks. Nearer to Hammersholm and the burial mound Anebjerg Høj is another site where many recently uncovered petroglyphs can be found - ships, feet, cup marks, horses and a spiral-like carving (pictured). At Madsebakke the petroglyphs are regularly painted to make them easier to see. In the rest of the area only few are painted regularly, but many of the carvings can be recognized without aid. It is advisable to bring some water to splash on the rock surface as this makes the petroglyphs easier to see.

It is not known why the prehistoric people went to great lenghts to carve these images into the hard granite, but most likely the symbols was connected to the religious traditions of the bronze age.


15. Moseløkken quarry and museum

Moseløkken is the last remaining active quarry in the northern part of Bornholm. It was founded in the 1870s by local merchants. Granite from the quarry was widely used in Copenhagen - the entrance to the parliament building Christiansborg was built from Moseløkken granite. Above the quarry you will find a quarry museum.


16. Slotslyngen

Historically Slotslyngen (The Castle Heather) was a grazing area belonging to Hammershus Castle. Most of Slotslyngen are now covered by a lush, wild and varied forest of birch, beech, oak and hornbeam. Small lakes and exposed bedrock creates further variety in the landscape. The southern part of Slotslyngen towards Vang consists of rocky heath dominated by heather and juniper. From here you can see Hammershus to the north and in fair weather you can get a glimpse of sweeden beyond the sea to the north west. Towards the sea the cliffs are steep and at times almost vertical. These cliffs are Bornholms largest nesting cliffs where gulls, razorbills and peregrine falcons come to nest.


17. Pissebækken

In the southernmost part of Slotslyngen Pissebækken (literally The Pissing Stream) turns into a magnificent waterfall just before it meets the sea. The fall is one of the largest in Denmark. In early spring the area is full of the blue common hepatica flower.


18. Ravnedal

Ravnedal (Raven's Valley) is part of a rift valley starting at Paradisdalen (Paradise Valley) near Hammershus to the north and ending a few kilometers south of Ravnedal. Ravnedal is mostly dry rocky heath dominated by heather and juniper. Around the valley you will find mixed forest. In places the bedrock shows sign of quarrying. Ravnedal is home to Denmark's only mygalomorph spider atypus affinis. East of Ravnedal you can find a large megalith, Knægten, from the bronze age (1100-500 B. C.). It is surrounded by burial cairns.

More about Northern Bornholm and Hammershus:

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