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Attractions Bornholm
The round churches of Bornholm
Gudhjems Church
The Smokehouse
Grandfather Clocks

The round churches of Bornholm:

The round cheurches of Bornholm

The round churches of Bornholm, 4 in all, are considered to be the island's most outstanding contributions to Nordic medieval architecture.
The largest and most profusely designed is Østerlars Church. Olsker Church is a beautifully situated, tall, slender building; Nylars is perhaps the most well-preserved; while Ny Kirke in Nyker is the smallest of the four round churches.
They are all estimated to have been built between 1150 and 1200. But whether they were built by episcopal or royal authorities to keep treasures or as a storage room during times of trouble is uncertain. The ground floor of each church is fitted up as a sanctuary, the middle floor as a refuge or storage room and the top floor, lacking in Ny Kirke, seems to have been fitted up for defense purposes.
Each church is surrounded by an enclosed churchyard with a detached belfry of field stones and timber framing.



It is presumed that construction of Hammershus began around the year 1250 on the orders of the archbishop of Lund.
During the power struggle between the kings and the church, the king's stronghold- Lilleborg in Almindingen Forest - was destroyed in 1259 by the archbishop's brother and Count Jaromar of Rügen.
Hammershus became consequently enlarged into a strong fortress which could sustain long sieges. The enlargement of the castle continued throughout the 1550's since Bornholm had been mortgaged to the city of Lübeck for 50 years. Bornholm was ruled from Hammershus, and the fortress served first and foremost as the depository for collected taxes.
The development of artillery weakened the significance of the castle, so that by 1645 the Swedish general Wrangel was able to conquer it after a few hours of bombardment.
Thereafter, the castle was used as a garrison and prison. Its most famous prisoners were traitor Corfitz Ulfeldt and his wife Leonora Christina, the king's half sister. They were imprisoned in the Mantel Tower for 1½ years until the year 1661.
In 1743, Hammershus was abandoned and dismantled in the form of building materials sold from the site by the island's lord lieutenant, until the castle was scheduled in the year 1822.

Gudhjem Church:

Gudhjem Church was built out of Bornholm granite in 1893 to replace the former St. Annae Chapel dating from around 1300. The remains of the chapel are worth visiting since some interesting frescoes can be seen.
The chapel's late Gothic triptych was restored in 1954 and can now be seen in the church.



At the easternmost point in Denmark and only slightly more than an hour by boat from Bornholm, way out on the horizon, lie Christianø and Frederiksø.
The cluster of islands called Ertholmene is a picturesque wildlife area with rugged rock formations and a prehistoric, warlike appearance.
More than 300 years ago Denmark's king Christian the Fifth, built a fortress and a naval base. Today with their heavy granite walls and cannon bastions, their towers and garrisons, the islands form the framework for a small, lively island community (population 120), with a very unique atmosphere.
You can reach the islands year round with daily departures from Svaneke and during the summer season as well from Allinge and Gudhjem. There are many reasons which make a visit to this cluster of islands worthwhile.

The Smokehouse:

The Smokehouse

Not many decades ago, tranquil smoke rose from hundreds of the characteristic smokehouse chimneys on Bornholm. Back then every little town or village near the coast had several smokehouses. Some were only for private use while others were run as family smokehouse businesses.
You haven't really experienced Bornholm until you have tried the gastronomic pleasure of "finger eating" a warm smoked herring outdoors.
You can still enjoy a smoked Bornholmer smoked "properly" in Allinge, Tejn, Gudhjem, Svaneke, Årsdale, Nexø, Snogebæk, Østre Sømark, Arnager and Hasle.

Grandfather Clocks:

The history of how clock-making on Bornholm commenced in the year 1744 when a Dutch ship shipwrecked on the coast by Rønne. Among the salvaged goods was a chest with 5 english grandfather clocks. Turners from Bornholm fixed the clocks and in the process learned enough about the clockworks to become skilful clock makers themselves.
The oldest "Bornholmer-ure" (grandfather clocks) are around 250 years old, and the proud tradition continues today.
Every detail of the clocks - from raw material to finished clockworks, dials, pendulums and weights and from wood to meticulously painted and hand-gilded or veneered, polished clock cabinets - is pain-stakingly, gently handcraft. Thanks to modern tools, the work can be given greater strength and precision than the old clock makers had at their command which guarantees many years of reliable operation.
At Bornholm Museum, one can learn about the history of the Bornholmer clock. There are baroque clocks from the 1700's male, maiden and hussif clocks from the 1880's, a clock maker's workshop and much more in this unique clock section.

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