Unterwegs

DENMARK

Population: 5.8 million
Capital city: Copenhagen
Area: 2,210,579 km2
Specialities: smeurebreud, Stegt flæsk (pork), rolled eel, sakkuk, wienerbrod, sol over Gudhjem, Danish hot dog 
National team results: Euro 92 football, Olympic champions in women's handball (3) and men's handball (1), 11 times world champions in badminton. Caroline Wozniacki, former world number 1 tennis player. Bjarne Riis, former Tour de France winner (1996). Mads Pedersen was also world road champion in 2019, as was Amalie Dideriksen in the women's race in 2016. Speedway.
Competitions: Grand Départ of the Tour de France, 2025 Handball World Championship, Danish Badminton Open, Tour of Denmark Cycling. World Equestrian Championships 2022. Speedway Grand Prix.
Festivals: Roskilde Festival (May), Copenhagen Jazz Festival (July), Smukfest Festival, Aarhus Festuge, Culture Night (October) Esbjerg Festival, HC Andersen Festival in Odense. 
Economy: agriculture, toys (Lego), breweries (Carlsberg, Tuborg), windmills, hi-fi (Bang & Olufsen, Dynaudio). Copenhagen harbour.
Remarkable sites: Copenhagen, the Little Mermaid, royal castles, Jelling tumulus, Jylland frigate etc...
Websites / FB / Twitter : https://www.visitdenmark.fr

SJÆLLAND

Population: 836 619
Capital city: Soro
Surface area: 7,268 km2
Specialities: Cod curry in Gilleje, lumpfish in Agersø jelly, Hundested sauce, Glumso apple cake, sweetbread soup, herring with onions, sugar soup.
Sports clubs: KFUM Roskilde, FC Roskilde, Naestved BK, Hillerød Fodbold.
Competitions: Zealand Series (football)
Festivals: Roskilde Festival.
Economy: services, tourism, toys, research, industries.
Places of interest: Møns Klint cliffs, Roskilde Cathedral, Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Fanefjord Church, Lolland Medieval Museum.
Websites / FB / Twitter: https://www.regionsjaelland.dk

Km 8.9

LEJRE (Pop: 26,600)

Lejre is a small town and municipality located in the centre of the island of Seeland. Lejre is a rather rural municipality, which was an important centre during the Viking period. In this municipality, there are some ancient kings' burial mounds (half-spheres of earth several metres high, with a hollowed-out core serving as a burial site).  

Lejreborg Castle

Construction: 1742
Style: Baroque
History: built for the Minister of State Johan Ludvig Holstein (1694-1763) by architect JC Krieger in the Baroque style. In 1745 the interior was furnished by decorator Niels Eigtved in the pure Rococo style.
Special features: the park is an ideal venue for concerts (the national chamber orchestra plays here regularly) and is equipped with a 4 km long zip line!

Km 9.4

GAMMEL LEJRE   

Land of Legends Historical and Archaeological Experimental Centre

This centre offers the opportunity to trace the history of techniques and ways of life from prehistoric times to the 19th century, in a large park of 43 hectares. Created in 1964, it has become a reference in the field of historical tourism and experimentation. The first complex to be reconstructed at Lejre was the Iron Age village of Lethra. This was a real scientific experiment, unique in Europe at the time. Other periods were gradually added to this village: a prehistoric camp, a Viking market and a 19th century farm. Not to mention the areas dedicated to spirituality and rituals, the reconstructed ancient environments...  

Lejre Museum and Kongsgard Farm

According to medieval chronicles and tales, Denmark's oldest royal family, Skjoldungerne, had their royal farm at Lejre. Skjold, Frode, Roar and Rolf Krake lived there. The Lejre Museum tells the stories and myths of this family. It is situated in the village of Gammel Lejre in the middle of a rich cultural and historical landscape. Kongsgard is a 300-year-old farmhouse in the village of Gammel Lejre, a few hundred metres north of the museum. The farmhouse consists of original and other furniture from its former residents, making it a major museum object.

Km 30.5

HOLBAEK (Pop: city: 27,000. Municipality: 72,000)

The Saint-Tropez of Denmark! Danish artists began to discover its charms and settle here in the 19th century. It is the sunniest city in the country and has a microclimate. It smells of wild roses and the coastline is very sparsely built up. Holbæk is first mentioned as Holbækgaard in a letter from Absalon dated 8 June 1199, where he donates most of his land to the monastery of Soro. Then it appears in Valdemar the Victorious's book of records in 1231. Valdemar had the fort of Holbæk Slot built in 1236. Holbæk then began to prosper, but was not mentioned again until 1400, when Margaret I called her court there to take possession of territories in Jutland. This event is probably the reason for the design of the city's first seal, which shows three trees by the water. The town is home to 92-time international defensive midfielder Christian Poulsen, who has played for Schalke, Sevilla, Juventus, Liverpool and Ajax Amsterdam, and even played for Evian-Thonon in France. He is now assistant coach of the Danish national team. The city has been on the Tour of Denmark three times, most recently in 2021.  

Oro Island

Located in Isefjord, this island covers 14 km². It can be reached by ferry from Holbaek. During the Viking era, it was known as Warthaero, the island with the guardhouse. It was a strategic observation point for watching over passing ships. Nowadays, Oro is a holiday destination for families and nature lovers. It appeals to anglers and birdwatchers as well as to budding archaeologists and fossil hunters. Seals can be seen here.

Km 50.2

ODSHERRED (Pop: 32,700)

Odsherred is the name of the peninsula in the northwestern part of Seeland. It offers a wide range of typical landscapes, long sandy beaches, fields and small rolling hills. The peninsula is connected by the railway (Odsherredsbanen), which serves towns like Nykobing (Seeland), Asnæs and Horve. It is an important tourist municipality, with campsites and resorts. It is also a municipality formed in 2007 by the merger of the municipalities of Dragsholm, Nykobing-Rorvig, and Trundholm.

Km 54.8

ASNAES (Pop: 3,000)  

Asnaes has twice hosted the Tour of Denmark, most recently in 2019 (Jasper de Buyst won).  

Odsherred Fire Museum

Opened: 2007
Features: 1,200 m2 of exhibition space, including the large hall where more than 20 vehicles are displayed. The vehicles are mainly fire engines from the last century, but also a horse-drawn fire engine from 1864. The most recent vehicle in the exhibition is a fully functional Iveco Magirus S1 ladder truck from the Odense Fire Brigade. On the first floor there are various displays of small fire-fighting equipment and a collection of over 140 firefighters' helmets from 30 countries. History: It was founded on the initiative of volunteer firemen in 2006.  

Ulvsborg History Workshop

The Ulvborg History Workshop is an open-air archaeological museum staffed by guides in historical costumes. The museum depicts the Middle Ages in Denmark in the period from 1050 to 1250.  Its main attraction is a palisaded area with a wooden tower, two small half-timbered buildings and the large salshuset. There are archery workshops and a falconry show.

Km 93

DRAGSHOLM ALLE   

Dragsholm Castle

Construction: 1215 for the original castle, 1694 for the current castle.
Style: Baroque
Characteristics: built in the Baroque style, the castle was redecorated after the First World War in a neo-Romantic style. 
History: Dragsholm Castle is one of the oldest secular buildings in Denmark. It was built on an islet that protected the access to a drag linking the Odsherred peninsula to the rest of the island of Seeland. It was taken over by the Danish crown and used as a prison in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Current use: Dragsholm Castle is now a luxury hotel and restaurant.
Trivia: The castle has the reputation of being the most haunted in Denmark and one of the most haunted in Europe. At least three ghosts are regularly seen here, a white lady, a grey lady and Lord Bothwell, Prince Consort of Scotland, who ended his life in captivity here.  

Km 122.1

KALUNDBORG (City : 16,500 inhabitants. Municipality : 48,700 inhabitants)  

The history of Kalundborg can be traced back to the construction of a castle in 1170 by Esbern Snare (brother of Bishop Absalon, founder of Copenhagen at the same time), and the church of Our Lady of Kalundborg built in the early 13th century. Of the castle, only parts of the foundations remain, but the church has survived without much damage. The location of the castle at the bottom of a relatively deep fjord gave it a strategic role, and it is not by chance that the port of Kalundborg is still one of the most important in the country, with an oil refinery accessible by large tankers. The city is a pioneer in the ecological reprocessing of industrial waste. It is the birthplace of Sigrid Undset, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. It is also the birthplace of the former mountain biker and cyclocross rider Henrik Djernis, the first three-time world champion in mountain biking.  Kalundborg has hosted the Tour of Denmark six times.   

Church of our Lady of Kalundborg

Foundation: 13th century
Style: Lombardy influences
Worship: Lutheran
Listing: Danish authorities applied for Unesco World Heritage status in 2008. Characteristics: the shape of the church is unique in Denmark and probably in the world with a central tower flanked by four smaller towers, all built of red brick.
History: It was built at the earliest in 1170 when brick was first used in Denmark. Coincidentally, this is also the date of the first fortification on the site, the nearby Esbern Snare Castle (1127-1204). At the time the church was built, a small medieval town stood on the hill. Two brick houses from 1500 are part of the town walls and a few houses near the church bear witness to the prosperity of the town in the 15th century.  

Kalundborg Museum

Construction: 16th century
Characteristics: the large six-winged building is built on the remains of Valdemar IV Atterdag's medieval town wall. It is a cultural history museum showing the development of Kalundborg with exhibits on the Viking Age, medieval history, the crusades, maritime history, provincial town and market life, and traditional folk costumes.
Special features: the impressive 7.2-metre-long Templar tapestry in Kalundborg depicts the woven history of the town. In 12 scenes, the tapestry tells the story of Kalundborg's founder Esbern Snare, Archbishop Absalon and the crusades of Kings Valdemar the Great, Canute VI and Valdemar II in Kalundborg and the Baltic Sea area in the 10th and 11th centuries.
The story: the museum's botanical garden offers gardening enthusiasts 37 different plants of medieval origin, ranging from medicinal plants to poisonous plants and plants used as dyes. The garden is the only authentic botanical garden in Denmark.

Km 132.9

RORBY (Pop: 740)  

The swords of Rorby

In 1952, Thorvald Nielsen was dredging a ditch in a small bog in Rorby, West Zealand. He found a curved and ornamented bronze sword that had been planted diagonally in the grass. The sword dated from the early Bronze Age, around 1600 BC, and was the first of its kind to be found in Denmark. It was handed over to the National Museum, but the story does not end there. In 1957, when Thorvald Jensen was digging up potatoes in the same place, he discovered another curved sword. The second curved sword was decorated like the first one, but it was also decorated with an image of a boat. This is the oldest example of a ship image in Denmark.  

Km 160

SLAGELSE (Pop: 34,118)

Slagelse is both a municipality and the main town of the municipality. The town has been inhabited since at least the Viking Age, when it was a pagan site. Trelleborg, a ring castle, was built near the present site of Slagelse in 980, which made the location strategically important. A church was built on the present site of Slagelse in the 1000s. Around that time, coins were minted in Slagelse. The Antvorskov Monastery was built in the 1100s by Valdemar I, who had recently acquired Seeland. The monastery was used by the Knights Hospitaller. Slagelse was granted the status of a market town in 1288 under Eric V. This gave the town a series of privileges, but ultimately put it in competition with the neighbouring market towns of Korsor and Skælskor. Among the cyclists from Slagelse is Ole Ritter, former hour record holder. He was a very good rouleur and won two stages in the Giro and participated in the Tour de France in 1975.  

Antvorskov Monastery

Construction: 1164
Characteristics: the monastery ruins are located in the south of Slagelse. The monastery was the main Scandinavian settlement of the Catholic Order of St John of Jerusalem.
History: the monastery was built in 1164 by Valdemar I. It was the first monastery of the Knights Hospitaller in Denmark, and was used as a monastery until 1536, when the crown took ownership and turned it into a castle. Frederick II used the castle between 1580 and 1584. It was then used by lords in fee until 1717, when it became a barracks for the Danish cavalry. It was sold in 1774 and most of the castle was demolished in 1816.
Trivia: in his autobiography, Hans Christian Andersen mentions excursions to the ruins of the monastery.  

Slagelse Museum

Characteristics: it presents the local history of trade, crafts and industry from 1800 to the present day. Highlights include a lovely assorted grocery shop from the 1940s, a selection of trades which also shows a street from the 1820s, service trades such as hairdressing, watchmaking and hat making from the 1950s and historic local industries. There is also a fine collection of shooting targets from the Slagelse Bestandige Skydeselskab, founded in 1819. History: world-famous poet Hans Christian Andersen went to school in Slagelse in the 1820s. On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of his birth, a TV film was made. The sets for this film have been installed in the museum and offer an atmospheric experience of the town and the Latin school, where Hans Christian was a pupil.  

Km 178

KORSOR (Pop: 15,000)

Korsor is a Danish port town in the municipality of Slagelse, located in the Great Belt on the island of Seeland, south of the Great Belt Bridge. It is the hometown of poet Jens Immanuel Baggesen, and the seat of one of the three bases of the Royal Danish Navy. French writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline, in exile in Denmark, found refuge here between 1948 and 1951. The Korsor Biograf Teater, which opened in August 1908 (114 years ago), is the world's oldest continuously operating cinema.  

Korsor Fortifications

Construction: 1100
Characteristics: the Korsor Fortifications are a group of fortifications located in the centre of the city. They were built in the 1100s. Today, five buildings remain on the fortifications, although all were built at different times and only the tower comes from the castle. The tower dates from the 1200s.
Special features: one of the buildings of the fortifications houses the museum of the town and the crossing of the Korsor Strait. The museum was founded in 1983, and focuses on the Korsor Strait crossing in Nyborg.  

Great Belt Link

Construction: 1991 to 1998 (East Bridge), 1988 (East Tunnel), 1988 to 1994 (West Bridge). Characteristics: the Great Belt Link, in Danish Storebæltsforbindelsen, is an 18-kilometre-long set of bridges across the Great Belt Strait, linking Denmark's two largest islands, Seeland (where the capital Copenhagen is located) and Funen, by road and rail. This fixed link, which is subject to a charge, includes: * In the east, between Seeland and the islet of Sprogo: a suspension bridge, the East Bridge, with a total length of 6,790 metres and a main span of 1,624 metres between pillars (the third longest span in the world), plus 535 metres on either side of the pillars. An underwater tunnel, the East Tunnel, 8,024 metres long, built from 1988 to 1996. * To the west, between Funen and Sprogo Island, a 6,611-metre long combined road-rail bridge, the West Bridge, built from 1989 to 1994.
Trivia: the two 254-metre-high pillars of the East Bridge are the highest points in the country.

Km 188.9

SPROGO ISLAND

Situated in the Danish Great Belt, the almost deserted islet of Sprogo has some sinister memories. Between 1922 and 1967, it was the site of a eugenics clinic. Doctors sterilised retarded women, umarried mothers and prostitutes. This shadow over Denmark's political past is revealed by writer Jussi Adler-Olsen in the fourth volume of his world-famous Department V series.

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