Bornholm Island

Posted on 1 November 2011

Known as the Island of the Burgundians, Bornholm is a Danish Island in the Baltic Sea near the southernmost tip of Sweden, east of Denmark and north of Poland. Denmark is mostly plain fields and seas but the island of Bornholm is beautiful with its granite hills and steep cliffs overlooking the Baltic Sea. The interior part is lush with green wooded areas speckled with shrubby uncultivated land. The middle of the island is mostly farmland and the southern part, sandy beaches.

The island has a population of 45,000 and an area of 588 square kilometres. The main industries in the islands are fishing, dairy farming and arts and crafts such as pottery and glass-making. Tourism is a thriving industry in the islands too for more than half a million tourists visit Bornholm Island each year. The seasons are milder in Bornholm than the rest of Denmark and other Scandinavian countries. For the most part of the year, the island is warm and sunny.

Østerlars Kirke on Bornholm
Photo by Per Trangbæk, Wikimedia Commons

Bornholm has been a part of the Viking trade route in the 10th century. The island was under German and Swedish rules but after the Germans lost in World War II, Bornholm was returned to Denmark in 1946 as part of its Hovenstaden Region. Part of Bornholm to the north are the islands of Christianso which is part of the Ertholomene Archipelago. The island has castles and ruins that date back to the Middle Ages. Bronholm is quite easy to reach from Copenhagen, Sweden and Germany by ferry. There are also trains and buses that go to southern Sweden then on to Rønne, Bornholm by hydrofoil boat.

More than two centuries ago, there were several painters that came to the islands to paint the scenes of and views of Bornholm. Most of these painters stayed permanently and founded the Bornholm School. Swedish painter Karl Isaksson was one of the first impressionists who took residence in the island. Other famous painters who went and stayed in Bornholm were Olaf Rude, Edward Weye, Niels Leergaard and a Bornholm native painter Oluf Høst.

Hammershus Ruin
Photo by Darkone, Wikimedia Commons

The Bornholm Museum presents a wonderful collection of the island’s cultural history including a ceramic’s museum. A visit to the Erichsens Gård botanical garden is highly recommended. The garden and building date back to the 19th century. The Bornholms Middelaldercenter is located in Gudhjem which is a representation of authentic life led during the Middle Ages.

Today, tourists troop to the beaches of Bornholm especially those located in between Rønne and Hasle in the western coast and Dueodde in the southern coast. Biking around the island is also a great way to explore it. The bike paths were former railroad tracks. The villages in the islands are picture perfect.

If you prefer to camp in the islands, there are beautiful campsites in Bornholm too. Travelling by motorhome? No worries. There are several motorhome parks in Bornholm such as the one in Sandvig which offers a great view of the sea.

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