Bornholm is a Danish island located in the southwestern part of the Baltic Sea. Bornholm is known for its beautiful views, wonderful nature and unique landscapes.
The north of the island is impressive, high cliffs, vast heather fields, lakes and rocks. The center of Bornholm, on which a larger area is the huge Almindingen forest - the third largest forest complex in Denmark. And the south is a paradise for lovers of sunbathing and water sports, where there are sandy and wide beaches stretching for kilometers.
But not only beautiful landscapes and nature are the attraction of this island - Bornholm has over 235 km of bicycle paths, lots of walking paths, golf courses, great conditions for water sports and rock climbing. The island is an ideal place for active holidays, as well as for families with children.
This small island with an area of 588 km2 for more than a hundred years has attracted tourists not only with beautiful views and active leisure, but also with its history. Hammershus is waiting for visitors - the largest complex of medieval ruins in Scandinavia, which is located in the northernmost place - Hammeren. Also Jons Kapel- is one of the most visited attractions in Bornholm.
Bornholm is also known for its rich culture and tradition - the ubiquitous galleries, museums and smokehouses have a lot to offer. "Sun over Gudhjem", local beer or wine - is the island's showcase for connoisseurs of good taste. Museums worth recommending are primarily the Bornholms Museum complex, consisting of four branches and NaturBornholm.
Lovers of all art will surely satisfy their thirst by visiting numerous galleries, both smaller and larger, that promote the art of local artists.
Not everyone probably knows that the island of Bornholm is associated with interesting legends, unsolved mysteries, puzzling facts. One of them says that "when God created Scandinavia, he took its best parts and threw it into the depths of the Baltic, and that's how Bornholm came into being."
But Bornholm was not always an island, like most Danish islands it was connected to the continent around 13,000 years ago, i.e. in the ice age. Bornholm was the end of a small peninsula in today's northern Poland, connected to the continent by a great glacier. The first natives appeared on the island around 11,000 BC. - Stone age, which is confirmed by flint tools and weapons found on the island. Agriculture began to develop in Bornholm around 6,000 BC.
Tombs come from the Bronze Age. burial mounds that can be seen in many places on the island. The bronze age left behind, mainly in North Bornholm - rock carvings, almost 3,000 years ago, are carved in rock representations, most often - ships and symbols of the sun, which, according to the beliefs at the time, most likely had cult significance and are located in Madsebake. Another, slightly younger monument of prehistory of the island are the so-called menhirs from around 1100 B.C.E., i.e. cult stones - among others and near Nexø and Listed. This are stones arranged vertically in groups without inscriptions, probably to commemorate important events.
From around 550-600 BC comes the largest Scandinavian collection of small figurines made of gold - more than 2,300 pieces called Guldgubber located in the Bornholm Museum in all. With the adoption of Christianity in the mid-eleventh century, the independent Bornholm became part of Denmark and, due to its strategic location in the Baltic, became the object of fights between the Church and the king. Bornholm was then subordinate to the bishop of Lund, who in the thirteenth century ordered the construction of a powerful fortress - Hammershus Castle, to defend the island against the forces of the Danish king.
In 1457, the island witnessed a great naval battle in which a flotilla of Gdańsk capers broke the combined Danish and Infantry fleet supporting the Teutonic Knights in the war with Poland. In 1658 Denmark lost southern Sweden and nearby Bornholm came under Swedish rule for a short time. The islanders, however, wanting to remain under the Danish crown, stood up against the Swedes and defeated the invaders. Swedish troops left the island within 2 years.
The following centuries were a period of development of agriculture, fisheries, industry, primary and secondary education - the Bornholm high school dates back to 1512 and the culture - the theater in Ronne, which dates from 1823 and is currently the oldest active theater in Denmark.
In 1866, the island has got a permanent ferry connection with Copenhagen, which initiated the development of tourism. The exotic nature of the island captivated tourists from Copenhagen at first, then the Germans joined them. Tourism quickly became an important branch of the Bornholm economy, but the outbreak of World War I stopped its development. The interwar period was again a time of harmonious development of the society and economy of Bornholm, which was significantly contributed to the construction of the railroad tracks on the island.
World War II caused great havoc on the island. On May 8 and 9, 1945, when Bornholm was bombed by Soviet air force, mainly in Rønne and Nexø. It was occupied by the Soviet army until April 6, 1946.
Bornholm has been arousing the interest of tourists for over a hundred years, the first - thanks to the opening of a regular ferry connection with Copenhagen in 1886. After them, Germans began to arrive, using ferry connections from Sassnitz, Świnoujście and Kołobrzeg. Świnoujście and Kołobrzeg at this time belonged to Germany.
The tourists by this time mostly liked Allinge-Sandvig, where were build elegant hotels with staff "imported" from Germany.
The superbly developed Bornholm tourist infrastructure, especially friendly for families with children, is able to provide accommodation and meals for all newcomers. There are several dozen hotels and guesthouses of various categories, which in total offer over 9,000 places.
Added to this is private accommodation (about 12,000 places), summer houses and camping sites with a total number of places over 17,000.
The nature of Bornholm is incredibly impressive and contains everything: the dramatic cliffs of northern Bornholm, the mysterious old forest Almindingen in the middle of the island with its charming little lakes and rocks and beautiful beaches on the east coast.
2/3 of the island's surface is granite over 1.4 billion years old, which, heated by the sun, created the island of "Majorca of the North". Holy Rocks (Helligdomsklipperne) gained thanks to the amazing cliffs a picturesque and dangerous setting. Thanks the granite ground island gain the Døndalen waterfall not far from Rø and the charming Paradise Hills (Paradisbakkerne) or the Echo Valley (Ekkodalen) in Almindingen.
Although Bornholm is small, even here there are considerable differences in temperature and amount of precipitation. In the Almindingen forest in the center of the island, the temperature is generally a few degrees lower all year round than on the island's shores, while the average annual rainfall is about 200 ml higher per year than in Rønne, just 15 km away.
In summer, the air temperature on the island can reach over 30 degrees Celsius, while the water - up to 22, the island has been called the "Majorca of the North" and "Sunny Island" by tourists visiting it for several decades. Even figs and mulberries growing on Bornholm also confirm this thesis. Marinated figs are also one of Bornholm’s specialties not available in other regions of Denmark.
Bornholm is not only charming nature, beautiful weather and nice holidays. The island also has deeply rooted cultural traditions.
The best proof of this is the fact that Bornholm is called the "Island of Artists" and the first in the world and first in the Europe island awarded the coveted title of “World Craft Region”. The island's pride is the famous Danish painter Oluf Høst, whose atmospheric paintings can be admired at the Bornholm Art Museum in Rø, and the well-known writer Martin Andersen of Nexø, whose family home has become a museum.
Artistic craft on the island was initiated by the production of so-called Bornholm clocks, their collection can be viewed at the Bornholm Museum in Rønne. Today, the creators of artistic ceramics and artistic glassware as well as textile products maintain numerous traditions here.
In the summer, the island is teeming with music, because many classical, rock and jazz music festivals and concerts take place here; with the participation of leading Danish and foreign musicians.
Geographical location: 15 degrees east longitude 55 degrees latitude northern
Time: in the southern part of Bornholm there is a point of intersection by the meridian designating the length of the geography of the island, and also determining the so-called Central European time (called "Gudhjem time" in Denmark)
Area: 588 sq km
Coastline length: 140 km
Distances: to Sweden (Ystad) 30 km to Copenhagen 130 km to Świnoujście: 90 km
Climate: mild, with the largest number of hours of sunshine in Denmark, relatively little rainfall; spring slightly later than in the rest of Denmark, long warm summers, sunny autumn, mild winters
Terrain: lowland, slightly undulating, highest point Rytterknaegten 162 a.s.l.
Population: approx. 45,000, mainly native Bornholmians and immigrants from the rest of Denmark, a small number from Germany, Sweden and Poland
Religion: Protestantism (over 20 varieties), Catholicism (very little)
Language: Danish (along with the local Bornholm dialect)
Foreign languages: German, English, Swedish (some residents also started learning Polish)
Major population occupations and sectors of the economy: agriculture, tourism, fisheries, art and more recently - the development of modern machine industry, information technology, education in international cooperation
Administrative division: until 2001 it was the province (the smallest in Denmark), divided into 5 municipalities + Christiansø. Since 2002, an administrative reform has been introduced under the slogan: "One island - one administrative unit", i.e. Bornholm has become one regional municipality (Bornholms Regionskommune). And with the only administrative representative, i.e. The mayor of Bornholm, who is now Mr. Thomas Thors, the former mayor of Rønne (social democracy).
Infrastructure: 2 large ports (plus many smaller ones on the entire coast of the island), airport, hospital, high school, vocational school complex, research center, regional radio station and TV.
Regional cooperation: Bornholm actively cooperates with other countries in the Baltic region in the field of education, tourism and environmental protection. In 2002, an agreement was also signed on regional cooperation within the EuroBaltic region, including with the Kaliningrad District and the Polish Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. The agreement concerns cooperation in the field of, among others agriculture, science, culture and social affairs.