Helligpeder is a small and sleepy place on the rocky west coast of Bornholm, between Hasle and Vang. Around the small harbour, in the shadow of the steep coastline, are small fishing houses and a smokehouse. Above the harbour are what are called „Havnahytterne”, or „harbour shelters”. They were used, among other things, for exchanging information between fishermen and as tool sheds. They date from the 19th century. Today you can also find individual holiday homes here.
Away from the beaten tourist paths, in Helligpeder you can see Bornholm as it was a hundred years ago. The only thing missing is the first fishermen who went out to sea. Today the small harbour is shared by fishermen and sailors. From Helligpeder you can go on many beautiful hikes along the rugged west coast of Bornholm. To the north, a footpath leads first to Teglkås, and then to Vang. North of Vang you will reach Jons Kapel - a steep rock formation where a hermit is said to have lived.
There were four smokehouses built at Helligpeder. All four are still standing, but are no longer in use. In the heyday of herring smoking on Bornholm, the herring from Helligpeder was considered the best smoked fish on the island. The work at the smokehouse was hard and full of sacrifice. Very early in the morning the night's catch of herring was taken in and filled the lit ovens with it. Men and women were busy smoking all day until late in the evening.
. When hygiene standards came to the fish processing industry in the 1950s, this development did not allow the small smokehouses to survive. All premises had to be tiled and equipped with sanitary facilities, this became a requirement and cost the existence of many smokehouses on Bornholm. The smokehouses in Helligpeder also did not survive as a result of this legislation. In the museum smokehouse in Hasle you can learn a lot about the history of smoking on Bornholm.
The origin of the place name is not clear enough. It is assumed that the name-giver is a stone or sacred spring from the area. The first mention of the place is from 1570. The centre of the place has always been the harbour, around which several families settled. In 1870 the harbour was extended with several docks made of heavy granite stones. Since then it has not changed its shape and still exists today. Since 1911 the site has been connected to the roads of the island.
Walking north from Helligpeder you will reach Teglkås, then pass the cliffs Jons Kapel, Hvide Kleven, Blåskinsdalen. Further on we will reach the Ringebakke quarry and the fishing village of Vang. From there we are just a stone's throw to the ruins of Hammershus Castle..