Østerlars is located just a few kilometres southwest of Gudhjem in the hinterland of the Danish island of Bornholm, at the junction of Kobbeå and Stavehøl valleys. Østerlars is known for two attractions: one of the highest waterfalls in Denmark, and the island's biggest attraction, the largest of Bornholm's four round churches.
Østerlars is also an artists' colony on Bornholm, as many cultural workers, writers, craftsmen and painters have settled here. A visit to the studios and workshops is a nice change from spending time at the beach, especially for culture lovers.
The impressive church is one of the oldest religious buildings on the island, having been built in 1150. Østerlars Round Church, with its three storeys and massively reinforced outer walls, was for centuries also a defensive shelter where the inhabitants of the surrounding farms could take refuge in case of local conflicts.
The round Østerlars church, located slightly outside the town centre, still hides a secret today. Sonar surveys have discovered a large cavity under the church, but to this day the local church council has not allowed it to be explored.
This is why Østerlars church is associated with the legendary and lost treasure of the Knights Templar.
Inside, the round Østerlars church impresses with a massive ceiling pillar decorated with frescoes, which is hollowed out inside and serves as a baptistery.
While hiking and cycling towards the coast, active holidaymakers choose walking trails leading through the Kobbeå valley, as well as a diversion to one of Denmark's highest waterfalls, the approximately 4-metre-high Stavehøl.
The Bornholm Medieval Centre is also a visitor attraction, located next to Østerlars Round Church, and offers various exhibitions, projects, events, shows, seminars and workshops on the theme "The Middle Ages on Bornholm". Here even small visitors can experience the daily routines of medieval times gone by, while their parents can delve into basket weaving, pottery and even blacksmithing in the neighbourhood.
Regular events at the Medieval Centre of Bornholm offer medieval fairs, knight games and a summer puppet theatre festival.