The ruins of the medieval Hammershus castle are the hallmark of Bornholm and are one of the most visited and most popular monuments on the island.
This stronghold was built in the mid-thirteenth century on the order of the then Archbishop of Lund (now Sweden) - Jakub Erlandsen. The fortress was located at the northern tip of the island on the steep slopes of the granite Hammeren massif.
Hammersus was a very strong fortress, located in difficult to reach area. From its walls there was a perfect view of the surroundings, so no enemy ship could go unnoticed.
Practically from the very beginning, the castle was the object of disputes and fights between the archbishopric and the monarchs of Denmark.
When in 1259 the army of the archbishop destroyed the fortress of Lilleborg in the center of the island, Hammershus became the headquarters of the authorities of Bornholm. In 1522, the fortress and the entire island were repaid as a debt repayment for 50 years by German Luebeck. At that time, the last major extension of the castle was made, which gave it its final shape. At that time, in addition to powerful fortifications, the entire area of the castle also included numerous residential buildings for the army, arrest, castle church, kitchen, several granaries, stables and barns, and a brewery. Although the castle was built at a high altitude (about 75 meters), the builder managed to create two drinking water ponds within Hammershus that have survived to this day.
At the beginning of the 17th century, due to the development of artillery, the castle lost its strategic importance and since then began to fall into ruin. In the following centuries, the walls of the ruined stronghold were used as building material by the inhabitants of the surrounding villages, as well as to build a fortress on the island of Christiansø. This condition lasted until 1822, when the Danish authorities granted the castle the status of a monument. At present, the ruins of Hammershus Castle are fully secured and constitute one of the largest facilities of this type in northern Europe. It is also worth paying attention to the massive medieval stone bridge leading to the ruins, which is the only monument of this type that can be found today throughout Denmark.
At the exhibition at the newly opened Hammershus Tourist Center you can admire many interesting details about the history of Hammershus.
In particular, the period of splendor around 1575 was shown - castle life, daily life, leisure, construction, etc. The visitor center blends into the surrounding landscape, despite its modern architecture, building a bridge between the past and the future. In addition to the Hammershus Castle exhibition, the building also has a café and seminar rooms.
From the long outside terrace, you have a great view of the castle. From there, a long bridge leads through the gorge to the castle ruins.
By bike: Rønne - Sandvig cycle route
By bus: from Nexø, bus number 7; from Rønne, buses on lines 1, 2, 7