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Wonders of Bornholm

Hallebrøndshøj - megalithic passage grave - in the night, Denmark
Hallebrøndshøj – megalithic passage grave – in the night / B. Joe Johanson, / CC BY-SA 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

The picturesque Bornholm island (part of Denmark) is located at the European crossroads in the Baltic Sea. As a result, this island has a distinct, own style in architecture and culture, which is influenced by many cultures. The most amazing wonders of Bornholm are:

  • Medieval round churches – among the many medieval churches on the island four are very special. These four round churches were built in the 12th century and are a subject of modern legends about Templars and Holy Grail.
  • Stone carvings – Some of the most interesting Bronze Age works of art in Northern Europe are the stone carvings in several locations of Bornholm. Meaning of these carvings is not entirely clear.
  • Standing stones and other megaliths – in numerous locations on the island are located archaeological monuments. Supernatural qualities are attributed to some of these megaliths even today.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Bornholm

Geological wonders


Rift valley with granite cliffs. This valley has very fine echo effect. Contains ancient shrine – spring of H.C. Ørsted with healing properties attributed to its water.

Jons Kapel

Some 40 m tall cliff on the western coast of Bornholm. Contains a cave – grotto. Site of legends – here reportedly was preaching the first missionary in Bornholm – Jon.


Up to 22 m high, interesting cliff formations at the sea.

Helligdomsklipperne, Bornholm
Helligdomsklipperne / Andreas Lippelt, / CC BY 2.0

The tallest waterfall in Denmark, some 20 m high.

Archaeological wonders

Madsebakke Stone Carvings

The largest group of stone carvings in Denmark, possibly made as early as in Bronze Age roughly in 1100 – 500 BC. Depicted ships, wheel-crosses, and other symbols.

Madsebakke Stone Carvings, Bornholm
Madsebakke Stone Carvings / Alphalphi, / public domain
Louisenlund Grove

A group of standing stones. Many stones have slanting edges – it is possible that these stones are oriented according to the stars.

Hellig Kvinde

A standing stone, so-called "greeting stone". Stone is oriented toward the sunset of the longest day of the year. Around the stone are located 11 smaller stones that are set in a form of a ship.


A well preserved megalithic passage grave, built around 3000 BC.

Architecture wonders

Østerlars Church

Largest of the four round churches in Bornholm. Constructed in Romanesque style around 1160, served also as a fortification. The enormous central column is adorned with medieval frescoes. Round churches of Bornholm are subject to modern legends about Templars and Holy Grail.

Østerlars Church in Bornholm, another side
Østerlars Church, another side / Micah MacAllen, / CC BY-SA 2.0

Ruins of the largest medieval fortress in Northern Europe with a 750 m long perimeter wall. This fortress was constructed in the 13th century, most likely as a royal residence for Valdemar II of Denmark.

St. Bodil’s Church

An interesting medieval church in the Romanesque style, built around 1200.

Svaneke Church

Charming, red-colored half-timbered church. It is not known when the church was originally built, but the tower was built in 1789. Rebuilt in 1881.

Svaneke Church, Bornholm
Svaneke Church / Steen Jeberg, / CC BY-SA 2.5
St. Peter’s Church, Bornholm

A well preserved medieval church, constructed in Romanesque style around 1100 AD.


The historical center of the largest town in Bornholm contains numerous historical buildings. The city has many half-timbered houses, the oldest brick house is from 1744.

Olsker Church (Sankt Ols Kirke)

One of the four round churches in Bornholm, built in the 12th century.

St. Knud’s Church

A medieval church, constructed around 1150 AD.

St. Ib’s Church

An old church in Romanesque style, built in the 12th century. Traces of medieval frescoes were found but have not been renovated.

Nylars Church

One of the four round churches in Bornholm, built in the middle of the 12th century. Possibly the best preserved round church. It contains valuable medieval frescoes.

Nylars Church, Bornholm
Nylars Church / Hubertus, / CC BY-SA 3.0
Nyker Church (Ny Kirke)

The smallest of four round churches in Bornholm, built in the 13th century. The church is adorned with medieval frescoes.

Ruts Kirke

A Romanesque church, built in the 12th century.

Nexo Church

This Gothic church was built around 1340, the half-timbered tower was built around 1500.

Svaneke water tower

An unusual water tower, resembling an enormous tripod. Constructed in 1952 and designed by the famous architect Jørn Utzon as his first major work.

Østermarie church ruins

Ruins of an old church in Romanesque style, constructed in the second half of the 12th century. Church has interesting architecture and provides valuable knowledge about medieval construction techniques. Many building stones have runic inscriptions – e.g. runestones were used for the construction.

Christiansø Fortress

Danish naval base in a strategically important location in the Central Baltic. Fort was built here in 1684 and developed into a picturesque town. Round fortification towers serve as a lighthouse and museum.


One of the smallest towns in Denmark, with picturesque, narrow streets and half-timbered houses. Possibly the best preserved historical town center in Bornholm.

WorldYellow Recommended books

The Templars’ Secret Island: The Knights, the Priest and the Treasure

Bornholm is a tiny island in the Baltic sea barely twenty miles by ten. Its fifteen extraordinary medieval churches and many hundreds of standing stones mark the island out as a sacred site since remote antiquity…

DK Eyewitness Denmark (Travel Guide)

Whether you want to adventure like a Viking, sample cutting-edge cuisine in Copenhagen, or practice the art of hygge, your DK Eyewitness travel guide makes sure you experience all that Denmark has to offer.

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