Bornholm Middle Ages Centre
Gudhjem, Bornholm island (Capital region), DENMARK
Bornholm, an island strategically located in the Baltic Sea, between Denmark, Sweden and Poland, is characterized by a varied topography consisting of dramatic rock formations in the north sloping down towards pine and deciduous forests and farmland in the middle, and sandy beaches in the south. Bornholm has been fought over for centuries, and it has been ruled in turn by Denmark, Lübeck (Germany) and Sweden. The Hammershus Castle ruin, at the northwestern tip of the island, is the largest medieval fortress in northern Europe, and witnesses the former importance of its location.
Gudhjem is a charming small town and fishing port on the northern coast of Bornholm. Once a safe haven for whaling and fishing boats and an important centre for the smoked herrings production, Gudhjem is today a popular venue for tourists who are attracted by its steep, picturesque streets, stunning views and a quite friendly atmosphere. The territory of Gudhjem is also home to the Middle Ages Centre of Bornholm, a historical centre beautifully nestled in the hills just a few hundred metres from Østerlars Round Church, on 14 hectares of beautiful terrain which includes woodland and rocky pastures.
The Medieval Centre makes the daily life of the peasant society from around 1350 to 1450 in a fortified nobleman’s manor come alive, offering the visitors a quite unique living and sensory experience, as they can really feel, smell and touch medieval scenes involving people, animals, houses, a watermill and a fortified rampart. Everyday life is as realistic as possible, and the reality also includes working craftsmen and peasants going about their chores. The impressive fortress is constantly being expanded, and today it includes stockades, a gate tower, battlement walkways, a chapel, a refuge tower, a kitchen house and, last but not least, the nobleman’s house and the private quarters. Something new is added to the centre every year.
The Medieval Centre offers a wealth of live-in activities: a marketplace with peddlers selling their medieval products, and daily archery, cannon and weaponry demonstrations. The programme includes as well combat displays, street performances, ballad singing and chain dancing, historical parades, guided tours and several themed events and exhibitions focusing on medieval dress, food and beer. The visitors can experience the gristmill’s large millstone using the force of water to turn grain into flour, explore rural cottages, try out some of the foot soldier's equipment on the rampart, shoot a bow and arrow, visit a forge, meet a livestock, and much more. At set times a cannon and harquebuses are being fired.
Finally, every year in Summer the Centre is home to the great Medieval Market and Festival featuring hundreds of reenactors and artists from all over Denmark and Europe (to find out more please click here).
Info & Contact
Address: Stangevej 1, Østerlars, 3760 Gudhjem, Bornholm municipality, Denmark
Tel.: +45 5649 8319
Images: Bornholms Middelaldercenter
Text sources: Bornholms Middelaldercenter, Wikipedia, EXARC, VisitDenmark, Destination Bornholm.
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