After three windy and rainy days, the weather was finally starting to look better, so last Thursday, I decided to go on my first trip that week after work. My teacher Rune gave me a lift to Rønne, the largest village on Bornholm, where I spent the afternoon sightseeing and hanging by the quaint harbour.
Rønne has a population of 13,700 people, which is approximately 35 % of the entire population on Bornholm. The village, which is the administrative center of Bornholm, is strategically located on the westernmost point of the island.
The old part of town is very charming with cobbled streets and flowers growing in front of half-timbered houses. Rønne reminded me a lot of Dragør on Amager, which I’d visited back in June with Nikolai, and also Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark, which I visited a lot as a child. I really adore these quaint Danish provincial towns!
I first walked to the Museum of Armed Forces, which unfortunately was closed for the day, but near it lies the impressive Kastellet, a round-shaped citadel with four meter thick walls. The citadel resembles the four round churches of Bornholm, but they were built several hundred years earlier.
Kastellet was built in 1687, when King Frederik 5 wanted to secure Rønne with a giant defense facility, which would make the city a fortress with a naval base directed towards the King of Sweden. These plans were never completed, and most of the planned buildings were never built.
I then walked back into the center of Rønne, along the coastal road that took me along the harbour, where big cruise ships were docked.
Just across the road from the harbour lies Rønne Lighthouse, built by a local firm in 1880. And a few hundred metres in a straight line in front of it lies Kongen Lighthouse, built in 1929. None of these lighthouses are in use any longer, but they are sometimes open for visitors.
Next to Rønne Lighthouse is St Nicolas’ Church with its distinctive tower. The church was built on the foundations of Knuds Church from 1275. Some of the foundations of the old church can still be seen in the northeast corner of the church. The newer church was built over many hundreds of years, from 1350 with the last extensions being made from 1915 to 1918.
The churches on Bornholm are generally quite unique and don’t resemble other churches around Denmark. During my travels around the island, I’ve had to stop at every church to have a better look, as there’s something special about each and every one of them, while in the rest of Denmark, many churches look the same.
Close to St. Nicolas’ Church lies the much less prominent Zion Church, which is a Methodist Church built in 1917.
The Methodist Church is a protestant religious community, which has over 70 million members worldwide, but only approximately 2000 in Denmark. Methodists lead a very “methodical” way of life, where they do as much good as they possibly can in their community in the name of God, as well as working on their personal sanctification by prayer and studies of the Bible.
I find small religious communities to be very interesting, so I always try to visit their churches, but unfortunately, it was closed that day!
Early last week, we all went on a field trip with Rune to Bornholms Museum, where we saw some of the most interesting archaeological finds from the island. We also got to have a look at the secret storage room, where all the other archaeological artefacts are kept, and archaeologist Finn Ole gave us an interesting presentation about the Stone Age on Bornholm.
That Thursday in Rønne, I also had plans of going to a museum. I wanted to see Erichsens Gård, which is the best kept commoner’s house in Rønne. The house, which was built in 1806, shows how life was in Rønne in the second half of the 19th century. Anna and I went to a similar museum in Malmö in June, which I really enjoyed.
But unfortunately, when I got to the museum, I learned that it was only open on Fridays and Saturdays. I had a lot of sightseeing around the island planned for the weekend, so I didn’t have time to go back to Rønne. Oh well, at least the old building was definitely worth seeing from the outside as well!
The last stop on my itinerary for the day was one that my friend Christine, who is a local from Rønne, had recommended me; Nørrekaas Harbour. This is a tiny marina with a connecting beach with the finest white sand. I spent over an hour there, just chilling and people-watching in the sun while I ate my lunch.
At 7 PM, I decided that it was time to head back to Åkirkeby Camping, but I had to wait an hour for the bus. To my luck, there was a vegan ice cream café just beside the bus stop, so I didn’t hesitate to buy one – and it was delicious! I can definitely recommend going to Café Siku, also if you aren’t vegan! 😉
My day of exploring Rønne was short, but sweet. I got to see most of what I wanted and I really liked Rønne in all its charm and colour. While most people come to Bornholm to experience its beautiful and varied nature, I can definitely recommend also spending some time in Rønne. It is, after all, where 35 % of the island’s population lives!