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Jernhatten

49 meters up

Jernhatten hill descends steeply down onto a white beach. Jernhatten reaches 49 metres above sea level. The ascent to the top takes you past troll-shaped beech trees, blankets of dark-green ivy and, possibly, hepatica, and offers views of the island of Hjelm out in the Kattegat. Just north and south of Jernhatten are depressions in the landscape which were covered by the sea during the Stone Age, when this landscape was very different.

Seaweed and stones

The beach is a perfect starting point for snorkel trips to the “Blak” stone situated like a big tortoise shell about 150 metres from land. The seabed here is varied with many seaweed species, such as sea lace, sweet tangle and red algae, as well as eelgrass: the only seed plant in Danish waters.

Hjelm - the island of an outlaw

Out in the Kattegat lies the island of Hjelm, the history of which will surely spark your imagination. The small island, which is privately owned, was the haunt of Marsk Stig and his followers. Marsk Stig was outlawed for the murder of King Erik Klipping in 1286, an event known in Danish history as “the murder in Finnerup Barn”. He fortified Hjelm and from here he and his outlawed men ran a counterfeiting business. Marsk Stig died in 1293. Doubt has since been thrown on his conviction for the murder. However, the story about Marsk Stig and the outlaws has fascinated many throughout time, and it has provided material for folk ballads, plays, an opera and several novels.

Jernhatten

A hill of marl

Jernhatten consists of glacial depositions including flakes of the calcareous Kerteminde Marl. In Denmark, this marl typically lies 30 meters below sea level, but here the ice has pushed it up. The marl has its name from Kerteminde on Funen, where the ice has also pushed up deposits. Local farmers used to dig marl to spread across their fields from a small marl pit to the west.