Top Historic Sights in Nordborg, Denmark

Explore the historic highlights of Nordborg

Nordborg Castle

Nordborg Castle was, according to Saxo, founded by Svend Grathe under the name Alsborg. Hence, this can be dated to around 1150. Alsborg was built whilst the Wends still dominated the Danish coast; its location a few kilometers inland meant that the castle could not be attacked without warning, and the local population had a better chance of taking refuge there. The first written evidence of Alsborg is from the end of the ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Nordborg, Denmark

Nordborg Church

Medieval church dating from approx. 1250. The south chapel with the interesting frescoes is added approx. 1500. The north chapel is built 1686 and reconstructed 1785. The tower at the south chapel is built 1789. Porch, sacristy and stair tower is built in 1881-82. The Duke to Nordborg Castle built a chapel in 1700 at the east end of the church. This chapel is the final resting place for the ducal families and their coffi ...
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Nordborg, Denmark

Havnbjerg Church

Havnbjerg Church is a 12th century Romanesque stone church. Tower and spire date from 1857. The bells date from 1370 and 1920. The altarpiece is a painting by C.W.Eckersberg. In the wall of the choir is a so-called piscina - a basin designed for liturgical handwashing. The pulpit is late Renaissance and the baptismal font has a Romanesque top. The organ has 20 stops. The churchyard has soldiers" graves from 1848 and ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Nordborg, Denmark

Oksbøl Church

Oksbøl Church has Romanesque origins with Gothic tower and porch. A Gothic triptych altarpiece dates from the beginning of the 15th century, a Baroque/Renaissance pulpit from 1626 and wooden font from about 1700.
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Nordborg, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.