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

Abbey of Saint-Étienne

The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.

Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.

As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).