Danish Pilgrimage Denmark Hærvejen (Ox Road) Jylland (Jutland)

Day 29: Skiberlund Krat to Jels

I spent the night at Skiberlund Krat. What I didn’t know, until I went for a walk after breakfast, was that Skibelund Krat is a monument park. It was built in 1865 after the loss of Sønderjylland, and functioned as a national meeting and party place. Today there are 22 memorial stones for Danish personalities, and has played a significant role in the reunification effort to get Sønderjylland  (South Jutland) back as part of the Danish kingdom. Up until the reunification in 1920, the large public meetings in Skibelund Krat were a strong manifestation of unity about common language and values.

The mother tongue sculpture, is Niels Hansen Jacobsen’s monument to the Danish language, carved in 1903 using granite from the island of Bornholm. He personified the “mother tongue” in the form of a young and beautiful crowned woman who rests her hands on two of the era’s most famous Danish-minded Schleswigers as well as two national and linguistic rights defenders: poet Edvard Lembcke and historian A.D. Jørgensen, who along with the Mother Tongue gazes towards the lost land of South Jutland.

The Magnus stone, created by the sculptor Niels Skovgaard in 1898, depicts a scene from the battle at Lyrskov Heath when in 1043 Danish King Magnus the Good secured his rule over Southern Jutland against the Wends. On the back of the monument is a verse by Thor Lange.

The reunification stone, erected in 1920 with a fantastic view over South Jutland.

Other of the 22 sculptures.

Today was supposed to be a quiet stroll, 20kms to Jels. But as so often the 2nd day walking was a killer, and I was happy I didn’t need to walk any further.

Other pictures from Skiberlund Krat.

I continued south toward the Freedom Bridge that crossed Kongeåen (The Kings River) that marker the border between Denmark and Germany before reunification, then a timber bridge, but in 1924 a new bridge was built to make it easier for people from South Jutland get to meeting at Skiberlund Krat. The area today house a hotel and school.

After the bridge the trail goes east along the Kings river towards a water mill at Knagmølle, built in 1780, and in use, grinding corn, until 1952.

After the mill it was more or less direct south to Jels, initially following a side river to the Kings river, and passing through farm land and forest.

I arrived at Jels mid afternoon, and took a look around the town with three lakes a church, a windmill and a population of 2002. I stayed in a bed and breakfast and ate Pizza at the local take away, before getting an early night.


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