Travel literature Scandinavia

A bit N of Vordingborg, to the left ofthe road, is Udby, birthplace of the Danish Reformer, Grundtvig. Farther W is Svasrdborg, with a Romanesque church containing a fresco of the High Gothic period depicting the end of the world.

At Barse, a road goes off on the right to Praest0 (Kirsebaerkro, 20 b.), in a beautiful setting, surrounded by woodland, on the Praesto Fjord. The well-preserved Baroque manor-house of Nyso contains a collection of sculpture by Thorvaldsen, whospentthe last years of his life here: in the garden is the small hexagonal building which was his studio.

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A road branches off to the left at B3rse and passes through beautiful wooded country to IVIaestved (pop. 35,000: Vinhuset Hotel, 70 Den Gamle Borgmes-tergSrd, 90 Bellevue, 12 Axelhus, 30 youth hostel: camp site), an industrial town which was a trading place of some consequence in the Middle Ages. The great days of its past are recalled by the numerous attractive old houses in the middle of the town. St Peter’s Church is the largest Gothic church in Denmark, with a 13th c. crucifix, a richly decorated pulpit and interesting frescoes. In the House of the Holy Ghost (HelligSndshuset) is a local museum. Other fine buildings in the town are the Old Town Hall, the Kompagnihus and the ApostelgSrd, with fine carved woodwork. On the outskirts of the town is the old abbey of Herlufsholm’, for the last 400 years it has been a boarding school. The church contains a superb funerary monument.

7 k (4i miles) S of Nasstved is the island of Gavn0 (linked with Zealand by a causeway), Travel literature Scandinavia with a handsome 18th c. mansion on the site of a nunnery founded by Margaret I in 1402. The house contains a collection of rare books and fine paintings; the chapel has a carved altar and pulpit. NW of Naestved are the Holmegard glass-works.

From Naestved a minor road returns to E4 vra Toksvasrd, passing the manor-house of Sparreshom, with a large collection of horse-drawn carriages. Just before the beginning of the motorway (highway) a road goes off on the left to Haslev, an old town noted for its schools, passing on the way the Renaissance manor-house of Gissefed, set in a beautiful park.

To the east of E4 extends the Stevns peninsula. A good starting-point for a tour of this area is Fakse (Faxe Hotel, 14 b.), where there is a well-known limestone quarry, originally a coral reef of the Cretaceous period. 6 km (4 miles) W of Fakse is the Renaissance mansion, Lystrup, and S of the town, in a nature reserve, the combined wind- and water-mill of Blabaek. 6 km (4 miles) SE of Fakse is its port, Fakse Ladeplads (good bathing beach; Hotelpension Stran-dhoj, 61 b.). The route continues through country which is at first wooded and later open to reach Store Heddinge, the town of the Elf King in the Danish national play Elverh0j by Heiberg. The town lying as it does behind one of the few rocky coasts in Denmark was regarded in the Middle Ages as invulnerable to pirate raids; it has a church dating from 1200, an octagonal structure with a double choir and spiral staircases concealed in its massive walls.

5 km (3 miles) SE of the town is the chalk cliff of Stevns Klint (magnificent views of the sea). Particularly fine is a white crag, rising to 41 m (1 35 ft) at its highest point, near Hojerup, where there is a church dating from 1357. The choir of the church was originally a still older chapel, said to have been built by a fisherman saved from peril on the sea. Since the sea is continually washing away the chalk cliff, the story goes that each New Year’s night, the church moves a few inches inland to avoid falling into the sea. Apparently this was not enough, for in 1928 the choir the original chapel was carried away, the rest ofthe church has now been protected against collapse.

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