Denmark is a scenic country with much to offer residents and visitors alike. Topographically, however, it is rather flat and uniform, especially in the greater Copenhagen area. While there are rolling hills north of the city and the spectacular cliffs of Mons Klint a couple of hours to the south, many Danes head to Sweden when they want to experience more nature than what Denmark has to offer.
The Kullaberg Peninsula (Kullen in Danish) is a Swedish nature reserve protruding into the Kattegat some 80 kilometers north of Copenhagen. The peninsula is characterized by dramatic cliffs and rocky coves accessible only by boat or by descending steep paths down to the water’s edge. The peninsula’s terrain contribute to its considerable biodiversity as a strategically important location for migratory birds and home to numerous species of plants and trees.
This rugged nature which contributes to biodiversity is treacherous for the heavy shipping traffic enteringing and leaving the Baltic. The first conventional lighthouse on the peninsula dates to 1561 with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe serving as lighthouse administrator until his death in 1601 (at the time, the region was part of Denmark). The present lighthouse dates to 1898 and is one of the few remaining lighthouses in Sweden with a lighthouse keeper, despite being automated in 1979.
The ridge on top of the peninsula offers numerous hiking trails with spectacular views out over the Kattegat and down to the coves and beaches. Despite its status as a nature reserve, the peninsula is remarkably developed, including an 18-hole golf-course and pasture for grazing beef cattle.
The primary gateway to Kullaberg for both hikers and boaters is the picturesque resort town of Mölle. The town is perhaps most famous for being the first European destination to allow mixed bathing, something considered highly scandalous at the end of the 19th century. The town’s primary landmark, the Grand Hotel, was constructed during this time to cater to the masses willing to push the boundaries of decorum and decency. Today, nudist bathing is commonplace in liberal Scandinavia, showing how far societal norms have evolved in the last century.
By far the most intriguing aspect of the Kullaberg is the architectural oddity Nimis. However, because of the intriguing storyline and number of pictures I have of these sculptures, I’ll leave you hanging and devote another post to it in the coming days…