An Entertaining Stroll In The Citadel

I’m standing on top of the Citadel’s ramparts looking over the harbour while swallows fly closely by. I am sure the birds benefit from the steep ramparts one way or another.

Particularly two traditions link the Citadel to the public holiday, Stor Bededag and the night before.

Best known is the custom of eating warm wheat buns on Stor Bededags evening. The reason is that not even the bakers were supposed to work from sundown the night before Stor Bededag and throughout the following day.
Therefore very large wheat buns were baked the day before which people could take home to heat and eat the next day.

However, the wheat buns were eaten the same night – while they were still warm and crisp.
Today it is possible to buy the wheat buns all over when Stor Bededag is approaching.

The second tradition normally associated with Stor Bededag, was the habit of Copenhagen’s bourgeoisie walking on the ramparts on the evening of Stor Bededag. The custom can be traced back to the 1700s and is said to be caused by the melodious chimes of Our Lady Church’s carillon, which lured people of Copenhagen out on a stroll to enjoy the newly sprouted, spring green linden and chestnut trees.

The carillon was set up in 1747 and destroyed by the British bombardment in 1807 the church’s spire was hit and crashed into the main building, which burned completely.

It seems that the tradition once again is popular among people from Copenhagen and every day might work

Useful information on this site:
Kastellet, Copenhagen, Wikipedia

Consequences of War and the Sanctuary

British pilots are on a secret mission 30 September 1944 in Denmark. One of the planes crash because it hits two tall trees.
The tailplane is ripped apart on the Mosquito Jager, and the two young pilots are killed in the crash.

In 1945 people raise a memorial stone in a forest glade at the crash site.

I’ve walked past the glade a few times before, and again today on a spring day.
An elaborately crafted flower is placed here last year in memory of a beloved missing brother.

Early one morning two years ago I passed Hvidekilde in Gribskov.
I had the forest to myself. It isn’t unusual, but the silence was deafening that morning in late November.
The frost lay in the grass and on the meadow horses were looking for food.

By the fireplace stood a man. His outings lay around him. He was in the process of breaking up.
I was about seven meters away, but he saw right through me. Believe me!
That is very uncomfortable being ignored when you are so close to another human being in a deserted place.
That is why, I look directly at him, saying good morning. He answer my greeting with a short murmur, and I went quietly on.

We have experienced it a few times, people in the forest with a different kind of behaviour, which we assume could be people with war trauma.

Former soldiers who seek sanctuary in nature. It is straight forward, because that’s where they got their training.

Now The Danish Defence has arranged for veterans, a kind of halfway houses in the nature.

My walk two years ago from Hvidekilde to Nakkehoved Fyr

The Coastal Defence of Copenhagen

On an artificial island outside Dragør town is Dragør Fort, as part of Copenhagen’s Fortifications from the years around the 1880 to 1920.
Last time I was here, the sun shone and the sea glittered at every little ripple. The yellow houses with red tiled roofs stood in a wonderful contrast against the blue sky on this glorious summer day.
I was so interested in the many sights in the harbor, and had no time to take a closer look at Dragør Fort. But today it’s different, today the fort is my goal.

It’s bitterly cold, with a fresh breeze from the south, but the view is unique here on the top of Dragør Fort. Øresund Bridge is looming sharp against the blue sky and a large container ship looks as if it will topple down into the gap behind the horizon line.

Turning my back at the sea I have the opportunity to admire Dragør town 400 meters away on the mainland, and the houses lights up the landscape with the beautiful yellow masons and red tile roofs.

“Most of the fortifications were built between 1885 and 1894 in response to Denmark’s crushing defeat to Germany in 1864. During the first World War fortifications were manned by almost 50,000 soldiers. But when the war was over, the technological developments had outpaced the fortifications and the great defense ring was abolished as defense. “1.

Did you became curious about The Fortifications of Copenhagen? If so you will be able to read more about on this site:

På en kunstig ø uden for Dragør by ligger Dragør Fortet, som en del af Københavns befæstning fra årene omkring 1880 til 1920.

Sidste gang jeg var her skinnede solen, og havet blinkede ved hver en lille krusning. De gule huse med de røde tegltage stod i en vidunderlig kontrast mod den azurblå himmel på den dejlige sommerdag. Jeg var optaget af de mange synsindtryk i havnen, og havde ikke tid til Dragør Fortet, men i dag er det anderledes, i dag er fortet mit mål.

Det er bidende koldt, med en frisk kuling fra syd, men udsigten er enestående her oppe på toppen af Dragør Fortet. Øresundsbroen aftegner sig skarpt mod den blå himmel, og store containerskibe ser ud, som om de vil vælte ned i gabet bag horisontlinjen. Vender jeg ryggen til havet ligger Dragør by 400 meter inde på fastlandet, og lyser i landskabet med med de smukke gule og røde farver.

Er I blevet nysgerrige kan I læse mere om fortets opgaver på Københavns Befæstning og Dragør Fortet

“Hovedparten af Befæstningen blev opført mellem 1885 og 1894, som reaktion på Danmarks sviende nederlag til Tyskland i 1864. Under 1. Verdenskrig var Befæstningen bemandet med næsten 50.000 soldater. Men da krigen var slut, havde den teknologiske udvikling overhalet Befæstningen, og den store forsvarsring blev nedlagt som forsvarsværk.” 1.