12th September 2023
Brædstrup: A Breath of Fresh Air in Denmark
Brædstrup, a small town in the Kystlandet region of Denmark has been cleverly transformed from a railway station to a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
Between 1899 and 1968 Brædstrup was a station on the railway line between Horsens and Silkeborg. Banetorvet or the Railway Square, reflected its importance as a commercial centre. Since the last train passed through the town radical changes have been made and the centre of town has now been incorporated into a large public park, Folkeparken or People’s Park and features a large neon-lit play area.
The Centre of Brædstrup in Kystlandet, Denmark
Buildings that were essential to the running of a railway through Brædstrup have been given a new lease of life. The Old Post Office has been beautifully renovated and is now occupied by a top class restaurant, Det Gamle Posthus. Diners on the first floor can watch the chefs working in the kitchen. When the weather is good the terrace at the front of the building is perfect for dining outside. The old station building is now and private residence.
On the far side of Banetorvet at the top of Søgade is a stunning piece of street art. This mural was jointly created by the American born artist James Bullough who lives and works in Berlin and ONUR a star of the Swiss photorealist scene. James painted the figure with spray cans and ONUR used paint and brushes for the background and flowers. It is a compelling piece of art.
Brædstrup has become a popular shopping centre and its main streets are lined with independent shops. Also in the town centre is Brædstrup church.
Brædstrup church is relatively new as it was built in 1941. The town’s original church, Ring Church, was built at Ring Lake around 1200. An inscribed gravestone on a lawn surrounded by a beech hedge marks the site of the original church. When the new church was built it incorporated granite ashlar and an ornamental font from the old church. A fresco painting by Johan Vilhelm Anderson entitled “Christmas night” decorates the Triumphal wall above the choir arch. Close to the town centre is the Old Courthouse surrounded by Dommerhaven Park.
Dommerhaven Park and Tinghus in Brædstrup, Kystlandet in Denmark
Dommerhaven Park encloses the former courthouse, Tinghus, and the path of the heart. The Tinghus dispensed justice in the surrounding district from 1919 to 2006 when this function was transferred to Horsens. Today, Tinghus is available as a venue for public events and meetings. There is a trail of nearly 6 kilometres around the park designed to strengthen the heart through exercise. Walkers on this path will discover the second of two sculptures that grace this park. They are the Ravens of Odin, Norse mythological characters named Muninn and Huginn. Muninn presides over the trial on top of a small hill whereas Huginn stands sentry at the front door of the Tinghus. They were sculpted by the artist Torben Klostergaard in 2018 and 2020 respectively. There is also a tiny lake in the middle of the park – a home to newts. There is a larger lake in the Folkeparken or People’s Park that is accessed through several entrances around the town centre.
Folkeparken (People’s Park) in Brædstrup, Kystlandet
Folkeparken, a large green space in Brædstrup has replaced the old city park. is scattered with benches and tables and ideal for al fresco picnics. It is divided into different zones and has become the perfect place for play and activity as well as relaxation and contemplation. There are also pétanque courts, tennis courts and outdoor fitness equipment. It surrounds a small lake and includes a new extension, Aktivitetsparken or Activity Park. This park includes an outdoor school and playgrounds for different age groups. It also features two shelters that are available (free) to be used overnight. A first-come, first served principle applies and while there is room for others they are not exclusive. The main entrance to Aktivitetsparken is on Skovvejen. It is also accessible through Folkeparken. Beyond these parks is Ring Stove (Ring Wood).
Ring Skov in Brædstrup, Kystlandet
Ring Skov is an area of around two hundred hectares that was once part of the Skanderborg District Gamepark, the Crown’s vast hunting area in the Danish Lake District, the area that surrounds Brædstrup. Until the end the of eighteenth century large parts of the wood were covered by heathland but during the nineteenth century the area was planted with trees, especially conifers. Nowadays this wood is still managed but it is a recreational area featuring woodland trails and a small playground. Not far from this playground is a famous resident of Ring Skov, Jensnej the troll. He took up residence here in 2023 and was last seen holding a mirror above his head to admire his own reflection. Jensnej is the creation of Thomas Dambo who is responsible for over 100 trolls scattered all over Denmark.
Klovenhøj in Brædstrup, Kystlandet
Klovenhøj is an ancient burial mounds on the outskirts of Brædstrup and is believed to date back to the Bronze Age. It has a short flight of steps leading to its flat top. A path off Søndergad leads to the bottom of the steps. Klovenhøj has never been excavated by archaeologists. On its flat top there is a bench and a memorial stone. As this is probably the highest point in Brædstrup it is a good place for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, the town and the Ring Lake below. Klovenhøj is one of many burial mounds in this area but most of them are not visible today. These burial mounds are individual graves constructed as high as possible to honour the deceased and put them as close to the gods as they could. They were often built near travel routes so those passing by would know important people lived there. The top of Klovenhøj is a good vantage point for appreciating the surrounding countryside including Ring Sø a popular bathing spot for residents and visitors.
Ring Sø Brædstrup, Kystlandet
Ring Sø or Ring Lake is on the outskirts of Brædstrup. The town does not have a coastline but this lake makes up for this lack. For walkers, there is a three-kilometre footpath encircling the lake. It is also a bathing lake featuring a beach and a jetty. Another very attraction just outside Brædstrup is the Uncovered Bridge.
The Uncovered Bridge in Brædstrup, Kystlandet
When the railway closed down in 1968, sections of the line were retained and transformed into walking and biking trails. In particular, the one leading from Brædstrup to the Uncovered Bridge. This iron bridge was built in 1899 and is an excellent example of civil engineering during that period. It spans the River Gudenå or Gudenåen also known as the River Guden. The Gudenå runs through the centre of the Jutland peninsula and is the longest river in Denmark. In 1929 the bridge was covered up by a dam which was built as part of a hydro-power project. It was forgotten until 2014 when the river was widened. This red steel lattice bridge was in such good condition it was decided to completely restore it and it has become a much loved beauty spot. As are many of the attractions in and around Brædstrup.
For more information about attractions in Brædstrup in the Kystlandet region. click here
Valery Collins is the Experienced Traveller An excellent raconteur, Valery has been writing about her experiences on the road since she started travelling 25 years ago. After publishing four books she turned to online travel writing.