The cultural landscape on North Funen is rich in tales, mementos and traces of the past. If you are the curious type and like to dig up history, you should try going on a journey of discovery here among the burial mounds, holy fountains, castles, evil squires, witches and ghost stories.
In several places you will come across glacial valleys, claybed hills and kettle holes from the Ice Age. Throughout history, the long kame plain at Grindløse has been utilised for gravel digging, but beside the protected Kronsbjerg, the kame can be seen very clearly in the cultural landscape. Viewing it from the air will give you an idea of the incredible forces that were at play here. The view is fantastic.
North Funen’s numerous manor houses each have their own special history. Today, all of the estates are privately owned and only a small minority have been opened up to the public. Dallund Slot has been home to more peculiar squires than any other manor house in North Funen. In the 1600s, the whip and wooden horse were regularly used to torture Dallund’s poor serfs, and there are tales of ghosts roaming in both the alley and the castle park. Harritslevgård is one of the most beautiful castles in North Funen. In the middle ages, Harritslevgård was called the robbers’ castle as, allegedly, a crew of pirates lived there. The castle has the largest banqueting hall in private ownership and is open to the public on selected days throughout the year.
Once upon a time, North Funen had a coastline dotted with fjords, bays, islands and islets.
From 1781-1783 Count Joachim Godske Moltke created one of Denmark’s first dams. It was at Krogsbølle Fjord, that a 334 hectare fjord was transformed from a precious natural environment to agricultural ground. This was the starting gun for dams being built all over Denmark.
In North Funen there are around 24 repaired fjord arms and retreats covering an area of 3500 hectares. All of the dams are worth a visit and, with a little bit of imagination, it is easy to envisage the once shallow wetlands with small islands, islets and headlands. Large sections of the reclaimed land are cultivated but some of it has been given back to nature. Examples are Fjordmarken, Lammesø Ølund and Gyldensteen Strand.
In 1943, the occupying power started building an airport at Beldringe. An area covering 2000 hectares was commandeered and more than 200 families were forced from their homes. The family farm and house were torn down to make way for runways, control towers, ring roads and hangars. However, encircled by Flak artillery, the airfield was never really used. Around 70 German aircraft landed at the airport in March, and on 8 May 1945, the first British aircraft landed.
There have been two railways in North Funen. Nordfyenske Jernbane 1882-1966 and Nordvestfyenske Jernbane 1911 -1966. In several places, you can see the old railway bridges and station buildings and, nowadays, you can actually cycle from Odense to Morud along the old stretch of railway line – known as Langesøstien.
North Funen has countless unique finds from the Stone Age, the Iron Age and the Viking era. In Glavendruplunden, outside the village of Skamby, you will find one of Denmark’s most beautiful rune stones. Moreover, it is the rune stone with the longest inscription in Denmark. Glavendrupstenen vividly recounts the tale of Høvdingen and the High Priest Alle den Blege, his wife Ragnhild and the rune carver Sote. The stone, which stands at more than 2 metres in height, is located at the after end of the ship-like formation, surrounded by tall beech trees. Glavendruplunden is a truly magical place.