|Area||588.36 km2 (227.17 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||162 m (531 ft)|
|Region||Capital Region of Denmark|
|Largest settlement||Rønne (pop. 13,772 (2020))|
|Population||39,439 (1 April 2020)|
|Pop. density||67.03/km2 (173.61/sq mi)|
Bornholm (Danish: [p?:n'h?l?m]; Old Norse: Burgundaholmr) is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, to the east of the rest of Denmark, south of Sweden, northeast of Germany and north of Poland. Occupying an area of 588.36 square kilometres (227.17 sq mi), the island had a total population of 39,439 on 1 April 2020.
Among Bornholm's chief industrial activities are dairy farming and arts and crafts industries such as glass production and pottery using locally worked clay. Tourism is also important during the summer months. The island is home to many of Denmark's round churches.
The island is known as solskinsøen (Sunshine Island) because of its weather and klippeøen (Rock Island) because of its geology, which consists of granite, except along the southern coast. The heat from the summer is stored in the rock formations and the weather is quite warm until October. As a result of the climate, a local variety of the common fig, known as Bornholm's Diamond, can grow locally on the island. The island's topography consists of dramatic rock formations in the north (unlike the rest of Denmark, which is mostly gentle rolling hills) sloping down towards pine and deciduous forests (greatly affected by storms in the 1950s), farmland in the middle and sandy beaches in the south.
Strategically located in the Baltic Sea, Bornholm has been fought over for centuries. Usually it had been ruled by Denmark, but also by Sweden and Lübeck, Germany. The ruin of Hammershus, at the northwestern tip of the island, is the largest medieval fortress in northern Europe, testament to the importance of its location. This island and Ertholmene is what remains in Denmark of Skåneland east of Øresund, having been surrendered to Sweden in 1658 but with Bornholm after a local revolt later regained in 1660.
In Old Norse the island was known as Borgundarholm, and in ancient Danish especially the island's name was Borghand or Borghund; these names were related to Old Norse borg "height" and bjarg/berg "mountain, rock", as it is an island that rises high from the sea. Other names known for the island include Burgendaland (9th century), Hulmo / Holmus (Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum), Burgundehulm (1145), and Borghandæholm (14th century). The Old English translation of Orosius uses the form Burgenda land. Some scholars believe that the Burgundians are named after Bornholm; the Burgundians were Germanic peoples who moved west when the Western Roman Empire collapsed and occupied and named Burgundy in France.
Bornholm formed part of the historical Lands of Denmark when the nation united out of a series of petty chiefdoms. It was originally administratively part of the province of Scania and was administered by the Scanian Law after this was codified in the 13th century. Control over the island evolved into a long-raging dispute between the See of Lund and the Danish crown culminating in several battles. The first fortress on the island was Gamleborg which was replaced by Lilleborg, built by the king in 1150. In 1149, the king accepted the transfer of three of the island's four herreder (districts) to the archbishop. In 1250, the archbishop constructed his own fortress, Hammershus. A campaign launched from it in 1259 conquered the remaining part of the island including Lilleborg. The island's status remained a matter of dispute for an additional 200 years.
Swedish forces conquered the island in 1645, but returned the island to Denmark in the following peace settlement. After the war in 1658, Denmark ceded the island to Sweden under the Treaty of Roskilde along with the rest of the Skåneland, Bohuslän and Trøndelag, and it was occupied by Swedish forces.
A revolt broke out the same year, culminating in Villum Clausen's shooting of the Swedish commander Johan Printzensköld on 8 December 1658. Following the revolt, a deputation of islanders presented the island as a gift to King Frederick III on the condition that the island would never be ceded again. This status was confirmed in the Treaty of Copenhagen in 1660.
Bornholm also attracted many famous artists at the beginning of the 20th century, forming a group now known as the Bornholm school of painters. In addition to Oluf Høst, they include Karl Isaksson (1878-1922), from Sweden, and the Danes Edvard Weie (1879-1943), Olaf Rude (1886-1957), Niels Lergaard (1893-1982), and Kræsten Iversen (1886-1955).
Bornholm, as a part of Denmark, was captured by Germany on 10 April 1940, and served as a lookout post and listening station during the war, as it was a part of the Eastern Front. The island's perfect central position in the Baltic Sea meant that it was an important "natural fortress" between Germany and Sweden, effectively keeping submarines and destroyers away from Nazi-occupied waters. Several concrete coastal installations were built during the war, and several coastal batteries, which had tremendous range. However, none of them were ever used, and only a single test shot was fired during the occupation. These remnants of Nazi rule have since fallen into disrepair and are mostly regarded today as historical curiosities. Many tourists visit the ruins each year, however, providing supplemental income to the tourist industry.
On 22 August 1942 a V-1 flying bomb (numbered V83, probably launched from a Heinkel He 111) crashed on Bornholm during a test - the warhead was a dummy made of concrete. This was photographed or sketched by the Danish Naval Officer-in-Charge on Bornholm, Lieutenant Commander Hasager Christiansen. This was one of the first signs British Intelligence saw of Germany's aspirations to develop flying bombs and rockets which were to become known as V-1.[self-published source?]
Bornholm was heavily bombarded by the Soviet Air Force in May 1945, as it was a part of the Eastern Front. The German garrison commander, German Navy Captain Gerhard von Kamptz (1902-1998), refused to surrender to the Soviets, as his orders were to surrender to the Western Allies. The Germans sent several telegrams to Copenhagen requesting that at least one British soldier should be transferred to Bornholm, so that the Germans could surrender to the Western Allied forces instead of the Soviets. When von Kamptz failed to provide a written capitulation as demanded by the Soviet commanders, Soviet aircraft relentlessly bombed and destroyed more than 800 civilian houses in Rønne and Nexø and seriously damaged roughly 3,000 more on 7-8 May 1945. The population had been forewarned of the bombardments, and the towns were evacuated, but 10 local people were killed. Soldiers were also killed and wounded. Some of them were conscripts from the occupied Baltic states fighting in German ranks against the Soviets.
During the Soviet bombing of the two main towns on 7 and 8 May, Danish radio was not allowed to broadcast the news because it was thought it would spoil the liberation festivities in Denmark. On 9 May Soviet troops landed on the island, and after a short fight, the German garrison (about 12,000 strong) surrendered. Soviet forces left the island on 5 April 1946 as part of the post-war division of interests of the Soviet Union and the Western Allies. Denmark was to be Western aligned, and in return the Baltic states were to be kept in the Soviet sphere of influence.
After the evacuation of their forces from Bornholm, the Soviets took the position that the stationing of foreign troops on Bornholm would be considered a declaration of war against the Soviet Union, and that Denmark should keep troops on it at all times to protect it from such foreign aggression. This policy remained in force after NATO was formed, with Denmark as a founding member. The Soviets accepted the stationing there of Danish troops, which were part of NATO but viewed as militarily inferior elements of the alliance, but they strongly objected to the presence of other NATO troops on Bornholm, US troops in particular.
On 5 March 1953, the day of Stalin's death, Polish pilot Franciszek Jarecki defected from the Eastern Bloc and landed a MiG-15 fighter on the island. He was later granted asylum and rewarded for providing Western intelligence with the then-newest Soviet jet fighter.
In 2017, Denmark's Defence Intelligence Service decided to build a listening tower near Østermarie, almost the size of the Statue of Liberty, to intercept radio communications across the Baltic Sea and in parts of Russia.
Bornholm Regional Municipality is the local authority (Danish, kommune) covering the entire island. It is the result of a merger of the five former (1 April 1970 until 2002) municipalities on the island (Allinge-Gudhjem, Hasle, Nexø, Rønne and Aakirkeby) and the former Bornholm County. Bornholm Regional Municipality was also a county in its own right during its first four years from 1 January 2003 until 31 December 2006. From 1 January 2007 all counties were abolished, and Bornholm became part of the Capital Region of Denmark whose main responsibility is the health service. The municipality still retains its name Bornholm Regional Municipality. The island had 21 municipalities until March 1970, of which 6 were market towns and 15 parishes. In addition to supervising parish municipalities, which was the responsibility of the counties in all of Denmark, the market town municipalities of Bornholm were supervised by Bornholm County as well and not by the Interior Ministry as was the case in the rest of Denmark. The seat of the municipal council is the island's main town, Rønne. The voters decided to merge the county with the municipalities in a referendum 29 May 2001, effective from 1 January 2003. The question on the ballot was, "Do you want the six municipal entities of Bornholm to be joined to form one municipal entity as of 1 January 2003?" 73.9% voted in favour. The lowest percentage for the merger was in Nexø municipality (966 more people voting "Yes" than "No"), whose mayor, Annelise Molin, a Social Democrat, spoke out against the merger. It was required that each municipality had more "Yes" votes than "No" votes. Otherwise the merger would have to be abandoned altogether. The six municipal entities had up to 122 councillors (of which county clls were 18, from 1998 15), reduced to 89 in the municipalities from the 1990s, in the 1970s and the new regional municipality would have 27 councillors from the start. They were reduced to 23 from 1 January 2018 (election November 2017). The merger was approved in a law by the Folketing 19 (and signature by the Queen 25) March 2002, transferring the tasks of the abolished county and old municipalities to the new Bornholm Regional Municipality. The first regional mayor in the first three years from 2003 until 2005 was Thomas Thors (born 28 July 1949), a physician and member of the Social Democrats and previously the last mayor of Rønne Municipality for five years from 1998 until 2002. He became a mayor again in 2021. Bjarne Kristiansen, who was the last mayor of Hasle 2+1⁄2 years from the summer of 2000 until 2002, representing the local Borgerlisten political party, served as mayor for four years from 1 January 2006 until 2009. From 1 January 2007, Bornholm became a part of the Capital Region of Denmark. From 1 January 2010 until 31 December 2020 the mayor was Winni Grosbøll, a high school teacher and a member of the Social Democrats (Socialdemokratiet) political party. The deputy mayor Morten Riis was mayor for a short interlude from 1 January until 4 January 2021. He is from the Red-Green Alliance. Thomas Thors, who was elected again in 2017, became mayor again from 4 January 2021.
Bornholm's municipal council today consists of 23 members, elected every four years. In the first four local elections in the newly created municipality there were 27 members elected to the municipal council. The 2002 local election only took place on Bornholm. From the election in 2017 the number of councillors elected was reduced to 23 members, serving their term of office from 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2021.
Below are the election results to the new merged municipal council beginning with the first election 29 May 2002.
|2002||8||1||1||9||8||27||79.3%||Thomas Thors (A)|
|2005||7||2||3||1||2||1||5||6||78.0%||Bjarne Kristiansen (L)|
|2009||8||1||1||4||1||3||1||8||72.1%||Winni Grosbøll (A)|
|Data from KMDValg.dk|
Ferry services connect Rønne to ?winouj?cie (Poland), Sassnitz (Germany), Køge, 45 kilometres (28 miles) by road (34 kilometres or 21 miles as the crow flies) south of Copenhagen, Denmark; the destination to Køge replaced the nighttime route directly to and from Copenhagen (for both cargo and passengers) from 1 October 2004; and catamaran services to Ystad (Sweden). Simrishamn (Sweden) has a ferry connection during the summer. There are also regular catamaran services between Nexø and the Polish ports of Ko?obrzeg, ?eba and Ustka. There are direct bus connections Ystad-Copenhagen, coordinated with the catamaran. There are also flights from Bornholm Airport to Copenhagen and other locations.
Because of its remote location Bornholm Regional Municipality has its own traffic company, BAT, and is its own employment region, and also performs other tasks normally carried out by the regions in the rest of Denmark. In some respects the municipality forms a region of its own.
Bornholm Regional Municipality was not merged with other municipalities on 1 January 2007 in the nationwide Municipal Reform of 2007.
The larger towns on the island are located on the coast and have harbours. There is however one exception, centrally placed Aakirkeby, which was also the name of the municipality from 1970 until 2002, which did, however, include the harbor, Boderne, 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) to the south. The largest town is Rønne, the seat, in the southwest on the westernmost point of the island. The other main towns (clockwise round the island) are Hasle, Sandvig, Allinge, Gudhjem, Svaneke and Nexø. Monday morning 22 September 2014 it was documented by Folkeregistret in the municipality that the number of people living in the municipality that day were 39,922, the lowest number in over 100 years.
The town of Rønne after the merger of the island's administrative entities 1 January 2003 reached a low point of 13,568 inhabitants 1 January 2014. 15,957 people in 1965 (date unknown;number not registerbased) lived in the two parishes that would become Rønne municipality from 1 April 1970. In the table, numbers for Rønne are for the parish of Rønne, Rønne Sogn, alone. Year unknown, but between 2000 and 2005. It does not include Knudsker Sogn, which was also a part of Rønne Municipality. Other localities (with approximate populations, not updated) include Aarsballe (86), Arnager (151), Olsker (67), Rutsker (64), Rø (181), Stenseby (?) and Vang (92). In 2010 and 2018 10,297 and 9,111 respectively lived in rural districts, and 88 and 71 had no fixed address. A rural district is defined by Statistics Denmark as a settlement with less than 200 inhabitants.
This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: badly presented tabular data of little interest anyway. The total population is given elsewhere. (October 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Year: Beginning with 2007; 2018;
Population numbers are from 1 January. Christiansø Parish (which encompasses Ertholmene) is not a part of Bornholm Regional Municipality. It is included because Danmarks Statistik includes it as parish number 7568. Bornholm has 21 parishes (2018) that before 1 April 1970 were parish (15) or market city (6) municipalities themselves. There are 2,163 parishes (November 2019) in the Church of Denmark.
Source:Statistikbanken.dk/Befolkning og valg/(table)FODIE (births);FOD207 (deaths);BEV107 (births;deaths;birth surplus);KM1 (parishes).
On 22 September 2014 population numbers showed fewer than 40,000 inhabitants on the island for the first time in over 100 years. The Folkeregister in the municipality could document 39,922 inhabitants in the municipality on that date.
Many inhabitants speak the Bornholmsk dialect, which is officially a dialect of Danish. Bornholmsk retains three grammatical genders, like Faroese, Icelandic and most dialects of Norwegian, but unlike standard Danish. Its phonology includes archaisms (unstressed [a] and internal [d?, ], where other dialects have [?] and [ð?, ? / ?]) and innovations ([t?, d?] for [k?, ] before and after front-tongue vowels). This makes the dialect difficult to understand for some Danish speakers. However, Swedish speakers often consider Bornholmian to be easier to understand than standard Danish. The intonation resembles the dialects spoken in nearby Scania, Blekinge and Halland the southernmost provinces of Sweden.
On the surface of Bornholm older geological formations can be seen better than in the rest of Denmark. Stubbeløkken - which is still operating (Danish i drift) - and Klippeløkken granite quarries in Knudsker parish just east of central Rønne - and statistically a part of the town - are among the few remaining quarries of what was once many active quarries on the island. The island's varied geography and seascapes attract visitors to its many beauty spots from the Hammeren promontory in the northwest to the Almindingen forest in the centre and the Dueodde beaches in the southeast. Of special interest are the rocky sea cliffs at Jons Kapel and Helligdomsklipperne, the varied topography of Paradisbakkerne and rift valleys such as Ekkodalen and Døndalen. Bornholm's numerous windmills include the post mill of Egeby and the well-kept Dutch mill at Aarsdale. The lighthouse at Dueodde is Denmark's tallest, while Hammeren Lighthouse stands at a height of 85 metres (279 ft) above sea level and Rønne Lighthouse rises over the waterfront.
Examples of roads that have (very) steep climbs and descents are: (inland) Simblegårdsvej in Klemensker, which begins by the village inn Klemens Kro, and Slamrebjergvej just outside Nexø extending northward from the main road from Rønne. Along the coast there are several steep roads, which is also the case in some parts of Denmark as a whole, for instance in and around Vejle.
The island hosts examples of 19th- and early-20th-century architecture, and about 300 wooden houses in Rønne and Nexø, donated by Sweden after World War II, when the island was repairing damage caused by the war. The island is home to 15 medieval churches, four of which are round churches with unique artwork and architecture. The ancient site of Rispebjerg has remains of sun temples from the Neolithic and earthworks from the Iron Age.
Because of the dilapidated state of their buildings, all secondary educational facilities in Rønne, including adult evening classes, are being transferred to new facilities at Campus Bornholm in 2018. Campus Bornholm is a merger formed in June 2010 consisting of Bornholms Erhvervsskole (youth and adults), Bornholm High School (youth) and VUC Bornholm (adults), then occupying separate addresses. Learning institutions not part of this formalised collaboration will also be housed at Minervavej in Rønne. The building costs were over 300 million DKK (US$46.9 million (29 June 2018)). The A.P. Møller Foundation contributed a sum of 56 million DKK (US$8.76 million (29 June 2018)) to the project.
Bornholm is connected to the Swedish electricity grid by a submarine 60 kV AC cable, which is among the longest AC cables in Europe. This cable is capable of delivering all the electrical energy consumed on Bornholm. However Bornholm also generates its own electricity at small thermal power plants and especially wind turbines.
Bornholm is also home to a large internationally funded demonstration project to test the viability of novel energy market mechanisms to regulate energy networks with a high prevalence of renewables (such as wind turbines and photovoltaics). 50% of the project is EU-funded, with the remainder coming mainly from large corporations. See http://www.eu-ecogrid.net/ecogrid-eu for more.
Bornholm has an oceanic climate relatively similar to southern Sweden and mainland Denmark, whose summer highs and winter lows are heavily moderated by its maritime and isolated position. Even though heat is rare, the climate is sunny during summers and rainfall is generally sparse for a climate of this type. The winter (November-December) 2010 - (January-April) 2011 was exceptionally extreme with snow depth reaching at least 146 cm, 2 inches short of 5 feet (snowdrifts 6 meters, almost 20 feet) the highest in Northern Europe. Military assistance was needed. The DMI estimated the weight of snow to be 100 million ton.
|Climate data for Bornholm (1971-2000)|
|Record high °C (°F)||8.9
|Average high °C (°F)||2.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.9
|Average low °C (°F)||-1.1
|Record low °C (°F)||-15.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||40.2
|Average precipitation days||16.5||12.9||13.7||11.2||10.0||11.0||10.6||10.8||13.2||14.5||16.7||16.1||157.3|
|Average snowy days||5.6||5.3||4.0||0.9||0.1||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||1.8||3.4||21.2|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||35||53||112||190||284||266||276||252||155||102||46||31||1,809|
|Source: Danish Meteorological Institute|
Bornholm's geography as an island and moderate climate makes Bornholm an ideal location for sailing and other water-based sports. Bornholm has also become an internationally recognised venue for 'match racing', a sailing sport where two identical yachts are raced in one-on-one events on the water. The Danish Open event was held in Bornholm in September 2010 at the port town of Rønne on the western coast of Bornholm. The five-day Danish Open is a key event in the World Match Racing Tour calendar which is one of only 3 events awarded 'special event' status by the International Sailing Federation. The Tour is the world's leading professional 'match racing' series and features a nine-event calendar which crosses three continents during the series. Points accrued during the Danish Open contribute directly to the World Match Racing Tour championship with the winner of the season finale at the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia claiming the ultimate match racing title ISAF World Match Racing Champion.
There are two small stadiums: Nexø Stadion, in Nexø, where NB Bornholm association football club play; and the slightly larger multi-use stadium Rønne Stadion Nord in Rønne, which serves the Bornholm national football team, multi-section club most well known for athletics IK Viking, and several local football clubs. The DBU Bornholm is the local branch governing football on the island.