Map 11. Ravning - Skibet
|The Coast to Coast Trail||Sight||Hostel|
|Other trail||Tent site||Shelter|
Vejle Ådal set fra luften mod vest ved Ravning
From Ravning, the trail continues to Vingsted North of Vejle Å. From here, you will walk south of the river for a while along forests and meadows until the path crosses the river again. The trail leads past the Haraldskær Fabrik factory and Haraldskær. At Skibet, the path leads to the main road, which it follows to the east.
North of the Ravning bridge lies the Troldborg Ring stronghold, strategically placed at the edge of the river valley at Ravning. The ring-shaped stronghold lies 70 metres above the river valley on a hill crest with a steep fall toward the meadow. No other Danish prehistoric is placed at such a dramatic site. The stronghold is surrounded by a rampart and towards land there is also a moat. Troldborg Ring is the most well-preserved Iron Age stronghold in Denmark. It was constructed in 100-200 A.D. and was used until the 5th century A.D.
View of the river valley from Ravningbroen
Reconstruction of a part of Ravningbroen
Both from the north and from the south, sunken roads cut their way into the steep slopes down towards Ravning Enge. Right where the sunken roads end, the 760 m long bridge crossing Vejle Ådal built by Harold Bluetooth in 979/980 begins. Until the 1950’s, the bridge lay undiscovered under the meadow. But in connection with the draining of the meadows, the piles from the enormous construction started to appear. Today, the bridge is covered with a bank of earth and copies of the ends of the bridge can be seen at the site. An exhibition in Ravning Station tells the story of the excavations and the history of the bridge.
View of Vejle Ådal at Vork. Photo: Ole malling.
Between the villages of Vork and Ødsted lies a very dramatic landscape. In a ledge right between the bottom of the valley and the plateau lies a mosaic of small forests, steep commons, lakes and marshes. Sheltered by hills and trees, an almost subtropical climate is created on the sunny slopes. 100 years ago, Vork Bakker was a community of 50 farms and houses spread out in the hills. Many of the families were poor and only in the 70’s did the last houses get electricity. Only one full-time farm still exists. Instead, you will find course centres, scout camps and country houses. Small gravel roads are still the only way to access the distinctive area.
The Vingsted centre in Vejle Ådal
Vingsted has seen lots of athletic feats, sweat and sore muscles since the county’s Rifle, Gymnastics and Athletics Club held its anniversary here in 1900. The central location and the new railway probably had something to do with the fact that Vingsted was chosen. In 1936 about 14 acres of meadow land was bought and transformed into a gymnastics area, playing fields and an open-air swimming pool. From then on, the number of activities and facilities grew steadily. Restaurant, sports centres, shooting ranges and a course facility with rooms and classrooms appeared and slowly created the Vingsted Centre. The many activities at the centre, Vingsted Shooting Ranges and DGI’s (the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations) new headquarters and a new road system means that Vingsted at the start of the 3rd millennium still is the most important crossing in Vejle Ådal.
The iron age village
You can experience the Iron Ages in a unique way by going to the Vingsted historic workshop. Right in the middle of the unique landscape between Vingsted Sø and Vejle Å, lie several reconstructed farms and houses that make the village life of the late Iron Age come alive. The Iron Age workshop is mainly intended as an educational facility for primary schools, secondary schools, technical schools, folk high schools and other places of education. Each year around 5,500 students visit the centre. Visitors are welcome all year.
In 1835, a bog man was found at Haraldskær. It was brought to the hospital to be examined. Naturally, the woman could not be saved but it the rumour that it was the lost Viking queen Gunhild who had now turned up quickly spread. However, an examination carried out at the Danish National Museum revealed that the woman was an ordinary person from 490 B.C.. Maybe she had violated the rules and laws of society but in any case she had been executed and fastened to the bottom of the marsh with wooden hooks. "Queen Gunhild" lies in Sct. Nicolai Kirke in Vejle, where she can be seen.
A small section of Vejle Å has been restored to its original course at Haraldskær
Haraldskær Fabrik from 1741 has benefitted from the water power for the production of copper products, scythes and nails. Later, wood pulp and paper was produced here. After a fire in 1922, the paper production stopped and the factory was converted into a power station as part of the Bredsten power plant. The buildings are still recognizable at the river where it is crossed by the main road.
South of Haraldskær Fabrik, a major stream restoration project has allowed trout to pass freely in Vejle Å once again.
Haraldskær Hovedgård and Avlsgård (Home farm)
The manor, which lies on castle mounds close to Vejle Å has since 1434 been owned by a number of prominent families, including the powerful merchant Gerhard De Lichtenberg from 1751-54. Today, Haraldskær Hovedgård is owned by housing associations and is used as a course centre.
The barnyard (former home farm) lies 300 m west of the main building on the opposite side of the road and is owned by the municipality of Vejle. The farm includes 250 acres of forest and 250 acres of farm land, meadows and marshes. In the north wing, former living quarters have been converted to a ”cabin”– Kærhuset. It is a house that institutions, schools and green associations can use as the starting point for nature outings.
At Haraldskær, Vejle Å’s meanders have been recreated on a short stretch of the river.
Skibet Kirke lies above Haraldskær Hovedgård. The travertine church has a Romanesque nave and choir and contains several fine frescoes from about 1200, including a knights’ frieze and an image of Lazarus, who raised the dead.
Links to tour folders
Vandreruten Vejle-Bække og Cykelruten Bindeballestien i Vejle Ådal. Folder about the Bindeballestien trail.
Vingsted-Vork Bakker - Ravning. Folder about the landscape around Vingsted and Vork.
Kyst til Kyst Stien. Folder about The Coast to Coast Trail