Cultural history

Ancient monuments

Stone ship and Bronze Age mound at Klebæk Høje

On the coast to coast trail you will pass by many remains from the past. A couple of places the hills along the river valley are adorned with scattered burial mounds. These mounds are mainly from the Bronze Age. Klebæk Høje lies at Bække and consists of two Bronze Age mounds, surrounded by a stone ship from the Viking Age. Close to the trail to the east at Egtved the remains of a woman with well-preserved clothing was found in a Bronze Age mound: the Egtved Girl.

In addition to the stone ship at Klebæk Høje you can find other Viking remains along the trail. At the Bække Kirke church, a runic stone can be seen with an inscription dating to the year 960. In Vejle Ådal, the remains of a bridge from the 10th century have been found - Ravningbroen – which stretched 760 metres across Vejle Ådal..

In Vejle Ådal, you will find well-preserved remains from the Iron Age. Troldborg Ring our most well-preserved fort from the Iron Age. The fort was built between 100 and 200 A.D. and was in use until the 5th century. A well-preserved Iron Age bog man has also been found in the river valley.

Churches

Janderup Kirke

The trail passes many interesting churches, most of them Romanesque, built in the 12th and 13th centuries. These include the churches in Ål, Billum, Janderup, Varde, Bække and Skibet. Unique frescoes can be seen in the churches in Ål and Skibet.

You will also come across more recent churches, such as the one in Hovborg where the cross-shaped church was built in 1895.

Major towns

The rown square in Varde

Varde lies at a ford. Here, Drivvejen crossed Varde Å and from here commodities could be transported on the river. Major vessels could moor downstream at Janderup while barges transported the goods to Varde. Varde became a royal borough in 1442 but is first mentioned round 1100.

Even though Vejle became a royal borough in 1327, it remained a small town until the mid-19th century. Only after the building of a new harbour and a railway connection did the town’s development take off and Vejle became a busy industrial town.

The railway

At the old merchant house, Bindeballe Købmandsgård, the old train station form the Vejle-Vandel railway can be seen along with a couple of old train wagons

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the railway was the most important means of transportation on land. Some of the smaller towns on the trail have or have had a railway station, including Oksby, Tofterup and Egtved. They have the railway to thank for their growth.

Part of the coast to coast trail, between Bindeballe and Vejle, runs along a former stretch of railway line. It was a railway line until 1957. A model of the railway can be seen at the exhibit at the bridge Ravningbroen.

Water power

Karlsgårdeværket

Karlsgårdeværk at the western part of the lake Karlsgårde Sø

Water power used to be an important source of energy, both for the industries that used water power directly and for hydroelectric plants. Along the Coast to Coast Trail several remains from the use of water power can be found and a hydroelectric plant is situated near Varde is still in use.

Karlsgårdeværket – the second largest hydroelectric plant in Denmark – is powered by the water in Karlsgårde Sø. The lake gets its water from the Varde Å and Holme Å rivers through a 17 km long system of canals. It has been decided to shut down Karlsgårdeværket within a few years. The water from the plant will be carried back to the Varde Å and Holme Å rivers as part of a major nature restoration project.

At Vejle Å, the hydroelectric plant has seen a lot of use as well. Hydroelectric plants were situated at both Vingsted and Haraldskær until recently. No less than 35 water mills produced electricity along Vejle Å in the 19th century.