Bornholm – WorldAtlas
Denmark (officially, the Kingdom of Denmark) is a Scandinavian nation located in Northern Europe. Denmark includes more than 440 named islands including Zealand, Bornholm, Funen, Falster and Lolland. With a surface area of 588.36 km2, Bornholm is a small Danish island located in the Baltic Sea.
Bornholm is about 169 km south-east of the Danish capital of Copenhagen, about 35 km south-east of the Kingdom of Sweden, north of Poland and north-east of Germany.
About two-thirds of the northern part of Bornholm Island is made up of granite rock formations, with farmland and forests in the center, and rocky cliffs bordering the coastline. The southern part of the island is characterized by an undulating surface of sandstone, shale and limestone with sand dunes bordering the coastline. Located in the heart of Bornholm Island, in the Almindingen Forest, lies Rytterknægten which rises to 162 m and is the highest point of Bornholm. Due to its unique geology and rugged terrain, Bornholm is also often referred to as Klippeøen, which means “rocky island”.
Located on the westernmost point of the island, Rønne is the largest town and administrative center of the municipality of Bornholm.
According to the Köppen climate classification, the island of Bornholm experiences an oceanic climate strongly influenced by the Baltic Sea. The average summer, fall and winter temperatures on the island are comparatively milder than those in the rest of Denmark and other Scandinavian countries. With sparse precipitation and less heat, the weather remains quite sunny during the summer months. The island is also sometimes called Solskinsøen or “sunshine island” because of its sunny weather. The island’s climate favors the cultivation of the native Bornholm diamond, a local variety of figs common on the island.
The island was named Borgundarholm in the native language of Old Norse while in the old Danish dialect the island was named Borghand. The island was originally administered by Scanian Law, under the historic Swedish province of Scania. In the 10th century Danish Vikings established bases on the island, and eventually it became one of the most important stops along the Baltic Sea trade route. Several battles took place between the Danish crown and the Swedish siege of Lund for control of the island. Subsequently, three districts (herreder) of the island were handed over to the archbishop by the King of Denmark. Hammershus Castle was built by the Archbishop in 1250, and the remaining part of the island, including its main fort of Lilleborg, was conquered by the Archbishop in 1259.
Ownership of the island remained in dispute for 200 years. After the war of 1658, Bornholm along with a few other areas was ceded to Sweden by Denmark under the Treaty of Roskilde. After a popular revolt the same year, locals offered the island to Danish King Frederick III in 1660 under the Treaty of Copenhagen, on condition that the island would never be ceded again.
In 1940, during World War II, Bornholm was occupied by the Germans along with the rest of Denmark. The island was heavily bombed in 1945 by Soviet air forces and after the surrender of German forces, the island was taken over by the Soviets. Bornholm Island was returned to Denmark on April 5, 1946.