20.08.2014 change 20.08.2014

Curiosities of Bornholm Castle

Dog paw prints on the medieval castle room floor and a cannon ball are the most interesting discoveries of Polish team of archaeologists inside a thirteenth-century castle Hammershus on the island of Bornholm.

The third season of excavations carried out by researchers from the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw ended in late July. Hammershus Castle is one of the Bornholm’s most recognizable historic buildings and one of the largest of its kind in Scandinavia. It is the third most important monument of this category in Denmark.

This season, the archaeologists have focused on work related to the reconstruction of the castle walls. They have also carried out surveys, limited range excavations, along the southern outer walls and in rooms located in the central part of the castle. On one of the floors they discovered dog paw prints.

"We have also found another cannon ball in one of the castellan residence rooms, and the context of this discovery confirms the turbulent history of the largest castle in northern Scandinavia. The discovery aroused great interest of tourists visiting the castle" - told PAP the project leader Janusz Janowski of 3D Scanners Laboratory of the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw.

Close to one of the main entrances to the castle from the harbour side, on the outer side of the wall, archaeologists found almost entirely preserved medieval glass bottle.

Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Moellers Foundation allocated 92.5 million Danish kroner to extensive conversion work. The three-year project includes archaeological research, architectural analysis, and conservation. New tourist centre will be built. Polish archaeologists are involved in the project since the beginning, and, in addition to conducting excavations, they document them using modern methods.

Scientists still can not clearly answer, who and when built the fortress Hammershus. They hope that the present work will help clarify that. According to the most popular version, castle Hammershus was built by the Archbishop of Lund - Jacob Erlandsen, in the middle of the 12th century. However, the fortifications erected by the archbishop were smaller than those visible today. Many years of renovations and reconstructions have contributed to this situation. Janusz Janowski explained that it was certain that the construction of the defensive structure was closely associated with the struggle for supremacy on the island between the secular (the Lilleborg castle) and religious authorities (Hammershus). Since 1743, the structure began to fall into disrepair. Luckily, already in 1822 the castle was entered in the Danish register of monuments.

PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland

szz/ agt/ mrt/

tr. RL

Copyright © Foundation PAP 2019