If you venture into Holmegaard Bog, a unique experience of nature awaits you. Follow the paths and take a look down into the black holes spread all over the bog. These deep peat banks are traces of human exploitation of nature, and to walk between the deep ditches filled with water in the middle of the light, magnificent nature gives a dramatic and unforgettable experience in the bog.
Being out there, of course, has to take place with the utmost respect for nature and the protected bog. During spring and summer, there will be arranged guided tours into the bog – keep an eye on our events to see, when you can come along.
Holmegaard Bog is the reason why there is a glassworks at all here in Fensmark. In a relatively poorly wooded country like Denmark – compared to Norway and Sweden anyhow – this was the only possibility to supply enough fuel to run a glassworks in the first 1800s. The bog is owned by the Gisselfeld Estate, where the Danneskiold-Samsøe family lives since the 1700s.
In 1823, Count Christian Conrad Sophus Danneskiold-Samsøe realized an idea to make use of the bog's turf for fuel and handed in an application to the king to establish a glassworks. It was approved and even so the count unfortunately had died of pneumonia in the meantime, his wife carried on with the plans. From 1825, when the first glass furnace was turned on and hundred years on, the bog supplied the glassworks with turf for fuel. Also, the worker's housing in the glass city were heated with turf from Holmegaard Bog.
In 1924, the peat spades were put on a shelf in favour of wood, coal and later on oil. But during World War II, shortage in raw materials once more demanded the bog to become life-giving to the glassworks. During the years of the war, they dug up to 30,000 tons turf a year out of the bog. During the 1950s, turf production was stopped completely and since 2004, the bog has been listed.
The past has several times emerged from the turf in Holmegaard Bog. No other place in Western and Central Europe, so many and so well-preserved inland settlements from the first half of the Mesolithic Age (ca. 9,000 to 6,500 BC) are found.
On several locations in the bog there are found stone-built roads, possibly dating back to the Iron Age. And from the Neolithic Age and far into the Iron Age, there are found valuable gifts to the spiritual powers in the bog. The bog's peat layers also contain outstanding but only sparsely researched archaeological finds from later parts of antiquity.
In 1944, a peat digger bumped into a pile of hazelnut shells and the National Museum was called upon immediately. Three metres down into the water-saturated peat layer, archaeologists from the National Museum found the settlement 'Holmegaard IV' from the Palaeolithic Age. Here are traces of settlements with hut sites, workshops for cutting flint stone, piles of food scraps and discarded tools in wood, bone and antler. The settlement is the earliest found from the Stone Age, and it is exceptionally well-preserved. In the settlement, remains of four bows are found. One of them, the Holmegaard Bow, is especially well-preserved, even so it is made about 9,000 years ago. It is the oldest and best-preserved bow in the world.