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Stonehenge of Denmark

A colleague of mine, who should have been a historian rather than a programmer, mentioned to me once that people with blond hair and blue eyes originally lived around The Black Sea but eventually migrated to Northwestern Europe. My memory of this was brought back when I was standing at the Dodecalith monument in “The Lolland Alps”, overlooking the archipelago and the passage grave Glentehøj as well as three other burial mounds from the Bronze Age.

We drove from Copenhagen to Kragenæs Habour in Lolland municipality on the twin-islands of Lolland-Falster, site of the the southernmost spot in Denmark, the Gedser Isthmus. We left the car at the harbour, packed a few bottles of water and walked along the trail of Glentehøjstien. We followed the trail through the woods and once out in the open we caught our first glimpse of the momentous Dodecalith monument in the distance. On our walk along the trail we passed a senior couple sitting at the rim of the woods, candidly talking  about “the tunes of their bottoms”. Certain that this was in reference to breaking wind, we couldn’t help it giggling.

The Dodecalith, or ‘Dodekalitten‘ in Danish, is derived from ancient Greek and means ‘The Twelve Stone’. It is an art project consisting of twelve menhirs carved in granite and each weighting 25-45 tons. Each menhir is 7-9 meters high, of which the uppermost two meters are sculpted as a head, all facing inwards towards the centre of a circle approximately 40 meters in diameter. With the sculpting of one stone per year, the Dodecalith is, by 2018, halfway through its twelve-year genesis. Judging by the look of their ‘faces’, of the six current menhirs, only three seemed to have be completely finished. Nonetheless, we were already starting to see what will eventually become the ʻStonehenge of Denmark’.

After a 15 minute walk from the parking lot to the stones we sat down on a rock covered from the sun by one of the massive sculptures. A few minutes later, while sitting alone among the stones, the sound of spatial electro music suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

Could that be what the senior couple was referring to?

The music, which could be heard through loudspeakers strategically placed into the sitting rocks themselves − hence the “bottom” reference − is the work of American born Wayne Siegel, a famous music composer living in Denmark. The music is automatically completed by a computer program. The way the music develops is influenced by a number of natural phenomena, such as the rotation of the Earth on its own axis and the orbit of the moon and sound. It’s a case of past meets future.

The story behind the Dodecalith goes back approx. 7,500 years when the greatest natural disaster of all time occurred: The isthmus of Bosporus burst, so the Mediterranean’s waters gushed into the Black Sea 150 meters below. This caused the most developed farming culture of that time to be flooded. The catastrophe forms part of the myth of the Flood.

The floods started major migrations with people reaching as far as Lolland. The stone figures of the Dodecalith portray these wanderers with their strong facial features. With them, the wanderers brought a rich and living culture from a flourishing society and they further developed the farming cultures wherever they settled.

Having absorbed the local history, and growing hungry, we decided to drop by Ban Chang in the charming beach town of Karrebæksminde, about a 45 min. drive from Kragenæs.

Read more about the restaurant in our blog entry Summer, Beach and Thai Food: Restaurant Ban Chang

At the habour in Kragenæs it was a sunny day, but when we arrived in Karrebæksminde, all the sudden, the weather changed. From safe distance inside the restaurant we were treated to Mother Nature’s very own spectacle of lighting and thunder. Except for flooding in the streets, it was like having food in the monsoon season in Thailand.

We stayed for a couple of hours before driving back home to Copenhagen where, incredibly, there was no rain at all.

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