The Ancient Road “Hærvejen” – 500 kilometres of presence
Hærvejen is a feeling of anti-everyday life. The route invites for reflection, presence and lots of air, nature, space and silence. Moving along Hærvejen is like pulling the plug for a while forgetting smartphones and deadlines and just being present in the moment.
The Ancient Road of Hærvejen comprises more than 500 kilometres of hiking and cycling routes through the mainland of Jutland. Before the invention of cars and trains, the jutlandic main road went along the watershed through the country all the way from the German border to the town Viborg. Back then the Haervej was not just one road, but a system of humble gravel paths and hollow roads that formed the Haervej as we know it today.
Hærvejen runs through Jutland from Hirthals og Frederikshavn in the north to the German border in the -south. The middle part of Hærvejen runs among others through the small town of Engesvang and Stenholt Forest as well as Nørre Snede.
The many grave mounds along the road Haervej testify how Hærvejen has been an important road in prehistoric times, most likely back in the early Stone Age. Hærvejen was used by traders, who was transporting flint, amber, hides, pottery and oxen to central Europe, and by pilgrims on their way to visit to the grave of the Apostles in Santiago in northern Spain, the Church of St. Peters in Rome or even Jerusalem. The road was also used by armies, which the many ramparts along the roadside testify to.
During time, Hærvejen has had a number of other names: Bullock Road, Ox Road, Kings Road, Roman Road or simply the Country Road. In southern Jutland, many parts of the road are still known as the Ox road. The name Hærvej for the route from Viborg to the Danevirke has existed since 1930.
Route proposal – 6,5 km hike at the Ancient Hærvej
On the 6,5 kilometers route from Vester Palsgård Skovmusem (forest museum) to Nørre Snede, you get to experience the ancient pilgrimage church at Nørre Snede with its world-famous roman baptismal font in granite which has been exhibited in both Berlin and New York.
Set off at Vester Palsgård Skovmuseum which is located in the middle of Palsgård Forest close to the ancient Hærvej and highway A13 and move along the beautiful forest of Palsgård Skov (Palsgård Forest) with old moor plantage, pine trees, swamps and areas with oak trees and hundreds of years old beeches.
Route proposal – 12 km bike trip at the Ancient Hærvej
On the 12 kilometers route from Vester Palsgård Skovmuseum (forest museum) to Tinnet Krat you get to experience the church in Nørre Snede with its world famous baptismal font and the watershed at Gudenåen and Skjern Lake.
Set off at Vester Palsgård Skovmuseum which is located in the middle of Palsgård Skov (Palsgård Forest) close to the ancient Hærvej and highway A13. Move along Palsgård Skov and halt about halfway at Nørre Snede Church. Continue over Nedergård Skov (Nedergård Skov) to Tinnet Krat ( Tinnet Copse) where you will find the origin of Gudenåen (Gudenåen River) and Skjern Å (Skjern River) – just a few hundred meters apart.
Hærvejen has a website with precise information on routes, accommodation, travel packages, pilgrim-travels, history etc. Visit the page and get more information at www.haervej.com