The old tiny herring factory under the defence tower

The legendary “Christiansoe herrings” were for many years made in a small house, just under the fierce looking round naval fortress defence tower ” small tower” Still remember the days when…

Watercolor of herring factory and naval defence tower

Watercolor and text by Frits Ahlefeldt

We would get up very early in the morning, just as the sun hit the rocks and the seagulls rose with high screams. My girlfriend and the others worked in the small herring factory just a short walk from the tiny granite shack we all lived in.

It was back in the 1990’s and I worked on the Ertholmene islands as a younger watercolor artist, being lucky to share a “real house”, instead of just living in my tent for the season. Still remember the waves hitting the windows on the schack on days with strong winds.

And the coffee we made outside under the seagulls. And the small factory with the couple both living there, and making the heerings after the old secret recipe handed down and refined in generations

I passed by the house this summer, twenty years later, and the now elderly man was in it tending his vegetable garden. We hugged and talked about old days and all the things going on.

The herring production has been closed for years, and he is now alone in the house all year – still tending the house and garden, just under the round tower.

Watercolor of the naval fortress tower "small tower" on Ertholmene - Watercolor by Frits Ahlefeldt
Small fishing house ( old soldiers building) in front of the Naval fortress tower “Small tower” ( Lille taarn) on ‘frederiksø – Ertholmene

See all watercolors from my Christiansoe collection here

keywords: christiansø sild, herring, salted herring, Frederiksø, lille tårn, Naval fortress, Ertholmene, Christiansoe, Christiansø, Baltic sea, architecture, buildings, art, akvarel, Denmark

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