The Ertholmene islands are ringed by more than 2 km. of strong, massive granite defence walls, bastions and platforms. Build carefully, and skilfully hundreds of years ago, not even usen mortar – Just stone on stone, many of the walls being several meters in hight
Naval fortress defence walls on Ertholmene
Watercolor and text by Frits Ahlefeldt
The walls are everywhere, and the stones to build them a cut just meters from where they stand. Making the walls fit perfectly into the surrounding rocks
The first defence structures and walls were built more than 300 years ago and countless workers, prisoners and stone masons lost their lives out here on these small squerries, building the huge walls
“Get down from the walls” one of the locals warn a tourist, that dared to climb one of the granite walls, to take pictures.
I look up from the paper and watch how the tourist fast gets off the wall again… The locals protect the walls, like they were close family. A tradition lasting as long back as many of the family-lines still living on the islands.
The walls somehow resembles both an ancient stronghold, a inka like fortress and at the same time something very Nordic, viking like. It is a place so carefully constructed as if their lives depended on the walls keeping them safe – what is exactly what they did for centuries.
keywords: naval fortress, granite wall, defence wall, history, Ertholmene, Christiansoe, Christiansø, Baltic sea, architecture, buildings, art, akvarel, Denmark