Christiansø – Gudhjem, Denmark - Atlas Obscura

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This remote island, home to the easternmost point in Denmark, once hosted pirates and a military fortress. 


The easternmost point in Denmark might be also its most remote. Christiansø is a small Danish island, part of the archipelago known as Ertholmene, which is located 18 kilometers (11 miles) northeast of the island of Bornholm. It is also home to the easternmost point in Denmark (Greenland and the Faroe Islands included).

With an area of just 55 acres, this small rocky outcrop in the middle of the Baltic Sea hosts a permanent population of some 90 people. The small island has everything the community needs: a restaurant, commerce, a police station, and even a school for children to attend until 7th grade. 

The island was officially acquired by King Christian V (who gave the island its name) in the 17th century as a military base. Before then, it had been used as a temporary shelter for pirates and fishermen in the nearby waters. Christiansø is now also linked to Frederiksø, an even smaller island, by a small pedestrian bridge over the harbor, which was built quite recently in Danish history.

The other islands in Ertholmene are protected natural reserves where it is possible to observe large colonies of birds and even seals.

Know Before You Go

The island is accessible by ferry all year from Gudhjem, on Bornholm island.

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March 23, 2021

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