Sejerø is an island about an hour’s ferry ride from Havnsø where we are staying. Sejerø is one of the places in Denmark that has the most sun. Maybe the amount of sun is what attracted people to the island in ancient days, as there are several burial mounds dating from the Bronze Age.
It is a small island, and the sea is always near, as it is a long and thin island. You can circumnavigate the island on a bicycle in a couple of hours. It is 11 km long and 1,7 km at the widest point.
We are quite sloggish so we took the car out and drove around the island. It is costly on the ferry, but there are no limits to how much we value our laziness. The ferry goes several times a day, so you can make it a one-day journey.
The main attraction on the island is the nature. There are no foxes, and therefore quite normal to see pheasants, hares, small deer and even peacocks!
The salty air provides great growing conditions for the plants, there are also some rare plants.
Sejerø Fyr (Lighthouse) is 19 meters tall and is raised atop a small hill. It was built in 1852.
Sejerø Kirke (Church) is seen as you sail in with the ferry. The oldest part of the church is from 1300.
There are two villages on the island, Sejerby and Mastrup, and the whole island is inhabited by 403 people. Of course that number multiplies in the summer when all the tourists, guests and those who own summer homes visit the island.
There is a campsite if you want to stay overnight.
I have come to realize that there is not one point left in Denmark that does not have a fascinating history. In 1132 Sejerø saw some action – at least out in the sea right off the Sejerø coast.
We have to backtrack a tad here, to get an understanding of the conflict. Between 1131 and 1182 several Kings in Denmark were waring about the succession of the throne. The Kingdom of Denmark were split into three districts, Jylland/Jutland, Sjælland/Zealand and Skåne, and one common King were to rule over all three.
King Nils of Denmark, the fifth son of Svein Estridsson (a previous King of Denmark), was chosen as King by the gentry in 1104. King Nils was chosen after the news about his brother, the reigning King, Erik Eiegod, had died on a pilgrimage. Erik Eiegod had decided that his bastard son, Harald Kesja would succeed him on the throne. Perhaps was his wish ignored because his son, Harald Kesja, had made himself very unpopular during the time he had held the throne in his father’s place from 1102 to 1104. He was known to be extremely hard and ruthless.
In the east, the heathen Wends were terrorizing with their piracy, so the coasts needed to be protected so the area would not fall into Wends hands. Another of Erik Eiegod’s sons, Knud Lavard, became Earl of Southern Jutland, and he allied with the rulers of the neighboring countries, thus forming an alliance with the Germans. Due to a timely death among German royalty, Knud Lavard was made Duke of Schleswig, including south Jutland. He successfully expanded along the west end of Østersjøen, and his success made him a great rival to King Nils’ son, Magnus Nilsson.
Jan 7th 1131 Knud Lavard was stabbed and killed by his cousin and rival, Magnus Nilsson. This did not go down to well with the Danish Nobility whom accused Magnus Nilsson of murder, with King Nils as a suspected assessor. To try to solve the conflict, King Nils sent his son Magnus Nilsson in exile to Sweden – whom returned. And that is when it gets really complicated and all hell broke loose.
The battle by Sejerø was one of many battles between Erik Emune, who claimed the throne, against King Nils and his son Magnus. Erik the Pretender won the battle off the coast of Sejerø, and Magnus had to flea in a rowing boat. This was early on in a series of battles in a conflict that lasted for years.