Monday, February 28, 2011

Vokslev Kalkgrav/ Chalk Pit at Limfjorden in North Jutland and the neighbourhood.......

Binderup Å river
Vokslev kalkgrav ( chalk pit) is situated in North Jutland close to Limfjorden and 3 km from the small town Nibe. It is like most other North Jutland chalk pits digged out and made accessible. It is a very exciting and beautiful place with an ancient geological history - and when you stand looking down the slope to the Binderup å-river which runs through a narrow valley down there, then it is difficult to imagine that this little water stream has been running there ever since Ice Age.

Here at Vokslev was once a lively industry, here was digged chalk for more than 100 years. Todays visitors often come to see profiles in the chalk,  if they are interested in the geology or in the chalk-industry. The profiles in the chalk show both the soft, white chalk from the Cretaceous period, which was used for building-material and the hard chalk from the tertiary period, which could be sawed out for building-stone. The chalk pit gives good opportunities for fossile-hunting (mostly sea urchin and bryozo).
At the mill

The chalk pit in Vokslev is unique caused by the demarcation-line between the deposits, which places it  among geological localitites of international importance. The stratum was deposited in the sea about 65 milllion years ago, the demarcation-line is marked by a thin layer of clay. In the Cretaceous period was the land dominated by dinosaurs, and there were only few rat-like mammals. The fossils show that on the line between the Cretaceous period and tertiary period disappeared 2/3 of all animal- and plant-species during a very short time. The dinosaurs died out.

It has not yet been finally clarified what happened in this largest event in life's existence on earth, but maybe the guess of  the riddle is found in the thin layer of clay. Where this layer of clay is found in various places on earth it shows that it contains rare elements and minerals, which normally are not found on the surface of the earth, but is known from meteors. Maybe the earth was hit 65 million years ago by a colossal meteor, which whirled up dust and earth into the atmosphere. The sun was eclipsed, maybe for decades, and most animal and plants became extinct. An effect like this can also happen in a large volcanic eruption, but the discovery of a 300 km large, assumed impact-crater in Mexico - age 65 million years - seems to reinforce the meteor-theory.


But today the reptiles live a good life in Vokslev chalk pit. Both sand lizard,common lizard and slow-worms are seen in the sunny chalk pit  -  also viper and grass snake. The chalk pit has a rich flora, and several various trees and bushes attract many butterflies and other insects. Here is also a rich bird life.

Ancient privy

Blå mosaikguldsmed(Aeshna cyanea)

Parsnip sent out its summer-scent


Common Ragwort, poisonous

The idyllic Binderup å-river has avoided destructive regulations. The river has a good fall and a bottom of stone and gravel. In the water is a rich life of small animals and a large population of trout. At Hule Mølle (mill) are fish-steps for the sea-trout.

The exhibition at Vokslev kalkgrube describes the history of the chalk pit and the cultural environment around the river and the mill. There is a parking-place and a resting place with tables and benches.
Vokslev kalkgrube is a part of a biking-route called "Geologisk set" ( Geologically seen) = "Vokslevruten".
Fishing license at Møllegården for a 500 m long stretch af Binderup river south of the mill.
The chalk pit is owned by the Danish state, while the river valley and the slope at the river are private.

Along the Vokslev-nature path on a windy day in the sunny flower-field.


The small town Nibe (ab. 4.500 inhabitants)  has a beautiful place by Limfjorden. It started as a fishing village in the Middle ages, especially had it a rich herring-fishing and trade with the Hanseatics, which  brought wealth to the town. The old part of town has kept some of its medieval mark in the cosy streets with the low houses.


Upon a hill with a fantastic view to the waters of Limfjorden lies one of the finest long dolmens in Denmark. It is about 60 m long, 12 m broad and surrounded by 47 large stones, of which the gable stones are several meters tall. The dolmen is called Troldkirken (the Troll-church), because a troll on the other side of Limfjorden once got mad at Sønderholm church. The troll hated the bell-ringing and threw a giant stone across the fjord in order to crush the tower. The stone ended at the place Troldkirke. It is the cover stone, which weighs supposedly 6-8 tons.

Klitgård Fishing-place
Klitgård fiskerleje (fishing-place). The decision here is to create settings for leisure-time in connection to Limfjorden and to secure the special nature- and culture values of the area, which can be used for spare-time fishing and as a storage yard for little boats etc. - and a recreation-place - fx for bird-watchers.Technical plans are not allowed, only as a parking place. The area has to be kept clear of technical plans, considering the fine situation close to the coast.

Source: Kulturhistorie,.dk, Politikens store Danmarksbog, Se dit Danmark.

photo Vokslev 2007; Nibe,Troldkirke, Klitgård 2006: grethe bachmann.


Joan said...

A wonderful post thank you Grethe. I love to think of the river flowing for eons.. and the troll who threw a rock at the church because of the bell (I have a brother-in-law who would understand that troll!). Your land has been inhabited for so long! Ours has had human occupation for only 1000 years. My first trip to Europe I felt a shift in my brain regards time.

Thyra said...

Thank you Joan. Yes, the nature is so multifarious that you cannot help being surprised and wonder about it all, when you're out there. We are just tiny things!! Joan, I once lived in a flat- while I was young - where Europe's largest church bell was in the church just opposite. I was told it was the largest, and I believed it to be so! I understand the troll and your brother!
You were in Vienna? I was in Vienna in the 1980s. The buildings seemed so heavy and huge in this old Kaiser-city, and it was also a big change for me.
Grethe ´)

Teresa Evangeline said...

I love old mills and the history around such places. Your Pablo Neruda quote on your sidebar is perfect. I need to look him up, become better acquainted. I've always been tempted, so thanks for the nudge.

Wanda..... said...

I love reading of old legends, the troll throwing a giant stone across the fjord reminds me of the story behind the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. Enjoyed the post, Grethe.

Thyra said...

Hej Teresa and Wanda, it is so nice to hear from you here on the first day of March! Oh yes the Pablo Neruda quote is so good. I remember the Gian'ts Causeway, one of my colleagues was there some years ago and had some great photos from the place. I've found more legends about trolls and stones for Thyra today!

Marilyn said...

To walk in these places, to absorb the history to hear the story must be so wonderful. Like Joan, when I was in England and Europe I could almost feel all the history whispering in my ear. I first encountered trolls in the mountains of Norway.
I would love to explore Denmark, to see for myself these places you are showing us on your blog.

Thyra said...

Hej Marilyn, thank you. I have been to Norway, it is such a beaufiful country and the air is so fresh. They have got many great stories about trolls, fx the Troll in Dovrefjeld.
I would love to explore more in Norway and in Europe, but I have some trouble in going abroad now. Fortunately I love my little Denmark, especially Jutland!