The Enchanting History of Svanninge Hills near Faaborg
The Enchanting History of Svanninge Hills
Discover the captivating landscape of Svanninge Hills and Svanninge Mountains near Faaborg. A varied terrain with rolling hills, forests, and diverse natural habitats like meadows, wetlands, and ponds, these places are home to unique flora and fauna, including the climbing larkspur and dormouse.
Formed by ice ages, the history of these hills dates back to 20,000 years ago. The remnants from the past tell us stories of ancient inhabitants dating back to the Stone Age, agricultural developments, and unique cultivation methods of the bygone era. Amidst these tales is the mention of the iconic Jættestuen Skjerninghøj burial site, a marvel built by the early settlers of Svanninge.
Once covered with forests, over the years, the landscapes changed with agricultural advancements and the evolving needs of growing populations. By the 1800s, as romance blossomed, the hills became a popular tourist destination for the elite, lovingly named the “Funen Alps”. Many artists were drawn to this scenic beauty, painting its landscapes and making it a muse for art enthusiasts.
Among them was conserves manufacturer Mads Rasmussen, who, inspired by Fritz Syberg’s painting, acquired parts of Svanninge Hills in the early 1900s. He envisioned turning it into a natural park and built a pavilion to soak in its beauty. This love for the hills was so intense that by the turn of the century, efforts were initiated to preserve and restore the natural splendor of the region.
Today, the aim is to recreate the open landscapes, especially the ‘overdrev’ – grassland ecosystems that are valuable habitats for various species and are now a rare sight in Europe. Supported by the EU LIFE program and the Danish state, the recent projects have revitalized the hills, clearing out trees and introducing grazing cattle to maintain the landscape.
Svanninge Mountains, too, have their share of tales. Initially forested in the 1800s, a majority of its trees were lost to a massive storm in 1999. Subsequent reforestation introduced a mix of oak and beech trees. Later acquisitions by the Bikuben Foundation aim to protect its rich history and promote diverse wildlife.
Dive deeper into the stories of these hills and mountains. Explore, appreciate, and get lost in the captivating tales and scenic beauty of Svanninge.