7 Helsingborg - Rydebäck
Degree of difficulty
City hiking at its best. Located on the west coast of central Skåne, the medieval city of Helsingborg has Bronze Age burial mounds, a Viking fortress, health-giving waters, castles, gardens and parks. And on its southern outskirts, you can explore a particularly sensitive nature reserve with rare plants and endangered insects.
From your starting point of the medieval tower known as Kärnan in the heart of Helsingborg, you walk through Slottshagen, a park from the 1900s with exotic trees and views over the Öresund Sound, past Möllebacken and through the park near Konsul Persson Manor, where vast quantities of Corydalis solida, commonly known as bird-in-a-bush or fumewort, grow.
Roads take you to the ravine at Jordbodalen. Follow the stream with several small bridges and a waterfall and continue to Ramlösa Brunnspark and through another ravine with a woodland park and stream. The Ättekulla meadows, pastures and woodlands are covered in wood anemones and lily-of-the-valley. Still in the city, you walk down into the deep valley of the Råån River, where unusual plants, fish and animals live. The river is, from a geological perspective, young. When glaciers retreated from Skåne, they left behind the sandy hills of Glumslöv, and the old river, frozen and still for so long, quickly carved out a new course. The erosion continues, but on a much smaller scale.
At the southern outskirts of Helsingborg, the buildings thin out and Örby Nature Reserve awaits, with its extensive sandy beach, meadows, heaths and wetland forest. More than 400 plant species grow here, many quite rare in Sweden, such as knapweed broomrape, Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem from the lily family, and spiked speedwell. You can also find some 300 species of fungi, rare molluscs, endangered insects, and of course, many birds. Because there are so many rare species here, the municipality has classified the area as a particularly sensitive ecological area.
Construction of Kärnan Tower began around 1310, and is the only part remaining of a larger Danish fortress which, along with the fortress Kronborg on the opposite side of the Öresund Sound, controlled entry to the Baltic Sea. Archaeological excavations revealed earlier remains from a moat and palisade resembling a Viking ring fortress. Only seven or eight of these trelleborgs, as they are called, have been found, and most have been dated to the reign of Danish king Harald Bluetooth around 980.
Helsingborg has a lot to offer by way of architecture, including from the 1600-1700s. In the park near Konsul Persson Manor, there is a café cave, a kind of arbour surrounded by a stone wall. These café caves were once common along the entire length of the Landborg cliff. Maria Church in Helsingborg was built in the 1400s but the sandstone blocks by the plinth tell us that the original church that stood here was built in the 1100s. In Ramlösa Brunnspark, there are beautiful buildings from the period when members of the upper class drank the healing waters from the many nearby springs. A provincial doctor described the spring as a “veritable blessing" and began to officially promote the drinking of healing water in 1707.
Centrally located in Helsingborg is the Ättekulla burial field, consisting of about 20 burial mounds from the Bronze Age. Of these, ten are still preserved. An archaeological survey in the late 1800s of eight of the burial mounds found they contained eleven burials from the older Bronze Age and 53 from the younger Bronze Age, as existing burial mounds were often expanded to include new burials. A large number of Bronze Age artefacts have also been found, including stone battle axes, clasps from clothing, and shaving blades.
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