This article is about the Danish island. For the French music group, see MØN (band)
MØN (band)
MØN or MØN - Rock Orchestra is a group of seven French musicians, created in 2004, whose music spans rock, pop and classical. The music draws on the post-rock styles of Silver Mt...

Mön redirects here. Mön is also the Icelandic
Icelandic language
Icelandic is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the...

 name for the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

, q.v.

Møn is an island in south-eastern Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. Until 1 January 2007, it was a municipality in its own right but it is now part of the municipality of Vordingborg, after merging with the former municipalities of Langebæk
Langebæk is a town with a population of 265 and a former municipality in Region Sjælland on the southeastern tip of the island of Zealand in south Denmark. The municipality included the islands of Langø, Tærø and Lilleø, and it covered an area of 101 km². It had a total population of 6,332...

, Præstø
Præstø is a town with a population of 3,884 and a former municipality in Vordingborg Municipality in Region Sjælland on the east coast of the island of Zealand near its southwestern tip in south Denmark. The former Præstø municipality included the islands of Maderne, Storeholm, and Lilleholm...

, and Vordingborg. This has created a municipality with an area of 615 km² and a total population of 46,307 (2005). It belongs to the Region Sjælland
Region Sjælland
Region Zealand is an administrative region of Denmark established on January 1, 2007 as part of the 2007 Danish Municipal Reform, which replaced the traditional counties with five larger regions. At the same time, smaller municipalities were merged into larger units, cutting the number of...

 ("Zealand Region"). Møn is one of Denmark's most popular destinations for tourists with its imposing white chalk cliffs
Møns Klint
Møns Klint, , is a striking landmark and tourist attraction along the eastern coast of the Danish island of Møn in the Baltic Sea. The bright chalk cliffs stretch some 6 km from the park of in the north to the in the south. Some of the cliffs fall a sheer 120 m to the sea below...

, beautiful countryside, sandy beaches and the inviting old market town of Stege
Stege, Denmark
Stege is the largest town on the island of Møn in south-eastern Denmark. As of 2011, its population is 3,823. Stege is now part of Vordingborg Municipality and belongs to Region Zealand...



Møn is located just off the south-eastern tip of Zealand from which it is separated by the waters of the Hølen strait between Kalvehave and the island of Nyord
Nyord is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, southeast of Zealand, just north of Møn island.Nyord covers an area of approximately 5 km², although only 1.2 km² is cultivatable moraine, while the remaining 4 km² is salt-meadow which is used for summer grazing, but is flooded during the...

, at the northern end of Møn. Further south is Stege Bugt. At the narrowest point between the two islands, the waters are referred to as Wolf Strait (Ulvsund), which is the primary strait separating Møn from Zealand.

To the southwest is Stubbekøbing
Stubbekøbing is a town with a population of 2,298 in Guldborgsund municipality in Region Sjælland on the northeastern coast of the island of Falster in south Denmark...

 on the island of Falster
Falster is an island in south-eastern Denmark with an area of 514 km² and 43,398 inhabitants as of 1 January 2010. Located in the Baltic sea, it is part of Region Sjælland and is administered by Guldborgsund Municipality...

, which is separated from Møn by the Grønsund
Grønsund is a strait in Denmark separating the island Falster from the islands Møn and Bogø. Grønsund's maximum depth is at approx. 20 metres and the width is between 1 - 4 km. Storstrømmen channel is situated to the west and Stege Bugt lies to the north between Zealand and Møn. A ferry crosses the...

 (Green Strait).

There are a number of islands in the waters off Møn, including Nyord and Bogø
Bogø is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, just west of Møn. The population is 1,135 with 873 living in the largest town, Bogø By. The island is approximately 7 km long by 3 km wide at the largest points, with a total area of 13 km²...

, the smaller island of Farø
Farø is an island in Denmark, located between the islands of Sjælland and Falster. It has an area of 0.93 km² and has a population of four people . Administratively it is part of Vordingborg Municipality....

, as well as the islands of Langø
Langø is an island in Denmark. It is situated in the Ulvsund between Sjælland und Møn...

, Tærø
Tærø is a small Danish island in the Ulvsund Strait between Zealand and Møn, not far from Bogø and the Farø Bridges. Located in Vordingborg Municipality, the island has an area of 173 hectares. As of 1 January 2010 there was only one inhabitant registered on the island.The island is formed by two...

 and Lilleø off the coast of Zealand. The island of Lindholm
Lindholm is a Swedish surname, meaning "Linden Island", and may refer to:* Gun-Mari Lindholm , Finnish politician* Herbert Lindholm , Finnish flutist and composer* Jan Lindholm , Swedish Green Party politician...

 in Stege Bugt is state-owned, and is the location for the State Veterinary Institute for Virus Research (Statens Veterinære Institut for Virusforskning).

Transport links

Møn is connected to Zealand at the town of Kalvehave by the Queen Alexandrine Bridge
Queen Alexandrine Bridge
The Queen Alexandrine bridge is a road arch bridge that crosses Ulv Sund between the islands of Zealand and Møn in Denmark....

. The bridge opened for traffic on May 30, 1943, and is named after Queen Alexandrine
Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Alexandrine Auguste of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was the queen consort of King Christian X of Denmark.-Family:She was born a Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, in the city of Schwerin...

, the Queen Consort
Queen consort
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

 of King Christian X
Christian X of Denmark
Christian X was King of Denmark from 1912 to 1947 and the only King of Iceland between 1918 and 1944....

. The bridge is 746 meters long and considered to be one of Denmark's most attractive bridges.

At the south-western corner, Møn connects by causeway to the 5x7 km island of Bogø. From Bogø another causeway connects to the small island of Farø, which acts as the centre point for the Farø Bridges
Farø Bridges
300px|thumb|The Farø Bridges from above: Zealand to the left, Falster to the right and Bogø at the top The Farø Bridges are two road bridges that connect the islands of Falster and Zealand in Denmark by way of the small island of Farø which is approximately mid-way across the Storstrømmen sound...

 carrying the motorway between Zealand and Falster. The north Farø bridge has a span of 1.5 km, the south bridge a span of 1.7 km with a 290 metre central span for shipping. The central span is supported by cables from two 95 m pylons which raise the bridge 26 metres above sea level. The bridge was completed in 1984 and forms part of Euroroute E47 from Copenhagen (and Helsingborg
Helsingborg is a city and the seat of Helsingborg Municipality, Skåne County, Sweden with 97,122 inhabitants in 2010. Helsingborg is the centre of an area in the Øresund region of about 320,000 inhabitants in north-west Scania, and is Sweden's closest point to Denmark, with the Danish city...

) to Lübeck
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World...

 (and thence Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 and the south).

At the north-western tip of Møn there is a narrow bridge to the small island of Nyord.

The town of Stege

Stege, the largest town on the island of Møn, is situated approximately at the centre point of the island at the mouth of Stege Nor, a lake which connects directly to the sea. The population is around 4,000. The town has a great deal of charm with historic buildings, a marina and many restaurants and cafes. The annual "Stege Festival" takes place every Tuesday in July, and the first Tuesday in August.


Møn is known for its natural beauty, sandy beaches, fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

-decorated churches, Stone Age
Stone Age
The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period, lasting about 2.5 million years , during which humans and their predecessor species in the genus Homo, as well as the earlier partly contemporary genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus, widely used exclusively stone as their hard material in the...

 and Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 passage grave
Passage grave
thumb|250px|right|A simple passage tomb in [[Carrowmore]] near [[Sligo]] in IrelandA passage grave or passage tomb consists of a narrow passage made of large stones and one or multiple burial chambers covered in earth or stone. Megaliths are usually used in the construction of passage tombs, which...

s and monuments
A dolmen—also known as a portal tomb, portal grave, dolmain , cromlech , anta , Hünengrab/Hünenbett , Adamra , Ispun , Hunebed , dös , goindol or quoit—is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of...

, and Møns Klint
Møns Klint
Møns Klint, , is a striking landmark and tourist attraction along the eastern coast of the Danish island of Møn in the Baltic Sea. The bright chalk cliffs stretch some 6 km from the park of in the north to the in the south. Some of the cliffs fall a sheer 120 m to the sea below...

 ("The White Cliffs of Møn"), the island's most popular attraction.

The cliff
In geography and geology, a cliff is a significant vertical, or near vertical, rock exposure. Cliffs are formed as erosion landforms due to the processes of erosion and weathering that produce them. Cliffs are common on coasts, in mountainous areas, escarpments and along rivers. Cliffs are usually...

s, c.6 km long and up to 128 metres tall, are Denmark's highest, and support a unique set of natural habitats. Access to the narrow beach is via a flight of 500 steps from the parking area set within the beech forest behind the cliffs. The GeoCenter Møns Klint
GeoCenter Møns Klint
GeoCenter Møns Klint is a geological museum on the island of Møn in southeastern Denmark. Located close to the top of the chalk cliffs known as Møns Klint, it was opened on 29 May 2007 by Queen Margrethe...

, a geological museum tracing the origins of Denmark and the formation of the cliffs opened there in May 2007. The combination of chalk
Chalk is a soft, white, porous sedimentary rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. Calcite is calcium carbonate or CaCO3. It forms under reasonably deep marine conditions from the gradual accumulation of minute calcite plates shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores....

 in the subsoil
Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics...

 with a dry local climate, and its agricultural use consisting primarily of cattle grazing, has created some of Denmark's richest meadowlands. The chalk was transported to Møn during the fourth, and most recent, major ice age
Ice age
An ice age or, more precisely, glacial age, is a generic geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers...

Another attraction close to the cliffs is Liselund
Liselund is an 18th-century aesthetically landscaped park, complete with several exotic buildings and monuments. Located close to Møns Klint on the north-eastern corner of the Danish island of Møn, it is deemed to be one of the finest examples in Scandinavia of Romantic English gardening...

, the romantic summer residence erected in the 1790s by French nobleman Antoine de Bosc de la Calmette for his wife, Lise. The miniature thatched palace and grounds were designed by Andreas Kirkerup, one of the foremost landscape architects of the times. A larger house was constructed in the park in 1887 by Baron Fritz Rosenkrantz, which is now a hotel. The park is open to the public and includes the original thatched manor house, Swiss cottage, Chinese tea house and Norwegian log cabin. Calmette was also responsible for the park at Marienborg, to the west of Stege.

At the north-western corner of Møn is a narrow bridge to the island of Nyord
Nyord is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, southeast of Zealand, just north of Møn island.Nyord covers an area of approximately 5 km², although only 1.2 km² is cultivatable moraine, while the remaining 4 km² is salt-meadow which is used for summer grazing, but is flooded during the...

. The small village on the island has a number of quaint cottages and farmhouses as well as a unique octagonal church and a small harbour. Nyord is an important habitat for geese, ducks and other wading birds. There is a bird-watching tower for the use of visitors.
At the south-western corner, Møn connects by causeway to the 5 by 7 km island of Bogø. The island has a preserved windmill, an old bording school and a summer ferry to Stubbekøbing
Stubbekøbing is a town with a population of 2,298 in Guldborgsund municipality in Region Sjælland on the northeastern coast of the island of Falster in south Denmark...

Møn has a number of interesting churches decorated with frescos
Church frescos in Denmark
Church frescos or church wall paintings are to be found in some 600 churches across Denmark, no doubt representing the highest concentration of surviving church murals anywhere in the world. Most of them date back to the Middle Ages...

. Fanefjord Church
Fanefjord Church
Fanefjord Church, one of the Danish island of Møn's most famous attractions, is located in an open setting overlooking the Baltic Sea inlet of Fanefjord between Store Damme and Hårbølle. Standing majestically on the top of a small hill, the church's red-tiled roof and whitewashed walls can be seen...

 dates back to the 13th century, and has a set of recently restored frescos painted in 1450 by the Elmelunde Master
Elmelunde Master
The Elmelunde Master, Danish Elmelundemesteren, is the designation given to the nameless 16th century artist who painted the frescoes in the churches of Elmelunde, Fanefjord and Keldby on the island of Møn in south-eastern Denmark....

. Frescos can also be seen in Elmelunde Church, the oldest church on the island, with parts dating from the start of the 12th century. Keldby Church
Keldby Church
Keldby Church, famous for its frescoes, is located on the main road to Møns Klint in the village of Keldby, 4 km east of Stege on the Danish island of Møn....

 has a unique altarpiece and is also richly decorated with frescos. Another interesting church is the one at Damsholte
Damsholte Church
Damsholte Church, located in the village of Damsholte on the island of Møn in southeastern Denmark, is the only village church in the country built in the Rococo style. It is considered to be one of Denmark's finest Rococo buildings.-History:...

. It is one of the finest Rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...

 buildings in Denmark and the only village church built in the Rococo style.

The oldest and perhaps most impressive burial mound on Møn is Grønsalen
Grønsalen or Grønjægers Høj is located near Fanefjord Church on the Danish island of Møn. Some 100 metres long and 10 metres wide, it is Denmark's largest long barrow and is widely recognised as one of Europe's outstanding ancient monuments....

 near Fanefjord Church
Fanefjord Church
Fanefjord Church, one of the Danish island of Møn's most famous attractions, is located in an open setting overlooking the Baltic Sea inlet of Fanefjord between Store Damme and Hårbølle. Standing majestically on the top of a small hill, the church's red-tiled roof and whitewashed walls can be seen...

. The 100 m by 10 m barrow is from around 3500 BC. According to legend, it is the resting place of Chief Grønjæger (Greenranger) and his wife Queen Fane, after whom Grønsund and Fanefjord were named. There are also barrows at Raaby and Busemarke. There is also a 5,000 year old round burial barrow at Sømarke, and others at Jættestue and Jordehøj. Kong Asgers Høj at Sprove is the largest gallery grave in Denmark, more than 4,000 years old. It has been fully excavated and can be visited inside. There is another round barrow at nearby Rundysse, and a further recently restored 9 metre long double passage gallery grave at Klekkende Høj
Klekkende Høj
Klekkende Høj is a megalithic tomb on the island of Møn in Denmark. It takes its name near the village of Klekkende. Høj, from the Old Norse word haugr, means hill, mound or barrow.-Burial mound:...

 from the Neolithic age ca. 4,500 years old.

There is a jewellery museum in the little village of Damme and near Keldbylille, there is a museum (Museumsgaarden) depicting life on a Møn farm as it was 100 years ago. There are also several art galleries and arts and crafts centres on the island.

Møn also has a number of popular beach resorts, particularly in East Møn with Ulvshale
Ulvshale is a peninula and small summer house locality in the north-eastern corner of the Danish island of Møn. Its long sandy beach and natural forest attract tourists particularly in the summer months.-The locailty:...

 to the north and Råbylille Strand
Råbylille Strand
Råbylille Strand is a resort on the south coast of eastern Møn, an island on the Baltic Sea in south-east Denmark. On 1 January 2007, it became part of the new Vordingborg municipality.It is to the east of Stege and 15 km south-west of Møns Klint...

, Klintholm Havn
Klintholm Havn
Klintholm Havn is a fishing village and a popular tourist resort on the south coast of Møn, an island in Vordingborg Municipality, southeastern Denmark. As of 1 January 2010, the population is 209.The harbour was built in 1878 by C.S...

 and Hårbølle
Hårbølle is a harbour village on the Danish island of Møn some 5 km south of Store Damme. It is located in the parish of Fanefjord in Vordingborg Municipality. Today it is a popular pleasure boat harbour and summer house resort.-History:...

 on the south side of the island.

Early settlements

There is evidence that people lived in Denmark more than 100,000 years ago, but the area became covered with ice during the last ice age
Ice age
An ice age or, more precisely, glacial age, is a generic geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers...

. People returned to Møn about 10,000 years ago during the Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. Very broadly it dates to between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, roughly coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity and before the advent of...

 era. At that time the island was part of mainland Europe.

During the Mesolithic
The Mesolithic is an archaeological concept used to refer to certain groups of archaeological cultures defined as falling between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic....

 era (6800-3900 BC) there is evidence from findings of small flint and bone tools that inhabitants of the island lived by hunting and fishing. The landscape was largely wooded, with hazel and increasingly oak and alder trees. From around 5400 BC reforestation was complete, forming an inaccessible forest and forcing out the last of the big animals such as aurochs
The aurochs , the ancestor of domestic cattle, were a type of large wild cattle which inhabited Europe, Asia and North Africa, but is now extinct; it survived in Europe until 1627....

 and moose
The moose or Eurasian elk is the largest extant species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic configuration...

. Human habitations have been found along the eastern coast.

The Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 era, (3900-1700 BC) saw the start of cattle farming spreading inland from the coastal settlements. Flint axes were used, and trading occurred in flint, gold, copper and bronze. This era saw the start of barrow
Long barrow
A long barrow is a prehistoric monument dating to the early Neolithic period. They are rectangular or trapezoidal tumuli or earth mounds traditionally interpreted as collective tombs...

 building for the dead, and settlements have been found at Rødkilde. Barrows became larger, longer and contained multiple burials. More than 100 large graves have been found on Møn. The period from 2400-1700 is known as Doltktiden, after the flint daggers which became common at that time. Bronze was also in use, imported from the south.

Around 2000 BC, a new wave of people arrived on Møn, the Stridsøksekulturen (the battleaxe people). They brought with them goats, sheep and horses, and their trademark stone battleaxes. They used simpler graves with small round mounds.

Bronze became more common, hence the period 1700-500 BC became the Bronze Age
Nordic Bronze Age
The Nordic Bronze Age is the name given by Oscar Montelius to a period and a Bronze Age culture in Scandinavian pre-history, c. 1700-500 BC, with sites that reached as far east as Estonia. Succeeding the Late Neolithic culture, its ethnic and linguistic affinities are unknown in the absence of...

 and flint ceased to be used for tools. Large round mounds
A tumulus is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are also known as barrows, burial mounds, Hügelgrab or kurgans, and can be found throughout much of the world. A tumulus composed largely or entirely of stones is usually referred to as a cairn...

 were used for burial, and more than 200 of these have been found on Møn. Each mound covered a single grave, containing a coffin made from a single split and hollowed oak tree. From 1000-500 BC, graves became smaller and cremation began to be practiced. Graves were encircled by a ring of stones. Fewer items were buried with the dead, as a result of changes in society which made grave robbing more likely.

From 500 BC, iron began to be used in the Pre-Roman Iron Age
Pre-Roman Iron Age
The Pre-Roman Iron Age of Northern Europe designates the earliest part of the Iron Age in Scandinavia, northern Germany, and the Netherlands north of the Rhine River. These regions feature many extensive archaeological excavation sites, which have yielded a wealth of artifacts...

. The climate became cooler and wetter, causing difficulties for agriculture. Few remains have been found from the period 500-0 BC, but Celtic culture became an influence.

The Roman Empire stopped short of Denmark, but from 0-400 AD in the Roman Iron Age
Roman Iron Age
The Roman Iron Age is the name that Swedish archaeologist Oscar Montelius gave to a part of the Iron Age in Scandinavia, Northern Germany and the Netherlands....

 there is evidence of imported Roman goods in silver, bronze and gold. Little has been found from the post-Roman Germanic Iron Age
Germanic Iron Age
The Germanic Iron Age is the name given to the period 400–800 in Northern Europe and it is part of the continental Age of Migrations.-Germanic Iron :...

 until about 800 AD. Two treasure hoards have been found on Møn from the Viking Age
Viking Age
Viking Age is the term for the period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, spanning the late 8th to 11th centuries. Scandinavian Vikings explored Europe by its oceans and rivers through trade and warfare. The Vikings also reached Iceland, Greenland,...


Unification of Denmark

The last recorded independent ruler of the island of Møn was Hemming, son of Sigvard Snogøje (Sigvard Snake-eye) in the early 800’s, who carried out raids on other territories. Møn itself was subject to raids, particularly Vendians from Rugen
Rügen is Germany's largest island. Located in the Baltic Sea, it is part of the Vorpommern-Rügen district of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.- Geography :Rügen is located off the north-eastern coast of Germany in the Baltic Sea...

 and Fehmarn
Fehmarn is an island and - since 2003 - a town on this island in the Baltic Sea, off the eastern coast of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and ca. 18 kilometers south of the Danish island of Lolland...


From 900-1000 AD forests were steadily cleared and there was a profitable trade in corn with the Baltic countries. The relative wealth and large population of the island is indicated by the large number of churches built at that time. However, this wealth increased the likelihood of Vendian raids. This in turn led to the deliberate retention of some coastal forest areas as protection against raiders.

The castle of Stegeborg was begun around 1220 in timber, then rebuilt in brick by 1245, despite this being a relatively peaceful period. On the death of King Valdemar II
Valdemar II of Denmark
Valdemar II , called Valdemar the Victorious or Valdemar the Conqueror , was the King of Denmark from 1202 until his death in 1241. The nickname Sejr is a later invention and was not used during the King's own lifetime...

 in 1241, a dispute arose over the succession, which led to the island being raided by Lubeckers who took the part of one of the claimants, Knud Duke of Blekinge who was imprisoned by his brother Erik Plovpenning
Eric IV of Denmark
Eric IV, also known as Eric Ploughpenny , was king of Denmark from 1241 until his death in 1250. He was the son of King Valdemar II of Denmark by his wife, Infanta Berengária of Portugal, and brother to King Abel and King Christopher I.-Early life:...

 (king 1241-1250) in Stegeborg. The Lubeckers conquered Copenhagen, then Stege to release the Duke. These raids continued intermittently into the 16th century. The succession wars also led to further raids in 1260 when the island was seized by Prince Järmer of Rugen. The Germans gained rights to establish a trading outpost at Brøndhøj. A Norwegian, Alf Ellingsen, was also attracted by the island, defeating a defending fleet of 30 vessels to raid Møn and other islands during the reign of Erik Glipping
Eric V of Denmark
Eric V "Klipping" was King of Denmark and son of Christopher I. Until 1264 he ruled under the auspices of his mother, the competent Queen Dowager Margaret Sambiria. Between 1261 and 1262, Eric was a prisoner in Holstein following a military defeat...

 (1259–1286). Glipping granted Stege a town charter, granting it sole rights to trade and tax certain commodities, which existed until 1857.

From the middle of the 12th to the mid-17th century Møn became a Danish crown property and was managed by a feudal lord. Its relative importance meant that appointments were made from the ranks of highest Danish nobility. The lord had responsibility for maintaining order and collecting taxes, hosting visits from royalty and important guests, and judging legal disputes. As a royal possession, the island was used as surety against loans made to the crown, and passed into various hands while debts remained unpaid. This gave the pledge holders the right to extract whatever revenue they could from the island while it remained pledged as security. Prince Witslav of Rugen held the island for 20 years from 1286, resulting in rebellions against him and further Norwegian raids

Herring fisheries, prosperity and decline

The island, and Stege in particular, prospered in the 14th century from the results of herring fishing, reaching the height of its wealth around 1500. It adopted a coat of arms including three herrings, and the town defences were strengthened. Around 1430 a rampart, wall and moat were created around the town by Eric VII. Three towers were created at each of the main approach roads, of which only Møllerporten still survives. However, the fortifications were no defence against fire, which at one point destroyed the greater part of the town, or against the plague.

In 1447, King Christopher III granted the town rights to trade outside Møn, within the remainder of Denmark. In 1450, hristian I of Denmark]|Christian I] forbade farmers to trade goods outside of Denmark, with the result that they sailed directly to Germany to sell their goods, bypassing the town of Stege, which was starved of goods and revenue. In 1476, the town received confirmation of its historic rights and, in 1481, a further law forbade foreigners trading with farmers on Møn. This was reaffirmed by King Hans in 1507.

In 1510, the Lubeckers attacked Møn in retaliation for the trade sanctions, failing to take Stege but destroying the island's second largest town, Borre
Borre may refer to:* Borre, a former municipality and village in Norway* The Borre mound cemetery* Borre, a commune of the Nord département in France* Borre, Denmark, a village on the Danish island of Møn* Borre Golfbane, a golf course in Norway...

. The trade war continued, and in 1524 Frederick I
Frederick I of Denmark
Frederick I of Denmark and Norway was the King of Denmark and Norway. The name is also spelled Friedrich in German, Frederik in Danish, and Fredrik in Swedish and Norwegian...

 again felt the need to repeat the ban on trade on Møn anywhere except in the town of Stege. In 1533, Frederick died leading again to a dispute over the crown. The townspeople sided with the previously deposed Christian II
Christian II of Denmark
Christian II was King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden , during the Kalmar Union.-Background:...

, but the castle was in the hands of Christian III
Christian III of Denmark
Christian III reigned as king of Denmark and Norway. He was the eldest son of King Frederick I and Anna of Brandenburg.-Childhood:...

. As a result the castle was taken by deceit by townspeople and blown up. The four leaders were hanged, but the castle was not rebuilt. In 1538, Christian III once again repeated the trade ban, as the citizens of Stege still could not obtain sufficient food for the town.

At the start of the 16th century, around 2000 people lived in Stege. However, the herring fisheries were in decline and the town was taxed heavily to pay for continuing wars. Farmers began to sell goods to the harbour at Grønsund, and the island was again pledged against a debt. By 1582 Frederick II was obliged to cut taxes on the town and waive unpaid back taxes, as the town was effectively bankrupt. In 1583, trade with Germany was again banned. Christian IV
Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most popular, ambitious and proactive Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects...

 granted land outside Stege to the town so that the inhabitants might grow food for themselves. In 1627, more land was granted.

The death of Christian IV in 1648 meant the end of the 30-year war, but his successor Frederick III
Frederick III of Denmark
Frederick III was king of Denmark and Norway from 1648 until his death. He instituted absolute monarchy in Denmark and Norway in 1660, confirmed by law in 1665 as the first in western historiography. He was born the second-eldest son of Christian IV of Denmark and Anne Catherine of Brandenburg...

 commenced war against Sweden. Copenhagen was occupied and Swedes sought to invade Møn by walking across the ice from Zealand. This was prevented by the islanders, who maintained a three-mile long opening in the ice to stop the invasion force. However, in May 1659, 3,000 Swedes invaded from the island of Bogø against a force of 500 defenders. Stege was occupied, the town hall and 300 farms destroyed, the island looted and the harvest lost. At the end of the war, in 1660, the island's population was reduced to 670.

Frederick III introduced direct rule, replacing feudal regions with counties and attempted to restore the economy. However, in 1664 Møn was again pledged against loans, this time to a Dutchman Gabriel Marselis. In 1684, the pledge was redeemed, at which time Stege was half in ruins, almost all the forests had been cut down and many farms had been abandoned. In 1685, four battalions of cavalry were sent to the island and stationed at Marienborg. To build barracks at Marienborg, their commander Colonel Von Plessen demolished damaged buildings in Stege to re-use their stone, including the town wall and two of the gate towers. The third was converted into a prison. In 1696, the further depradation of the island was discovered by the authorities, and Plessen was himself imprisoned. All taxes on the island were cancelled for two years.

Restored fortunes

In 1703, an attempt was made to found a navigation school in Stege. This failed, but generally the Danish economy was beginning to recover from the long period of wars. In 1769, Crown property on Møn was sold which allowed farmers to buy their own land and wealthy individuals to create estates and begin to settle on the island. In 1774, a major fire destroyed 112 properties in the northern part of Stege, but by 1782 there were four distilleries in the town, and by 1807, 18.

In 1733, Christian VI
Christian VI of Denmark
Christian VI was King of Denmark and Norway from 1730 to 1746.He was the son of King Frederick IV of Denmark and Norway and Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow. He married Sophia Magdalen of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and fathered Frederick V.-The reign and personality of Christian VI:To posterity Christian...

 introduced a law compelling peasants to remain on the estate where they were born until the age of 36. This was to provide a fixed work force, but also aid military conscription. The law was abolished in 1788 by the then regent, later to become Frederick VI
Frederick VI of Denmark
Frederick VI reigned as King of Denmark , and as king of Norway .-Regent of Denmark:Frederick's parents were King Christian VII and Caroline Matilda of Wales...

By 1789, the population of Stege had climbed to 791 with 7,000 people on the island. In 1797, Antione de Calmette was placed in charge of the county, and was, for once, a respected leader.

In 1857, the town trade monopoly was finally abolished.

At the start of the 1900s about 14,000 people lived on the island. This figure then fell, but stabilised in the 1970s.

2010 veteran bicycle rally

In June 2010, Møn hosted the 30th world vintage bicycle rally for the International Veteran Cycling Association
International Veteran Cycling Association
The International Veteran Cycle Association promotes interest in the history of cycling. Its principal activity is the organisation of annual rallies, a different country hosting a programme for members each year.-History and objectives:...

. Some 150 enthusiasts from 17 countries visited the island with their historic pedal bicycles from 2 to 6 June. One of the challenges for the participants was to clock up 100 miles between sunrise and sunset on velocipede
Velocipede is an umbrella term for any human-powered land vehicle with one or more wheels. The most common type of velocipede today is the bicycle....

s built between 1818 and 1960. Apart from countries across Europe, some participants came from as far as Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...


External links

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