If today is your last day in Korsør, you’re going to have a great day! If by now you’re getting the groove of this place (and you want to stay longer), you’ll probably be happy to know there’s much more to see and experience, incl. beaches, the forrest, nature trails, etc.
On your 3rd day of visiting Korsør, let’s begin on the Halvskov side and work our way towards the Korsør side of town. You could visit the following, unique places
The Great Belt Bridge:
Built between 1988 and 1998, The Great Belt Bridge (18 kilometers long) connects the two Danish islands of Zealand and Funen and actually consists of 2 bridges and an underwater tunnel. Cars, trucks, busses and motorcycles go across the East Bridges, while trains go through the tunnel and across the West Bridge. You can’t bike or walk across the bridges.
The East Bridge (6.790 kilometers) is definitely the iconic of the two bridges – it’s the one with the two tall pillars. The bridge is visible from many parts of Korsør, but there’s one special place you can go and actually “slap its belly”…well, just touch it.
Go to Halvskov Odde (a.k.a. The Reef) nearby the train station, walk behind the white & yellow buildings (The iceboat museum) and you’ll find yourself on a small, rocky piece of beach.
The view of the bridge from this point will definitely impress you (and provide you with some great photos and selfies!). Just walk along the beach, and you’ll see the place where the bridge sort of starts. There’s a cement structure that you can climb and from there you can easily stand up and “slap the belly of the beast…bridge”. For an even better view, climb the small cliff nearby (there’s a trail going up the cliff, and it’s perfectly safe) and take a moment to just let the view sink in.
The iceboat museum:
Once you’re done slapping and photographing the bridge (it may take a while!), walk back and take a moment to visit the small iceboat museum, located right next to the bridge (the white building you passed earlier). The museum entrance is free – the door is just open!
When I visited this year, the museum was open from May 13 to September 23, 2016, Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am until 4 pm. Inside this small museum are a few iceboats and black/white photos from a fantastic period when the winters were so cold, the Great Belt actually froze over and people walked across!
Unfortunately, all of the descriptions (except for one) are in Danish, which is not very tourist friendly.
One of these iceboats (Iceboat No. 38) dates back to 1880 and has the only description in English. It tells a fascinating story of how it was used by the post office and how “the iceboats were used for transport across the Great Belt when the weak steamships of those days would no longer force the ice. The tour across the belt was made on foot, the iceboats, always departing as a convoy, being towed and pulled across the ice, while passengers walked beside the boats. Women and children, however, were allowed to sit in the boats during transport. The crossing was often a very tough experience, and it was not unusual for it to take eight hours or to include an overnight stay on Sprogoe Island”.
The old ferry piers and the lighthouse “The Cow”:
Drive back towards the center of Korsør and stop by Ny Strandvej where you’ll see some modern apartment buildings, located on the town’s old ferry piers. The interesting thing to see in this place is not so much the buildings, but the old lighthouse “The Cow”, standing next to the buildings.
The lighthouse “was established in 1913 by the Danish State Railways, DSB, one nautical mile outside Korsor Harbor. The lighthouse guided train ferries and other merchant ships to Korsor Harbor.
When the Great Belt Bridge opened and the ferries ceased operation in 1997/1998, the lighthouse was removed from its place at sea and in 2002 it was restored to its current place on land. From the description (in Danish and English – yeah!) you’ll learn that “To mark the ferries’ arrival at Korsor Harbor every year on the 31st of May at 10:36 PM, the foghorn will make its original fog signal. This signal will also be given every New Year, a tradition continued from the ferries”.
The old railway/train station:
Just behind the piers, you’ll notice an incredible beautiful building with a green clock tower that has a crown at the very top. This used to be the town’s train station and the “park” with the red/brown pebbles (and the fully waiter/butler statue) was where the train tracks used to be.
The old train station was built in 1905-06, and today it houses a branch of the Danish Food Administration. Take a walk around the building and a moment to notice all of its incredible details, windows, decorations, etc. It’s truly a remarkable building and certainly one of the most beautiful that I’ve ever seen anywhere in Denmark.
If you’re feeling hungry or need a little break from walking, now would probably be a good time to stop for lunch. You’ll be driving towards the center of town anyways, where you’ll be able to find a restaurant. You might go back to the Madam Bagger restaurant; you might go back to the marina or just have a hotdog by the harbor (remember to get the remoulade and crispy fried onions!). If you want to try another place, you could go to Café Lime located just by the church. This is a pretty decent café/restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seating, and they usually have pretty low-priced lunch specials (starting at around USD 10).
The last stop of the day is at Korsør’s Fortress. You’ll already have seen the iconic red tower across the harbor from the old train station. The fortress area dates back to the Middle Ages and was one of several fortresses built from the 12th Century and onward by the Danish King and all his men (well…). Naturally, the position of the fortress was essential for protecting the town from enemies approaching the harbor.
From the mid-1300s, the fortress area had its own castle and until the early 1600s the Danish King used it as a residence, when he and his court came to town to cross the Great Belt. The castle was destroyed in 1813 and today only the tower remains.
There are many descriptions around the area (in Danish, English and German), allowing you to read more about the buildings and their history. You can see the guardhouse, the ramparts, the Harbor Master’s house, King Christian the 4th Magazine (where he stored grain given to him by local farmers) and the tower.
The tower is sometimes open, so you may go inside and climb the stairs to its top. You’ll need to ask for the key at the museum, though. The Fortress ceased operations as a fortress in 1856 and is today part a city museum, artists’ studio and workshop.
The City Museum:
The City & Crossing Museum is located at the Fortress and gives you a pretty good vision of the history of Korsør, its ferries and ships, tenants, shops, etc. There are beautiful models of old wooden ships and ferries that once sailed across the Great Belt.
You can see a typical upper-class living room from around 1900, a working-class home from the 1920s, a dentist’s clinic from 1936, a drugstore, and the home of the town’s famous poet, Jens Baggesen, exhibits of women’s fashion throughout the times, children’s toys, and more…complete with lots of creepy mannequins!
When you’re done, you might stick your head into the next-door artists’ studio to see their paintings and have a chat with the artists. Finally, you might also like to visit the Local History Archive located at the Fortress’ Commander Residence. I was there a few years ago and there was an incredible exhibition of WW2 photos – from the time when Korsør was occupied by German troops.