Round Osterlars church, Bornholm island, Denmark.

©Milosz Maslanka/Shutterstock

Østerlars Rundkirke

Top choice in Bornholm

The largest and most impressive of Bornholm's round churches dates to at least 1150, and its seven buttresses and upper-level shooting positions give away its former role as a fortress. The roof was originally constructed with a flat top to serve as a battle platform, but the excessive weight this exerted on the walls saw it eventually replaced with its present conical one. The interior is largely whitewashed, although a swath of medieval frescoes has been uncovered and restored.

You'll find a rune stone dating back to the mid-11th century at the church entrance, and a sundial above it.

A 5km cycle path to the church leads inland south from Gudhjem; the church can be reached on bus 1 or 9 from Gudhjem. From Rønne, catch bus 4.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bornholm attractions

1. Bornholms Middelaldercenter

0.37 MILES

This 'Medieval Centre' re-creates a medieval fort and village, and gives the Danes another chance to do what they love best: dressing up in period costume…

2. Baltic Sea Glass

1.89 MILES

Wherever you travel on Bornholm you will come across small independent ceramicists’ and glass-blowers’ studios. A couple of kilometres south of Gudhjem is…

3. Melstedgård

2.24 MILES

This folk/farm museum has a new addition, and a second name: 'Gaarden – Bornholms Madkulturhus'. It's a mouthful when translated (Bornholm's House of Food…

4. Bokul

2.84 MILES

A short five-minute climb up a heather-covered hill (take the path from Løkkegade), Bokul provides a fine view of the town’s red-tiled rooftops and out to…

5. Oluf Høst Museet

2.92 MILES

This wonderful museum contains the workshops and paintings of Oluf Høst (1884–1966), one of Bornholm’s best-known artists. The museum occupies the home…

6. Gudhjem Glasrøgeri

2.94 MILES

Watch top-quality Bornholm glass being hand-blown at Gudhjem Glasrøgeri at the dockside.

7. Bornholms Kunstmuseum

4.48 MILES

Occupying a svelte, modern building and overlooking sea, fields and (weather permitting) the distant isle of Christiansø, Bornholms Kunstmuseum echoes…

8. Helligdomsklipperne

4.53 MILES

These (moderately) high coastal cliffs of sharp granite rock attract sightseers and walkers. You can access them via a path behind Bornholms Kunstmuseum,…