22.7.11

Yellow Skagen

Skagen is a place that not many people know about but in my opinion a must see in Scandinavia. It is located in the tip of the northernmost part of Jutland, the Danish peninsula. On its north beach people can experience the beautiful landscape of waves from the Baltic Sea and from the North Sea clashing together and therefore changing the orientation of the tip (sometimes it's on the right, sometimes on the left).
Tourists in Skagen's tip
 Apart form being a touristic spot, Skagen is a fishermen town, very characteristic and live. It's beautiful houses are mostly colored yellow, in fact, in Denmark when one goes to get paint, among the palette of colors he'll find yellow skagen.
Yellow Skagen
If you talk about Skagen, you can't ignore the Skagen Painters. They were a group of artists who moved from the city to this quiet, beautiful area and started an artist colony in the late 19th century. Some of these artists were: Peder Severin and Marie Krøyer, Michael and Anna Ancher and Christian Krohg. They started a small museum in the dining room of the Brøndum’s Hotel in 1908 (they used to meet there, the hotel still exists). In 1919, the hotel donated its old garden to Skagens Museum, where it still stands after various renovations.
Me in Skagens Museum garden
 Today Skagens Museum has more than 1800 works of art at its disposal. Since I fell in love with the paintings of these artists, here are some of my favorites, the pictures were taken in 2008 during the SALON style exhibition:
Salon style exibition (photo from Skagens Museum website)

Summer evening at Skagen - P.S.Krøyer
Skagen's paintings
my favorite: Summer evening on Skagen's Southern Beach. P.S. Krøyer

Midsummer's Eve bonfire on Skagen's beach. - P.S.Krøyer

 The beauty of the paintings resides in the colors, especially the color of the sky which at this latitude has very special tones of blue, and the reproduction of everyday life scenes, like the wives of the two painters walking at the beach or the typical celebration of Sankt Hans Eve with the bonfire. 

If you are in the area, you might want to wander around North Jutland, not far from Skagen you can find Råbjerg Mile, the largest moving dune of Northern Europe, that makes you think for a moment that you are in the desert and not in Scandinavia.
Råbjerg Mile
 You mught want to stop by the Tilsandede Kirke (the Sand Church), a church located 4 km. south of Skagen, it is tall, white building at the top of a sand hill. But what is visible is only its bell tower. The rest of the church was buried by migrating sand dunes (like the ones in Råbjerg Mile) around the 1400s!
Den Tilsandede Kirke (photo from Wikipedia)
 Last time I was there we drove down to spend the night in Sæby, a small fishermen town south of Skagen 50 km. Henrik Ibsen (among other writers) lived here and here he found inspiration for one of his plays, maybe that's why they call it the "Poets Village".
us in Sæby
 The landscape is not so different from the Painters Village, Skagen: blue sky, yellow houses, people on bikes, etc. But the best place of Sæby , for us, is an excellent fish restaurant: Frank's Restaurant by the harbor. Their buffet is great! fresh fish, cooked different ways, soups, salads, etc. and the price is very good considering you're in Denmark and you're having fresh fish (lunch buffet 139 dkk, dinner buffet 199 dkk).


us after dinner at Frank's
Sæby evening

We stayed and Aahøj Hotel, a cozy bed and breakfast by the river, clean, reasonably priced and very quiet.

We loved our time in North Jutland! can't wait to go back!
Our version of "Summer evening on Skagen's Southern Beach"