|The Forest of Riis (Riis Skov)|
Typical scenery in the beech forest of Riis Skov.
|Official name: Riis Skov|
|Region||Central Denmark Region|
|Building||Inn, Hostel, Assembly pavilion,
Sea-baths, Forest ranger Residence
|Area||0.8 km2 (0 sq mi)|
This small patch of forest, was formally presented to Aarhus in 1395, by Queen Margaret the 1.st. It was the first public forest in Denmark, where forests were traditionally owned and managed by the Royal family or the nobility and in some cases ordinary farmers, who exploited their important resources as timber for shipbuilding, houses and different structures or simply firewood. Although it was a public forest, there were still an active forestry going on until around the year 1800, where the large oaks of Riis Skov, was used for quay-building in the Aarhus harbour. The forestry aspect gradually diminished and Riis Skov were increasingly viewed and used as a recreational area by the citizens.
The forest is largely dominated by beech, but with oak, larch, maple, ash and birch mixed in at different spots. Although beech is dominant, Riis Skov is not a natural beech forest and new trees are planted occasionally to replenish the old growth.
As a curiosity Riis Skov is covered by ramsons in the spring. It is said, that this culinary plant was brought here by camping Spanish soldiers during the Napoleonic wars. While Spanish soldiers indeed camped in Aarhus, ramson have been growing in Denmark since the last glacial period and it might have been here in Riis Skov since the 1200s, before the exotic visitors came along.
Riis Skov have a long cultural history as a recreational area for Aarhus and its citizens and several buildings in the forest stands as living witnesses; The public sea-baths "Den Permanente" from 1933, The Inn of Frederik The 6th from 1825, Aarhus Citizens Shooting Associations headquarter from 1881 and the Dancing Pavillon from 1869. The forest is a protected area and the commercial forestry activities are limited nowadays.
- "VisitAarhus". Retrieved 2 March 2010.
- Excursions in Riis Skov (pdf) Aarhus Municipallity (Naturemanagement) (2004)
Media related to Riis Skov at Wikimedia Commons
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