Stevns Klint

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Stevns Klint
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Stevns klint.jpg
LocationStevns Municipality, Zealand, Denmark
CriteriaNatural: (viii)
Inscription2014 (38th session)
Area50 ha (120 acres)
Buffer zone4,136 ha (10,220 acres)
Coordinates55°16′2″N 12°25′24″E / 55.26722°N 12.42333°E / 55.26722; 12.42333Coordinates: 55°16′2″N 12°25′24″E / 55.26722°N 12.42333°E / 55.26722; 12.42333
Stevns Klint is located in Zealand
Stevns Klint
Location of Stevns Klint in Zealand
Stevns Klint is located in Denmark
Stevns Klint
Stevns Klint (Denmark)
Stevns Klint 4525692589 da98ffd5a6 o.jpg

Stevns Klint is a white chalk cliff located some 6 km (3.7 mi) southeast of Store Heddinge on the Danish island of Zealand. Stretching 17 km (11 mi) along the coast, it is of geological importance as one of the best exposed Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundaries in the world.[1] Subject to frequent erosion, the cliff rises to a height of up to 40 m (130 ft).[2] The cliffs are a UNESCO site.


The cliff reveals sections from the uppermost part of the Maastrichtian stage (72 to 66 million years ago) and from the lowermost part of the Danian stage (66 to 62 million years ago).[3] The dark layer of fiskeler,[a] mainly five to ten centimeters thick, clearly marks the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary.[2] The fiskeler is enriched in iridium, a fact used as an argument for the Alvarez hypothesis that the worldwide Cretaceous–Paleogene mass extinction was caused by the impact of an asteroid. The layers can also be seen deep in the tunnels of Stevnsfortet, a cold-war fortress constructed in 1953. The bryozoa chalk in the cliff is highly shock resistant to both conventional and nuclear weapons.[5]

Cold War museum[edit]

In 2008 Cold War Museum Stevns Fortress opened to the public. It features a large exhibition of military equipment and a 1.5-hour guided tour in the large underground system of the fortress. The underground system of the fortress features 1.6 kilometres (0.99 mi) of tunnels, living quarters and command centers, including a hospital and a chapel. There are also two ammunition depots for its two 15 centimetres (5.9 in) cannons. The tunnels are 18–20 metres (59–66 ft) below the surface, dug deep into the chalk of Stevns. The top-secret fortress was built in 1953 and remained operational until 2000.[6]

Højerup Church[edit]

Old Højerup Church

The old Højerup Church (Højerup Gamle Kirke) which stands at the top of the cliff dates from the year 1200. As a result of erosion, a landslide in 1928 caused the chancel to collapse and fall to the shore below. The cliff can be accessed via steps from the church. A new church completed in 1913 is located 300 m (980 ft) back from the cliff.[7]

UNESCO listing[edit]

On 23 June 2014 it was announced that Stevns Klint and the Wadden Sea had been added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in Denmark.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A Danish word that is traditionally used by geologists as a label for this layer, parallel to its English translation "Fish Clay". It was given this name by the Danish geologist Johan Georg Forchhammer in 1825, as it contained scales and teeth from fish, but few other fossils.[4][full citation needed]


  1. ^ "Stevns Klint". UNESCO. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Stevns Klint". Den Store Danske (in Danish). Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  3. ^ Surlyk F, Damholt T. & Bjerager M. (2006). "Stevns Klint, Denmark: Uppermost Maastrichtian chalk, Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, and lower Danian bryozoan mound complex" (PDF). Bulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark. 54: 1–48.
  4. ^ Syrlyk, Damholt & Bjerager pages 29 and 31.
  5. ^ "Coastal Cliff Stevns Klint" (in Danish). Rotary Danmark.
  6. ^ "Stevensfort Cold War Museum". Kalklanded. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Højerup". Den Store Danske (in Danish). Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Stevns Klint og Vadehavet på Unesco-liste" (in Danish). Danmarks Radio. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Six new sites inscribed on World Heritage List". UNESCO. Retrieved 23 June 2014.

External links[edit]

Stevns Cliff travel guide from Wikivoyage