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|Address:||Bornholm Tourist Information, Sverigesvej 11, 3770 Allinge, Tel: +45-569-59500. E-mail:|
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Kælderhalsen is the Danish name of an outdoor cellar staircase. The reason why this name was given to this natural bridge is simply its form. The Kongestolen (King's Chair) is a cliff north of the Hammerhavn, with spectacular cliff faces, rock stacks, and numerous caves. Walking along the rim, there is a hole in ground, close to the rim of the plateau, the grassy floor leads steeply down towards the sea, and leads right through a natural bridge. The similarity to a cellar stair is obvious.
The cliffs consist of granite, formed by the erosional forces of the sea. The caves in granite are also erosional caves, typically a result of weaknesses in the rock, like cracks ord dykes. But this natural bridge is located 30 m above the sea. The solution to this riddle is simple: it was formed when the sea level was 20 m higher than today. During the Ice Ages the sea level changed numerous times, depending on the amount of water which was frozen in the glaciers. Also, the weight of the glaciers pressed the Scandinavian plate deeper into the mantle, and it takes some time until the massive rock lifts again after the ice has molten away. In this case the reason was probably something else. The melting glaciers at the end of the ice age caused a rise of the Baltic Sea, but the last remains of the glaciers still blocked the outflow to the North Sea. As a result the Baltic Sea was 20 m higher than today and erosion formed caves 20 m higher.
The cliffs have numerous caves, a few at 20 m hight, more recent ones at sea level, and also cave below sea level which were formed when the sea level was deeper than today. Two of them are the nearby Store Grotte and Lille Grotte, the Big and Small Cave. Those are accessible only to cave divers.