Mønsted Kalkgruber

Useful Information

Location: Viborg/Holstebrolandevejen. 14 km from Viborg.
Open: Winter holidays (11-FEB to 19-FEB) daily 10-17.
01-APR to 31-OCT daily 10-17.
Multi Media Show: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30.
Fee: Adults DKK 50, Children (4-12) DKK 10, Children (0-3) free.
Groups (20+): Adults DKK 40, Children (4-12) DKK 10.
Classification: SubterraneaRock Mine MineLimestone Mine Mineflint mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=8 °C, L=60,000 m.
Guided tours: D=120 min, L=2,000 m.
Address: Mønsted Kalkgruber, Kalkværksvej 8, Mønsted, 7850 Stoholm, Tel: +45-8664-6011, Fax: +45-8664-5911. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


~1000 Denmark was christianized and the monks needed lime for building churches and had the knowledge how to produce it.
1860 the lime production was at its climax.
1872 the farmers of Mønsted sold the lime priviledges to the Mønsted Kalkværker.
1953 the limestone pits were closed.
1955 the limestone quarry was also closed. Now limestone from Djursland was burned in the limekiln.
1978 the lime industry in Mønsted ended.
1981 bought by the violinist Anker Buch who organized subterranen concerts.
1997 bought by Skovthe-og naturstyrelsen and reopened.
DEC-2006 Arla Foods recalled a shipment of cheese exported to Germany after detecting rats in the cave where the cheese was matured.


In Mønsted a typical geological situation for the northern European flatlands provided the farmers a resource of value: limestone. It was burned in a lime kiln and used for many purposes: slaked to mortar for building churches, later the metal and chemical industry also bought the limestone and the agricultural industry used the limestone for the fields. The flint in the limestone was used as fillings in streets, foundations and brickwork.

The geological situation is typical for halotectonics. A little simplified it looks like this: a basement of crystalline rocks is covered by a thick layer of salt, which is covered by different sedimentary rocks. Salt is solid at the surface, but deep below other layers, under pressure, it is able to flow very slowly. And typically it is a little bit lighter than the surrounding rocks. So it starts to move upwards like gas bubbles in water (just a little bit slower). It forms huge diapirs and is able to press up the overlying rocks.

The result at Mønsted is very usefull: layers of limestone, which are normally much deeper, below deposits of ice age and other sedimentary rocks, are pressed to the surface by the salt. The limestone was mined in a quarry and several mines which followed the layer underground.

The extensive quarries are today used for various things. There are concerts and Halloween exhibitions, even art exhibitions have been made it the mine. Bat Safaris are special guided tours with emphasis on the bats. A part of the mine is used for an hourly multimedia presentation about the lime history of the area. And finally there is the special cheese, which is sold at the Café Grotten.

Probably the Grube Ost, the cave cheese, is the most impressive use of the mines, at least from the odorous view. The cheese spends eight weeks in the cave for maturing, while it is turned once a week. The 98% humidity and 8 °C are the ideal conditions for this process. The result is a rather smelly cheese with intensive flavour, somewhere between Danbo and Emmental. Most of the cheese is sold to Germany named Arla Höhlenkäse (Arla Cave Cheese).

200 tons of cheese were stored in the caves by the small Vellev Mejeri (Vellev dairy), which produced 11,500kg cave cheese per day. Arla is the Danish and Swedish food company to which the Vellev dairy belongs, and Europe's largest dairy company. The small dairy at the village Vellev was very successful and won various prices for the cave cheese. But despite being successful, there are obviously some drawbacks in belonging to a huge food company. Together with three other dairies Vellev was closed in 2004, the production moved to Hjørring. At least the employes were given new jobs at the other dairies of the company. And the cheese is still produced in the caves.