|Location:||Near Rebild and Skørping. Northern Jutland, a few km south of Aalborg.|
|Open:||MAY to JUN, AUG daily 10-17. JUL daily 10-18. APR, SEP, OCT, Sat, Sun, Hol 10-17.|
|Address:||Thingbæk Kalkminer, Røde Møllevej 4, 9520 Skørping, Tel: +45-98375112|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Thingbæk Kalkminer (Thingbæk limestone mine) is a former limestone or chalk mine. Here in Denmark, like all over the northern plains of Europe, from Belgium to Poland, the plains are covered by thick layers of glacial sediments, the moraines of the glaciers of the Ice Ages. This sediments are composed of sand gravel and huge blocks mostly composed of crystalline rocks like granite and gneiss. But they were brought by the glaciers from Scandinavia.
Below this layers of young sediments are typically limestones and chalk from the Cretacious. Famous places where they form steep cliffs and coastlines are along the Channel in France and Great Britain and on Rügen island. Here in Denmark are several places where this rock reaches the surface, one of them is here at Thingbæk. The limestone was needed to produce lime, mortar, white colour and other useful things, so it was first quarried and later mined. The result are the huge passages of Thingbæk.
The mine is today used as a museum for the sculptures of the local artist Anders Bundgaard. He also uses the mine for exhibitions of other artists, e.g. in summer 2003 will be the exhibition of Agnete Brittasius. The permanent exhibition in the Udvandrer-grotten (Emmigrant grotto) shows sculptures of Danish emmigrants who went to America.
At special occasions the caves are used for cultural events. On the 4th of July they are illuminated by 3,000 candles. Also there are concerts held in the cave.
The link to the QuickTime VR Panorama below shows such a concert, where two musicians play on the ancient instrument Lur. The Lur is about 3,500 years old and has been found by archeologist in swamps thoughout northern Europe and Scandinavia. But it is rather typical for Denmark, as 35 of the 56 Lurs discovered so far, were found in Denmark.
But the mine is also of some interest to modern musicians: the cover photo of the 2002 album Heart & Soul by Bonnie Tyler was made in Thingbæk Kalkminer.
The mine is used for hibernation by 400 to 600 bats each winter. At this time it is closed for visitors.