Daytrip Watermills of Tørning and Christiansdal

Watermills of Tørning and Christiansdal

The watermills of Tørning and Christiansdal are among the region’s greatest tourism attractions, not least due to their scenic setting in the river valley where they are symbols of the early industrialisation of the area.

Tørning Watermill

Tørning Watermill lies at the crossroads of the east-west hillscape and the north-south Ancient Road, which runs directly through the mill itself. Additionally, Tørning Watermill is part of the pilgrimage route that follows the Ancient Road to Rendsburg in Germany.

The ramparts by Tørning Watermill once guarded one of the largest and most imposing medieval castles in Jutland, Tørninghus. In the 1300s and 1400s, the castle was a stronghold in the wars between Danish kings and the counts of Holstein. Tørning Watermill had close links to the castle and is probably just as old. The first reliable information on the use of waterpower dates back to 1494 when King Hans acquired Tørning. The watermill burned several times, most recently in 1907, after which it was rebuilt and now stands as a prime example of an industrial mill from the early 20th century.

Tørning Watermill receives around 15,000 visitors annually. The mill is owned by the Danish Forest and Nature Agency, which free of charge has transferred the right of use to a self-owning institution, Tørning Mill. Immediately south of the mill you find a farm, Tørning Gård, which is an Ancient Road hostel.

The cradle of industrialisation

Christiansdal is believed to have been the cradle of industrialisation in the area. In 1772, a tin factory was built here, which used waterpower from the mill. The transport of ore and sheets of tin took place via Tørning and Haderslev Dam. Since then, several industries have alternated on the site, among them a canvas mill, a bleaching plant, an oil mill, a glass and mirror foundry – and finally a paper mill with 300 employees. The somewhat remote location and the transport infrastructure meant that industries here were never really profitable. In 1907, the mill burned to the ground, and in 1911 it was rebuilt as a hydroelectric plant, which still produces electricity and is today a local heritage museum.

Located by Christiansdal and Bergs Skovplads are simple nature camps with campfire sites and access to water and a toilet.

Watermills of Tørning and Christiansdal - sights

Haderslev Dalen, which a sub-glacial gorge, runs approx 25 kilometres from the mouth of the Haderslev Inlet in the east to the town of Vojens in the west. The gorge was shaped by rivers having eroded deeper and deeper into the countryside. Since medieval times, the damming of a local river has given rise to a number of watermills at Tørning, Christiansdal and Haderslev. These dams created the lakes of Stevning Dam and Haderslev Dam.

In addition to visiting Tørning and Christiansdal, you can also venture out into the Deer Park located on the south bank of Haderslev Dam where there are herds of deer. Other activities include fishing trips along Stevning Dam and canoeing trips on Haderslev Dam.
There is also a densely branched network of hiking and cycling trails, including four signposted trails. You can also walk all the way from Haderslev to Vojens, a total of about 14 kilometres.

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Film about Tørning Watermill