The Hærvej bicycle route leaves Rødekro towards the south, on the western side of Aabenraa. If you have strong legs, you can cycle over to this very charming South Jutland town, which is one of the larger towns along the way. This diversion is 12 km long, but it is only downhill one way!
When you have passed Aabenraa, the route takes a southwest turn.
Northeast of Hjordkær, a short distance away from the bicycle route, a grave has been excavated, which has been used by both Stone Age and Bronze Age people.
The reconstructed Stone Age grave is built around a stone wheel, which was the symbol of the sun god.
South of Hjordkær, around 10 km of the Hærvej is conservation area. The stretch is gravelled, although motor vehicles are permitted. At Urnehoved Mindepark, there is a rest stop, which is widely considered to have been the regional assembly. Ever region had its assembly during the Middle Ages, and for South Jutland, it was at Urnehoved, where it was used until 1523. A number of memorial stones have been erected in the grove which was planted from 1946 - 1948, which tell the story of many of the dramatic events which have happened at Urnehoved.
After the protected Military Road route has passed by Årtoft Plantation, you will cross Bjerndrup River on the Hærvej’s most beautiful bridge - Povls bro. The single arched bridge, built in 1744 is an ideal place to take a break and admire the construction. The stone are built in a keystone arch, holding each other under pressure and in position.
The route leads now towards Kliplev, which was an important pilgrimage during the Middle Ages, on account of St. Hjælper. A crucifix in Kliplev Church was viewed to be a picture of the saint, even though it was probably a picture of Christ. The crucifix has since disappeared, but Kliplev Church is still unique as the free standing clock tower is the oldest preserved wooden building in Denmark, dating from 1300.
Kliplev offers plenty of shopping for the next stage of your journey.
TO THE NEXT AND LAST STAGE: KLIPLEV - PADBORG (THE BORDER)