(Un)changed by time (CWR 5 part II)


I’ve been here more times than I care to remember, but it’s a fantastic place nonetheless. Walking across the narrow path to the peninsula, a rotten brick tooth juts up in the landscape – signifying with its mere presence human activity. The ruin of Kalø Castle, on the edge of Mols has been standing, wind swept with the world passing by for several hundred years. It has changed, certainly, bricks beeing removed by thieves as well as the weather it now stands much less imposing, yet still impressive in its massiveness.

Now on the penisula, I continue on a path taking me around the side of the ruin – and suddenly stop dead. The corner of the old ruin has been cut off, as cleanly as only modern machinery can do it and as I slowly continue forwards, almost stepping in a decaying cow patty, I notice inside the rift so the corner of a wall that also bears those tell-tale marks of modernity. Long narrow bricks in stricks rows, stacked with a relief between every other row. A sharp contrast to the existing wall. I yell to my companion through the wind. He has also noticed it. How could he not? Though from land all seemed as it used to be.

We move closer, crossing the bridge that once traversed a moat, to the tower itself. We now notice that dirt has been excavated around the corner of the tower towards us, and the slit in the wall continues all the way to the base of the tower – the basement that used to be hidden. We stand in awe for a second, admiring the sheer thickness of the wall exposed by this clean diagonal cut. In the very base is a small opening, topped by a flat segmental arch of of those same narrow, clearly machine made bricks in the middle of all the medieval, hand-made ones – the bottom part of the wall is marked by having been submerged in dirt for the past 800 years. Slightly green and clearly damp.


We walk down the grass steps, held back by wooden boards, and make it to the opening at the bottom. Passing through the massive wall, into a tall, cool, dimly lit space we see spots of light on the wall across from us, and a staircase in front of us leading into the wall itself. Upon walking in, we closer inspect the stair, and notice, that it turns it continues inside the wall, and that that a new wall has been built on top of it on the inside. We turn around, to see where the light came from, and notice that between the new bricks, light enters through a very presice pattern, right above the entrance – through the slit in the outter wall. Upon closer expection, other more incoherent spots of light also appear. Moving up the staircase, between the new wall and the outter wall we pass old windows and come to a landing – right in the slit where the light came from and get a fantastic view of the landscape from whence we came.

Moving further up now, excited about the prospect of the view we will get from the top, we look up and see that large wooden beams extrude from the old wall, lying on top of the new inner wall. The floor is not at the very top of the tower – rather at a position where the original floor clearly used to be. Getting to the top, the first thing we notice is the recently made cut in the corner of the building – where we have a great, framed view of Skødshoved and Kalø bay. We move closer to see more, but get to the edge of the deck and look down at the stairs excavated in the old wall itself.

After sitting on the edge for a few minutes, we start exploring the top floor. The old windows, in different levels of decay also offer their own framed views and in one of them, a bench is carved out. Sitting there. Touching the brick and listening to the wind outside. We start getting hungry and decide to head back to the mainland.

At the bottom of the stairs we are met by an elderly couple, looking as puzzled and amazed as we were when we first got there. We stand for a moment in the large interior space and notice that the light flickers as the couple pass by outside. The space is very sparcely furnished. The clear focus being the light moving across the old bricks. My companion has started reading a poster hanging from the wooden beams in the ceiling. I start to move towards the door but suddenly stop dead, as a cow is blocking our way out. Laughing at this strange situation we wait for the cow to go back up the stairs and read more about the castles history. Standing here we take note of the diffuse light also coming in from narrow northern and western windows up the wall, creating a very solemn, almost church like atmosphere. It’s the kind of place where you lower your voice unintentionally. When we finally make it out we look back up at the cut in the wall and see now clearly the landing of the cut-out stair where the couple are now making their way down, the man supporting the woman, and the corner of the upper deck where we sat and admired the view.

After a quick trip around the old tower – nothing else changed – we head back to the mainland. Today was a good day.

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