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Church in Svaneke, Bornholm, Denmark

Nekso, Bornholm, Denmark

Bornholm is a bucolic little island in the Baltic Sea with rolling countryside, distinctive white churches and neat villages like Neksø and Ronne. It is a popular holiday destination for families who relax on the beaches and ride around the island on bicycles. Nekso formerly thrived on the annual herring fishery and quarrying the island’s fine-grained sandstone. Even today, succulent smoked herring is a staple product of Bornholm, typically served with a raw egg in a dish called a Bornholm Sunrise. The island os famous for its round churches, built of the local stone and painting a spotless white with black roofs. The one in Neksø is half-timbered and has a copper spire. The town was almost totally destroyed by Soviet bombers in May of 1942, when the local Nazi commander refused to surrender. Neighborly Sweden sent 175 wooden houses to solve the temporary housing crisis. The Neksø museum relates the history of that and the subsequent Soviet occupation of the island before it was returned to Danish rule.