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The fishing village in the dunes
Stenbjerg is located right in the heart of the Thy National Park, surrounded by the sea, dunes, heathlands, and Stenbjerg Dune Plantation. There are ample opportunities for nature experiences and outdoor activities.
Stenbjerg got its name from the limestone formation in the subsoil that extended into the sea. This formation provided excellent fishing opportunities, as the fish could shelter behind the "mountain." Consequently, in the mid-1600s, a small collection of houses emerged, which has since grown into what Stenbjerg is today.
The history of Stenbjerg is closely tied to fishing, and many of the town's streets – such as Arkens vej, Lykkens Håb, and Ebenezervej – are named after the fishing boats that used the landing site.
In the late 1800s, technological advancements like engines, nets, and trawl lines became significant for all coastal fishermen in Thy. Stenbjerg grew from being a poor fishing village, and in 1898-99, the fishing in Stenbjerg and Vorupør brought in as much as all the other fisheries along the coastline between Bulbjerg and Nymindegab.
Inn and Church
In 1790, Stenbjerg Kro received royal privilege, allowing it to produce spirits, beer, and bread without paying taxes. In return, the inn was obliged to host any traveler. It wasn't until 1912 that the locals could also use the inn. The original building is no longer standing, but the inn continues to operate, serving food made from local ingredients from the sea and the national park.
Many of the houses in the town date back to the early 1900s. Extensive nature reserves around Stenbjerg have prevented the area from being heavily developed with summer homes, unlike other places. In other words, you can get a sense of what the old fishing village looked like when fishing was still the primary livelihood.
Stenbjerg Church was built in 1895. Before that, the churchgoers had to travel to Nørhå. In front of Stenbjerg Church stands the stone sculpture "Vidner," created by artist Erland Knudssøn Madsen in 2007. In the churchyard, you can find a memorial stone for the American aviator Bernhard Sabbath, whose body was found on Stenbjerg's beach during World War II. The Germans buried him on the beach, but the locals were allowed to move his body to the churchyard in 1944. After the war, he was reburied in the United States.
In the dunes along Stenbjerg Kirke Vej, there's a German observation bunker from World War II. There is information about the war and the Atlantic Wall in this area.
Artists in Stenbjerg
Just as it is known around Skagen, the sea and the vast skies along the coast create a special light that attracts artists. This is also the case in Thy. The famous Skagen painters Marie and P.S. Krøyer were among the first established artists to discover Stenbjerg and its excellent motifs. In August 1889, they came to Stenbjerg on their way back from their honeymoon in Paris. They settled at Stenbjerg Kro, where they lived and worked for the next couple of months. P.S. Krøyer painted several portraits of his wife and large images of the heathland.
The German artist Käte Lassen first came to Thy in 1905 as a 25-year-old newly graduated artist. Her initial destination in Thy was Klitmøller, but from 1924, she returned to Stenbjerg every summer. Here, she created highly expressive paintings of local people. She stayed in a small house, which is still preserved and where you can see a small poster exhibition during the summer.
The painter Jens Søndergaard was born in 1895 and grew up in Hurup in southern Thy. He later moved to Copenhagen, but he drew his inspiration from western Jutland. From 1948, Jens Søndergaard lived in his house between Stenbjerg and Sdr. Vorupør every summer. The house, which is privately owned, is located on Jens Søndergaards Vej and is recognizable by the colorful figurehead outside the house. The figurehead was set up by Jens Søndergaard, who painted it in bold colors.
Käte Lassen's House on Stenbjerg Kirkevej is open during daylight hours from Easter to the autumn holiday.
Find your way to Stenbjerg