Og stormen sused’ og gjor’ halløj,
og bølgen stod som en kæmpehøj,
og det var sandelig ingen spøg
imellem Esbjerg og Fanø.
Old Danish Song, often sung by my pops
When I planned my trip to Denmark, I decided to try and go to places that I have never been to before. During my search 2 places in the west of Denmark came up, both involving interesting art sculptures. One was Mennesket Ved Havet in Esbjerg, the other was Olsen’s Paradis in Bramming.
Esbjerg commissioned the Mennesket ved Havet (People by the Sea) to commemorate the city’s 100 year anniversary.
The sculpures stand 9 metres high and are placed in an open flat area, just north of Esbjerg, near Hjertling. They are reminiscent of the Easter Island monoliths and were created by Svend Wiig Hansen. Quite spectacular and well worth the visit.
Olsen’s Paradis, Bramming
It was a complete fluke that I found this gem. Olsen’s Paradis was created by Olsen, starting in the 1970’s.
He built a swimming pool and then just kept going. It’s really an amazing place, a bit like middle earth meets Myst. There are several little shelters where you can bring a meal and enjoy yourself in the interesting surroundings. At one point Olsen built a restaurant area called the Elephant’s castle but, unfortunately, it didn’t last too long. The structure is amazing.
He’s also built 2 fountains, one small and one large. You put in your coin and they will run for about 5 minutes. Well worth it. The larger fountain is made of Swedish green stone that shimmers in the sunlight and is made all the more spectacular when the water is activated. Well worth the trip to see this little gem.
Here’s the translated garden description from Olsen’s website:
Olsen’s Paradis is the only garden of its kind in Denmark and brought to a part of a 15,000 m2 site . The garden consists of several sections , whose idea stems from the imagination . When the lake was built in the mid-70’s , it was the start of what that today has become a lifestyle . The garden is characterized by imaginative ” landscapes ” and contains mountain arrangements , desert gardens, bølgehus [wave house] , patios , lakes , bridges and countless small pools. In recent years, expanded elephant castle , elephant stables , volcanic and tower courtyard [were added]. Moreover, there are built-in sleeping alcove in a newly built [wind break wall]. Everyone is welcome to use these . The planting is dominated by rare shrubs and trees where form and løvfarve [lion colours?]are paramount.
The Green Fountain
A little movie of the green fountain in action