20 Blentarp- Snogeholm
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Wander along the small roads of south central Skåne, with its lush forests, well-preserved historical environments, and Sövdesjön, where you can fish, paddle, or enjoy a floating sauna. Eagles in the wild, a stork dating service, and pagan and Christian beliefs all rolled into one section of trail.
Your starting point is the village of Blentarp, on the eastern edge of the Romeleåsen Ridge. As you leave the village behind, the terrain is hilly and often sandy. It isn’t long before you come to the shores of Sövdesjön Lake, and the lush forests surrounding Sövdeborg Slott Castle. Water is led in through channels to keep the castle’s English garden green. Why not rent a canoe or a kayak? Or enjoy a traditional Swedish sauna, on a not so traditional floating raft.
In Snogeholm Recreation Area, you find a mix of forest, grazed pastures and ponds teeming with life. The decaying interiors of ancient trees provide a home for beetles and the bats who love to eat them. In the surrounding ponds, you can find common tree frogs and the chances of spotting deer are high. For the best bird-watching go to the Navröd Nature Reserve, just south of Sövdesjön Lake. In addition to different species of wild geese, you can often spot large birds of prey such as the white-tailed eagle (also known as a sea eagle), and the golden eagle.
There are a couple of other points of interest at Snogeholm. Visit Landskapslaboratoriet (The Landscape Laboratory), a project designed to increase forest biodiversity while simultaneously balancing human needs for an area. Or visit a stork enclosure at Karups Nygård, a couple of kilometres from the trail. Once upon a time storks thrived here in abundance, but comprehensive landscape changes over the centuries led to its extinction in Skåne. Through the Stork Project, they are making a slow comeback. The stork is the county bird of Skåne.
The church at Blentarp is one of the few in Skåne with a round church tower. The baptismal fount in limestone, decorated with lions to protect against evil, is part of the original décor. Thor was undoubtedly worshipped in the area before the church was built in the 1100s, and several Neolithic stone axes, known as Thor’s Hammers, were found beneath the altar. In medieval folklore, these were believed to be the result of a lightning strike, and if one was dug up, it was hung in a tree to protect against lightning. Hence the saying: Lightning never strikes twice. The county of Sövde was associated with the St. Benedict Monastery in Lund and monks could be seen working and praying in the surrounding fields.
There are castles at both Sövde and Snogeholm, and long before the castles were built, there were medieval fortresses. The fortress at Sigostha Ormön was built in the 1100s and was home to the great fortress builder of that time, Archbishop Absalon. The taxes he imposed were so unpopular that he had to flee a peasant uprising. Another peasant uprising in the 1300s resulted in the fortress at Sigostha being burned to the ground. In nearby Bare, you find Möllefoten, the estate windmill, and to the south there are memorial stones raised to commemorate German Kaiser Wilhem II’s hunting trip to Snogeholm in 1899.
Also at Sövde, you find a national cultural heritage site, with many well-preserved houses once occupied by the estate workers.
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