The Island's Capital

Time seems to have forgotten this sleepy little capital, and that is part of its charm. To the surprise of first-time visitors, Stege has preserved its moat and ramparts from the Middle Ages, whereas other Danish towns have torn them down. One of its original trio of town gates, Mølleporten, is still here to greet guests as in olden days. Mølleporten, which once allowed (or prohibited) entry to the town, stands on Storegade. Meaning "mill gate" in English, the gate bears a resemblance to the Stege church tower, and is made of red brick and lined with horizontal strips of white chalk from (where else?) Møns Klint.

After crossing the bridge from "mainland" Zealand on Route 59, take an immediate left and follow the road to the ancient market town of Stege, which is the ideal gateway to the island and the source of the best information about Møn.

Exploring the Town

Known for its primitive frescoes, Stege Kirke, Kirkepladsen (tel. 55-81-40-65), is one of the largest churches in the country, with a massive tower striped in brick and chalk. Its oldest section, built in the Romanesque style, dates from the early 1200s and was constructed by the ruler of the island, Jakob Sunesen, who was a member of the powerful Hvide family. In the latter 1400s, the church was expanded to its present size.

The principal nave is flanked by two smaller naves on each side and is filled with pointed arched windows and high vaulted ceilings. Rich frescoes by the Master of Elmelunde are found in the choir and main nave. Long covered with whitewash, they were discovered and restored in 1892. Many are quite whimsical in nature; and in the post-Reformation era, Lutheran ministers found the frescoes too evocative of Catholic themes, and ordered that they be whitewashed. Although this sounds bad, it was the whitewashing that actually preserved the frescoes so that they can still be enjoyed today. They were restored under the supervision of Denmark's national museum. Charging no admission, the church is open April to September Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 5pm; October to March Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 1pm.

Next to the old Mølleporten, or town gate, stands Empiregården, Storegade 75 (tel. 55-81-40-67), housing the rather elegant Møn Museum, a repository of local cultural history. The collection is rich in artifacts from the Middle Ages, including coins and old pottery, but it also goes back to the Stone Age, displaying such items as ancient fossilized sea urchins. The museum also exhibits Møn house interiors from the 1800s. It's open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm, charging DKK40 ($6.80/£4), free for children 10 and under.


The island is known for its ceramics and pottery, whose production keeps dozens of artisans working long hours. One of the best places to see and buy some of the goods produced here include a warehouse-size emporium 4km (2 1/2 miles) east of Stege, on the road leading to Møns Klint. Ympelese, Klintevej 110 (tel. 55-81-30-05), stocks some of the most appealing handmade candles in Zealand, as well as a variety of ceramic pots, plates, and vessels. There's even men's, women's, and children's clothing for sale, some of it fabricated by local seamstresses, and some of it designed to protect its wearer from the midwinter gales that sweep in from the Baltic and North Seas.

Stege After Dark

Persons under age 25 on the island are quick to point out that there are no full-time dance clubs on Møn, unless a local church or civic group opts to hold a youth-group gathering in a communal basement somewhere. In lieu of that, the most convivial gathering place is the bar at the previously recommended Præstekilde Kro & Hotel, Klintevej (tel. 55-86-87-88). Here you'll find an inkling of big-city style a la Copenhagen, but not so much that you won't realize that you're far from urban life. Still, the drinks taste good, and you're likely to meet a handful of other urbanites to swap stories with.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.