Nexø, 48km (30 miles) northeast of Rønne, has a year-round population of 3,900, which makes it the largest fishing port on the island. As is the case with Rønne, we like to wander around only for 2 hours or so before pressing on to the countryside. It's not an unattractive town, because, after Soviet bombings in 1945, its demolished buildings were reconstructed more or less in the style of the 17th and 18th centuries. The 11th-hour World War II bombings of the town's once-fabled 900 antique buildings is the stuff of local legend -- just ask any old-timer.
In May 1945, Nexø was heavily bombed by the Russians during 2 days of horror; this happened several days after the rest of Denmark had been liberated from the Nazis. Nexø was a final holdout of Nazi soldiers in the closing days of the war. Ironically, Bornholm was the last area of Denmark to get rid of its Russian "liberators," who didn't completely evacuate the island until 1946.
Before exploring the area, you can pick up good information at the Nexø-Dueodde Turistbureau, Sdr. Hammer 2A (tel. 56-49-70-79). May to August, it's open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm. The rest of the year, it's open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm and closed Saturday and Sunday.
One of the town's more eccentric and idiosyncratic monuments is the Nexø Museum, Havnen (tel. 56-49-25-56), open only May to October, daily 10am to 4pm. For an entrance fee of DKK35 ($6/£3.50), you'll see displays of fishing-related equipment that has sustained the local economy, and memorabilia of the Danish author Martin Andersen (1869-1954) -- better known as Martin Andersen Nexø, a pen name he adopted in honor of his native village. His novel Pelle the Conqueror, set in Bornholm and later made into an Oscar-winning film, revealed how Danish landowners in the early 20th century exploited Swedish newcomers to the island. Admittedly, this is hardly a subject that will interest most people, and you may want to pass it by in favor of outdoor fun, which is what Bornholm is all about.