Mønsted Limestone (Chalk) Mines

The workings for chalk at Mønsted in Jutland, 15 km west of Viborg, are claimed to be the largest of their kind in the world. The stone was used for building, and can be seen in many medieval churches in Jutland. Lime mortar from Mønsted was widely used, as was whitewash made by grinding the calcined lime. Flints from the mine were used for road building. The city of Viborg was an important market for all the products of the mine.

In 1872 the peasant proprietors who held the mining right sold them to a company called Mønsted Kalkværker, which in 1874 constructed a large red brick building as its headquarters, incorporating kilns which were very large for their date. Quarrying ended in 1953 but lime production continued for more than 20 years. The kilns were worked until 1980 and restored to prevent further decay in 2003-04.

A museum, open throughout the year, now occupies the former company headquarters. It serves as a base for tours by train through parts of the network of more than 60 km of tunnels and galleries of the former workings. The Danish Nature Agency manages what is reckoned to be the most important site in Europe for the conservation of bats, some 18,000 of them, including some endangered species, being resident in the former workings. Tours take place only in summer in order to protect the bats. Visitors go from the red brick building past lakes and through the workings to a chamber which includes a cinema with seating for about 80 people. One their tour visitors see something of the cheese store in the caves managed by the Arta company, and have the opportunity to buy cheese, amongst other things, in the museum shop.

Mønsted Limestone (Chalk) Mines
Mønsted Kalkgruber
Kalkværksvej 8
7850 Stohelm
Denmark
+45 (0) 8664 - 6011
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