Discover Stevns Klint UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 2014, Stevns Klint was included on the UNESCO’s world heritage list and joined the category of national parks, medieval towns and other historical natural areas, monuments, etc.

Further down you can read more about Stevns Klint and the dramatic history that has led to the cliffs being included on UNESCO’s world heritage list today.

Experience Denmark’s world heritage

Get up close to Stevns Klint UNESCO World Heritage Site, and spend a few days in the area to study the history. It is difficult to comprehend it until you have actually been there and seen the fish clay up close.

You can examine Stevns Klint from different angles, which is why you can go all around the world heritage site.
From Højerup Gl. Church you can see a large part of the cliff from the historic church that is located right by the cliff. At Stevnsfort Cold War Museum you can also learn more about Stevns Klint from a war and function-oriented perspective. During the Cold War, Stevns Klint was a secret base for Denmark and the UN’s defence. You can also get a good view of the cliff from the here. It is only a 5-10 minute drive from Højerup Gl. Church.

Højerup Old Church

 

World heritage nature at Stevns

The main reason for Stevns Klint being included on UNESCO’s world heritage list was actually a thin layer of fish clay. Special focus was also placed on the geologic record that documents key events in the Earth’s history, as well as there being physical evidence of meteor impacts and the major changes caused by them, for example, the mass extinction of the dinosaurs that made way for mammals.

This mass destruction was caused by a meteor impact 66 million years ago that had a catastrophic global impact. Only about 40% of all Earth’s animals and plants survived the disaster, and the yellowish-white chalk layer over the fish clay tells all about it.

Stevns Klint is the best place in the world to experience this dramatic part of history because the signs of the meteor impact and the major changes that followed are so evident at the cliff.

Stevns Klint og fiskeleret - UNESCOs Verdensarv

What is fish clay exactly?

The fish clay is the clearest evidence of the meteor impact that wiped out more than half of Earth’s animals and plants. The fish clay at Stevns Klint contains large amounts of the rare chemical element iridium, which originates from the asteroid that struck Earth 66 million years ago – just at the time when dinosaurs became extinct. So, it was something of a crisis Earth experienced back then, but we humans are evidence of just how strong life is. After a brief respite in Earth’s history, the yellowish-white chalk in Stevns Klint shows that life made a strong comeback!

fiskeler ved stevns klint
The dark lines that divide the upper and lower part of Stevns Klint are fish clay, which testifies to the extinction of the dinosaurs, plants and other animals 66 million years ago. You cannot see the fish clay everywhere on the cliff because the lower part of the cliff is hidden beneath the sea in some places. 

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