Gentofte Lake/Brobæk Bog

Gentofte Lake is quite a surprise. As the crow flies, it is just eight kilometres from City Hall Square and has a busy motorway on one side. Yet this is one of the country’s cleanest lakes, and the nature here is unusually rich and varied. Neighbouring Brobæk Bog is a conservation area, with an alluring, jungle-like atmosphere.

Brobæk Bog is often colloquially called ‘Insulin Bog’, because it has been used as a recreational area for diabetes patients at the Nordic Insulin Laboratory, now part of Novo Nordisk.

The forest in the northern part of the bog has not been cultivated by humans for half a century, but has been allowed to develop naturally. This has given plants and animals good conditions in which to thrive – several rare orchids are among the natural riches that grow here.

The bog was originally part of Gentofte Lake, but the lake was drained and used for peat extraction, so is much smaller nowadays.

Runners know that the route around the lake is 2.5 kilometres, and can be expanded by straying from the path. With beautiful vistas along the way, it is a popular route for runners and walkers.

The old Gentofte village once stood by the lake. Few traces remain, apart from some old yellow buildings from 1795. These were part of the hosiery factory belonging to the Scot, Alexander Mitchell.  He built his factory by the lake because it needed large amounts of water for dyeing and bleaching stockings.

The lake also provided drinking water for Copenhagen right up to 1959, and the water is still very clean – in fact, it is one of the ten cleanest lakes in the country. You can hire boats on the lake, and fish from them if you have a permit. Fishing permits are available from the council.

Photo: Scanpix/Anders Tvevad

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