The Priest’s Plain

Tucked away from public roads and paths, the Priest’s Plain (Præstesletten) isn’t the sort of place people just stumble across. You can picnic here in peace, hunt for rare grassland fungi or simply enjoy the view. This large, open, high-lying plain is surrounded by centuries-old oak trees and a number of ancient burial mounds, testament to the fact that people have frequented the site for thousands of years.

To the far south, the ancient, gnarled oak tree known as Vorteeg towers over the landscape like a canopy in a fairy tale.

In ancient times, priests and holy men – druids – met on the plain in the middle of the Deer Park, to conduct rituals and make sacrifices to the gods.

The name Priest’s Plain dates from more recent times. Priests in Lyngby had the right to graze cattle on the plain until the king made the Deer Park a royal hunting ground in 1669. A large number of deer live there to this day, and it has also become a rich habitat for many unique species of fungi.

Just north of the oak tree, embankments rise out of the terrain, the overgrown remains of a defensive stronghold that could accommodate 300 men, built in 1894. Today, the serene plain is a place of more peaceful pursuits, like midsummer meditations on the druids’ old ceremonial site.

Photo : Scanpix/Bax Lindhardt

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