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The swan lake in Nivå

Close to the harbour Nivå Havn you can visit an old clay pit that is now a lake. Here, you will find a large number of swans, which has made the lake known colloquially as ”The Swan Lake” and turned it into a favoured excursion spot for locals and tourists alike. But the story of how the lake came to be in the first place is quite interesting.

During the years 1701-1981, Nivå had as many as four brickyards. The most famous is probably Nivaagaard Teglværk, which was in operation from 1701 to 1980. The brickyard’s iconic ring kiln was built in 1870, and was in operation until 1966 when a new tunnel kiln took over its function.

Another brickyard in the area was Sølyst Teglværk, which was in operation from 1856 to 1981. It was one of the largest brickyards in Denmark in its time, but now, only the lower half of a ring kiln chimney is left.

The manufacturing of bricks and tiles takes a lot of clay. This was dug in several places in the area and transported to the brickyards. Once the clay digging was finished, the pits were either filled with the removed soil or left to be filled with water. It is one of the clay pits from Sølyst Teglværk that has now transformed into the beautiful Swan Lake.

If you visit the lake today, you may encounter both the national bird of Denmark - the mute swan – and the whooper swan, as well as an abundance of other birds.

If your main interest lies beneath the surface of the water, the lake is also open to anglers. The local angling association, Nive Ås Lystfiskerforening, guarantees that there is a lot to catch in the old clay pits in Nivå, including pike, tench, bream, rudd, roach, crucian carps and large eel. You can read more at the angling association’s website (in Danish) about one-day fishing licenses for the lakes.

If you visit the Swan Lake, you should also go by the tidal meadows in the Nivå bay. The area is the only one of its kind along the Oresund coast north of Copenhagen, and it is a preserved area. The terrain of the area means that migratory wading birds and other water birds come here to forage. In winter, ducks and swans seek shelter in the bay.

Fugleværnsfonden (the Foundation for the Protection of Birds) has established a bird sanctuary of around 11 hectares in the tidal meadows Nivå Strandenge. Here, you will find a birdwatching tower where you can spot many of the breeding and migrating birds in the area. 

Sources: Industrial heritage museum Nivaagaard Teglværks Ringovn (website in Danish) and Danmarks Naturfredningsforening (The Danish society for Nature Conservation (website in Danish)

(Picture: Google)

Coordinates:  latitude: 55.936851
longitude: 12.525393

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