Stevns Klint UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Photo: Tage Klee

In South Zealand, the Stevns Klint cliffs tower 41 metres above sea level and are by far the area’s best beacon for tourism. You can see visible layers of fish clay in the cliffs, testifying to one of the worst disasters in the history of the Earth.

In 2014, Stevns Klint was placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites, joining some of the world’s most important and unique attractions. In other words, this is one attraction you simply cannot miss.  

Discover Stevns Klint UNESCO World Heritage Site

When Stevns Klint became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was primarily due to the thin layers of fish clay clearly visible in the cliff, which document the meteor that, among other things, led to the extinction of the dinosaurs more than 66 million years ago.

The meteor impact had a devastating global effect on the Earth, and it’s estimated that only approx. 40% of all the Earth’s animals and plants survived the disaster. Researchers can deduce this by studying the layer of fish clay in Stevns Klint, which contains large amounts of the rare element iridium, which came from the asteroid that collided with Earth. 

It was quite a disaster that hit Earth at the time, but fortunately the yellowish white chalk also found around Stevns Klint shows how life returned to the planet in force. 

Three interesting facts about the Stevns Klint cliffs

1. The cliffs are composed of four layers: Soft chalk at the bottom, above that the fish clay, then the hard limestone and at the top we find traces of the last ice age.

2. Right up to the 1900s, bryozoan limestone was sawn out of the cliffs at Stevns Klint and used as a building material. Today, this material is known as limestone.

3. The cliff is approx. 65 to 71 million years old.