Gl. Rye Airfield (Flyveplads)

Photo: Destination Kystlandet


Photo: Destination Kystlandet


Photo: Destination Kystlandet

Rester af mur ved Gl. Rye Flyveplads

Experience wartime history in beautiful nature

Near the Gudenå River and Salten Langsø, lie the remnants of what was once Rye Airfield (Flyveplads). The airfield is now abandoned but has an intriguing history, intricately linked to World War II and Denmark's occupation. Today, the scenic area surrounding the airfield still bears many traces of the war and post-war period.


From private airfield to Luftwaffe base and refugee camp

Rye Airfield was established as a private airfield in 1935 but quickly transitioned to being used by the Danish Aviation Company. However, its fate changed when Denmark was occupied on April 9, 1940. On the very same day, the airfield was seized and utilized by German troops.

In the following years, the area was occupied by the German army and gained significant strategic importance in Germany's attack on Norway. As the war progressed, the airfield played a less central role for the occupying forces. Towards the end of the war, some of the many refugees from East Germany, fleeing the advancing Russian army and heading towards Denmark, were accommodated in barracks in the area. By the end of the war, a total of 238,000 German refugees found themselves in Denmark, and the Danish government decided to place them in a few camps around the country. One of these camps was Rye Airfield, which housed 14,800 German refugees at its peak.

The refugee camp closed in 1948, and since then, the area has remained deserted. The airfield is now covered in grass, while the rest of the area is adorned with heather, trees, and bushes. In the vicinity, there are numerous bunkers, barracks, and remnants and foundations of hangars, infirmaries, and artillery positions, among others.


The scenic surroundings

The landscape near the village Gl. Rye, the Gudenå river, Lake Mossø, and Lake Salten Langsø in the Ryhule nature area is beautiful and distinguished by its forests, heathlands, hills, lakes, and meadows. In fact, the airfield has been described as one of the most beautifully located airfields in the world. This part of Bakkelandet offers some of the most unspoiled nature in Denmark.

When you visit the area in search of remnants from wartime, it's worth stopping by some of the exciting natural gems in the vicinity.

If you enjoy swimming, you can visit Blidsø or one of the many other bathing lakes within a short distance. You can also combine your outing with a bike ride around Salten Langsø or Mossø. At the Sugar Loaf (Sukkertoppen), you'll have one of the best views in the country, and at the foot of Sukkertoppen lies the Monastery Mill (Klostermølle), an old Benedictine monastery with a watermill and paper factory, which today is a perfect spot for a picnic.

There are excellent opportunities to combine a trip to Gl. Rye Airfield with other experiences nearby. Find further inspiration for activities in tBakkelandet on this page.

Hotels nearby of Gl. Rye Airfield (Flyveplads)

  • Nørre Vissing Kro

    13.3 km

    The royally licensed inn Nørre Vissing Kro, dating back to 1801, is situated close to hills, woods and lakes. The inn is famous for its creative and uncom-promising cuisine with a restaurant, filled with an incredible atmosphere, and an excellent wine cellar. 25 min. to both Aarhus and Silkeborg.
    Read more : Nørre Vissing Kro
  • Låsby Kro

    14.13 km

    You will find Låsby Inn in the middle of Jutland in the beautiful and hilly nature between Silkeborg and Aarhus. There is a cozy atmosphere and the inn is furnished with all that classifies a typical inn. It's like being in another time wrap.

    Read more : Låsby Kro
  • Hotel Dania Silkeborg

    16.15 km

    Hotel Dania commands a central location in Silkeborg, surrounded by shops, sights and attractions and close to the woods and lakes. Dating from 1848, the hotel has been carefully refurbished to preserve its special charm and atmosphere. The hotel restaurant Brasserie Underhuset serves a cuisine in a class of its own.

    Read more : Hotel Dania Silkeborg
  • Hotel Skanderborghus

    16.15 km

    Skanderborghus, which is situated in the deer park Dyrehaven at the shore of the lake, is indeed a gem near lake and wood. The hotel is situated close to the cosy centre of Skanderborg with fine shopping possibilities, and in the surroundings there are fine possibilities of sailing, golfing and playing tennis.
    Read more : Hotel Skanderborghus
  • Jørgensens Hotel

    24.05 km

    When you visit Jørgensens Hotel, look forward to an experience of historical awareness, quality in every detail and personal hospitality in the center of Horsens.
    Read more : Jørgensens Hotel
  • Kongensbro Kro

    26.96 km

    Kongensbro Kro is located between Aarhus and Viborg. In the old times it was known as a bargeman’s inn, but today it is a modern inn with up-to-date rooms with a view of the inn’s garden and the Gudenå. The inn’s patent of nobility is good food, from homemade rissoles to the French cuisine.

    Read more : Kongensbro Kro
  • Montra Hotel Sabro Kro

    27.44 km

    This beautiful hotel is located in the heart of Sabro close to the city of smiles, Aarhus. With the E45 close by, there is easy and fast transport to a wealth of options. Here you will find room for attention, presence and wonderful experiences. There is always a good reason to visit Montra Hotel Sabro Kro.

    Read more : Montra Hotel Sabro Kro
  • Hotel Oasia Aarhus

    34.31 km

    City Hotel Oasia is the only designer hotel in Aarhus. The decor emphasises elegant and discreet luxury, clean lines and Nordic design. Designer furniture and hard-wooden flooring highlight the style. This wonderful oasis is situated close to Aarhus Central Station, ARoS and The Old Town. Only breakfast restaurant.
    Read more : Hotel Oasia Aarhus
  • Hotel Hedegaarden

    37.55 km

    Hotel Hedegaarden is a family-run hotel which offers everything from the traditional Danish cuisine to new and different taste experiences. They emphasize good food made of first-rate ingredients, an unpretentious atmosphere and that everything functions as is should. The hotel is situated right at motorway exit no. 60
    Read more : Hotel Hedegaarden
  • ToRVehallerne- SDH Partner Hotel

    39.77 km

    The hotel offers delicious food and high service to you as a guest. Located in the spirit of the city, you can experience all the cities facilities and easily get around without a car.
    Read more : ToRVehallerne- SDH Partner Hotel