The oldest seaweed roofs in Laeso are 300 – 350 years old. There are 11 seaweed houses listed on the island. And if you feel the urge to see them live you have to head on to Laeso. This is the only place on earth where you can see the original seaweed roofs and get information about how it’s done.
A cultural heritage reclaim
There are roughly about 30 buildings still left with seaweed roofs, or remains of a seaweed roofs. Since 2016 there is a project to restore the first 3 buildings. If you are visiting Laeso you need to make sure to visit the different houses. If you are lucky you might catch the project in action. When we visited we got to see the changing of the roofs first hand. I was even brave enough to get onto a roof to see it from close.
It is a unique opportunity to witness an ancient Laeso tradition. And what’s interesting is that this was a job for the women. They were the once that plied the seaweed and made sure that it was done correctly. This thatching of the seaweed roof is a hard process of eelgrass that is transformed into roofs of houses.
Project Seaweed roofs unites
Local passion, foundations and the Danish state all came together to raise the funds to replace the roofs and keep the tradition alive. Make sure to see the replaced roofs. It’s really impressive to know that the new roofs will be fine for at least 100 years before they need to be replaced again. While we were visiting Laeso, we got to meet the locals. They were not only working on the roofs but also doing some farming. I could really imagine how this place will flourish once it’s done.
You can’t miss the feeling of the community uniting and working together to make their seaweed roofs rise again.
Today, Hedvigs Hus is owned by the Laseo Museum and is open to the public. There is no entrance fee, however, you are asked to move a small wooden block from one place to another. This is for the museum to keep track of how many people visit’s this house. The house is left as it was when a family was living here. It is furnished and you can see old pictures of the people that used to live here and their relatives. The roof is newly made so there is fresh eelgrass there.
Hedvigs hus is located at Linievejen 36. Be sure to check the opening hours because you don’t want to miss the inside of the house.
Tangtag (seaweed) museum
There is also a museum dedicated to the seaweed roofs and the process of how they are made. This is for the people that can not get enough of the seaweed roofs and that wants to know more. The entrance fee here is 60 DKK Danish crowns. Here you will see old instruments and learn more about the whole process. We only had a quick stop here so I did not get to read all the signs but from what I saw, it seemed interesting.
Our experience of the Tangtag (seaweed roofs)
During our stay, we got to visit 4 different houses with seaweed roofs. Some thought that this was a bit too much but I loved it! We got to see a new roof, an old roof, a work in progress and also the museum. I love the fact that this is so special to the Danish island. If you have a limited time and can’t drive around to see more of them, I would recommend for you to see at least Hedvigs Hus and maybe the museum. Tangtag (Danish word for seaweed roofs) is the sh*t in Laeso.
Read more about the project at their website: www.tangtag.dk