Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, to the east of most of Denmark, south of Sweden, and north of Poland. The main industries on the island include fishing, arts and crafts such as glass making and pottery using locally worked clay, and dairy farming. Tourism is important during the summer. The topography of the island consists of dramatic rock formations in the north (unlike the rest of Denmark which is very flat) sloping down towards pine and deciduous forests (greatly damaged by storms in the 1950s) and farmland in the middle and sandy beaches in the south.
Bornholm Regional Municipality covers the entire island. Bornholm was one of the three last Danish municipalities (Danish: kommune) not belonging to a county— the others were Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. On 1 January 2007, the municipality lost its short-lived (2003 to 2006) county status and became part of Region Hovedstaden (the Copenhagen Capital Region).
The small Ertholmene islands are located 18 km (11 mi) to the northeast of Bornholm. They belong neither to a municipality nor to a region but are administered by the Ministry of Defence.
Strategically located in the Baltic Sea, Bornholm has been fought over for centuries. It has usually been ruled by Denmark, but also by Lübeck and Sweden. The Hammershus castle ruin, at the northwestern tip of the island, is the largest medieval fortress in northern Europe, testament to the importance of its location