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The tiny island of Ven (Hven in Danish) is just 9km sq. and has a population of some 370 and is situated in the Øresund Sound between Denmark and Sweden; it can be reached by ferry from Landskrona, some 20 miles north of Malmo and 10 miles south of Helsingborg. With beautiful, unspoiled countryside it makes a lovely summer vacation retreat regardless, but the island's main attraction is its connection to the 16th century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (hence the huge statue that greets visitors to the island). Successful Brahe, headhunted by the leading universities of Europe, was given Ven by the Danish crown to persuade him to remain in Denmark, where he built a lavish and expensive observatory. A fantastic and imaginative man, Brahe spent state money on bringing his dreams to reality, and his spectacular castle "Uraniborg" can still be visited today, along with its underground observatory "Stjerneborg" and grand renaissance garden. There's much to do here, with a weather station, outdoor exhibition and for those with kids, a historically-themed playground and "Planet Path". The museum is open daily from April to September and costs SEK 60 to visit, including a multimedia show in the observatory (free for kids under 15).