In February the monthly event by Cafe International was a guided tour of Sonderborg Slot. Michael and I had already visited this castle before we even moved to Sonderborg, but the place is worth more than one visit.
So what did I learn about Sonderborg Slot on this visit?
1. Sonderborg castle is on an island
You might not realise this, but as the castle developed over time it became progressively more connected to the mainland. A model of the earliest castle clearly shows that the area was originally an island. As you move sequentially through time the models then show how the island and connecting paths grew over time as the castle was enlarged.
2. The legend of the table
If you have ever heard of it: I’m sorry, but it’s not true, even if there is a painting of it in the castle. If you have not…then maybe never mind? (*still curious?)
3. Urine Pots
There is a small urine pot on display. On the bottom of it is an image of two local dukes and a text saying “You two are a miss. Therefore all Danes will on you piss“. I wonder what the pot did to deserve its fate…
4. A thief for a museum director
No… not the current one! Nevertheless, a baptismal font that stands in one of the rooms stood for a long time outside a casino, where it came to the attention of the museum director of the time. The museum director could not persuade the casino owners to part with it, and he did not have the money to buy it. So one night he hired some strong men to help him steal it. The police tried to find the culprit but the mystery was not solved, until he removed it from storage where he had kept it and put it in the museum, together with a written account of what had happened to it. You can now see it on display on the 1st floor.
5. To the captors, with love – the prisoner.
Although Christian the 2nd was imprisoned in the castle, it doesn’t seem to have been too much of a hardship! He could buy whatever he wanted and had the best money could buy, from lobster and salmon, to beer and wine. He even kept the people at the local pub happy by every so often buying a round of beer to everyone.
6. Overeaten? Solution!
A solution might be to manage your portions and intake. However, this was not the solution rich people took in the middle ages! Instead the guests would have a feather at their disposal, so that when they were full they could summon a servant, tickle the back of their throat, and you can guess what happens! Of course, space in their bellies would not be a problem then!
These were some of many titbits we heard from Arne, the museum’s education officer, during the tour. Unfortunately there are no regularly organised tours that I know of, but I hope that if you are a large enough group something can be organised.
*Still curious about the legend? Here it goes: The legend of the table states that while Christian the 2nd was imprisoned in the castle, he continuously walked round a table dragging a finger around its edge. Over time, a groove to form in the table top as a result of the constant rubbing along the edge. You can see a statue called “The Myth” representing this opposite the castle.