We have set ourselves the goal of finding and doing 99 interesting things in and around Sonderborg. So far we have added 42 things to our list and done 23 of them but we need your help completing the list.
So if you know of something fun, enlightening, interesting or strange we can see, do, taste, try or smell let us know.
You probably know the feeling that if you live in an area you can always go to the local museum/castle/attraction so you end up never getting around to it. We started this list when we moved to Sonderborg at the end of 2011 to make sure we saw all the cool bits and the hidden gems without putting it off for ages although it probably will take a couple of years to do the whole list.
Geographically we would like the things to stay within about an hours travel of Sonderborg. It should be things that are open for the general public. Events that repeat on an annual or biannual basis are great but one-off events are more difficult to add.
How many from our list have you done and do you have ideas for what else we can add to the list?
Back in 1953 when blues and jazz were all the rave every town in Denmark had a jazz club. Sonderborg was no exception and a group of friends started what would later become Sonderborg jazzclub. As one of the few in our region the club still exists. It is one of the oldest in Denmark and organises at least one concert a month.
The jazz club aims to focus on the growth layer in the Danish jazz scene and tomorrow’s stars. While they do have traditional 50s swing jazz they more often present something more edgy and contemporary.
It was my first time at Sønderborghus when Magnus Thuelund Melody Project Quintet played on a very clear, cold Sunday. There were only about twenty people in the theater hall which made it feel quite empty. However, there was a nice atmosphere, the jazz club people were very friendly and once the band started playing it was really enjoyable.
The jazz concerts are usually held at Sønderborghus on Sundays at 15 and tickets are 100DKK or 80DKK for club members. Membership of the jazz club is 200DKK per term which comes with free entrance to one concert for you and a friend.
The next concert is on Sunday the 26th of February where Clara Bryld and August Rosenbaum is playing at Sønderborghus. See the website for more concerts.
Sønderborghus just released an English version of their website. Even the description of bands are now available in English. To see this click the UK flag in the top right corner of their website.
My 9 year old nephew had a week off for Winter Holiday and came to visit us for a couple of days in Sønderborg. It was the perfect excuse for me to go and visit the History Centre at Dybbøl Banke and the winter special they were doing during the children’s winter holiday.
My nephew and I made our way up the hill and inside the history center before the doors closed. During winter there is a specific starting time to the tour by when you have to be there. Since this is off season and the centre is really only built for summer openings the building is cold and they have a different programme. As the soldiers experienced 149 years ago when the Danes first abandoned Dannevirke and started to dig in at Dybbøl we got to feel the chills and winds of the Danish winter.
On the day we were 75 visitors and we got divided into three groups that each were led by a story teller/tour guide. Ours was Steen and he was good at grabbing the attention of the kids and getting them involved in explaining the circumstances the soldiers found themselves in, in the trenches.
We were then shown the equipment the Danes and the Prussians carried with them to war and two of the kids got dressed up as our guide told stories of how the Germans envied the Danish long shafted boots, how the German state-of-the-art rifles were four times faster than the Danish and how the two soldiers would meet in the middle of the battlefield at night, hats in hand to drink and talk only to be back fighting the politicians way when day broke again.
After that we went outside where the kids (big and small) got to make their own bullets and make pancakes over open fire while we could warm ourselves with warm beer, hot cocoa or coffee.
My nephew swore the pancakes were the best he had ever had and for the rest of his visit in Sonderborg he would often take the bullet out of his pocket and admire it.
We were shown the soldier barracks where we got more stories and then our visit to the centre ended with a bang as the guide fired off a smaller replica of a cannon.
For the rest of the winter Dybbøl Historiecenter opens on Saturdays for tours (without the pancakes and bullet making, I think) and the regular season runs from April 1st to October 31st.
This review is based on our visit to Sonderborg Castle when we were in the area for my interview in early September.
Fortifications in the Sonderborg Castle area have been around since the 12th century. The site, a piece of land jutting out from the island of Als into Als Fjord was excellently located to protect this area of Denmark from attacks from the south. This also puts the castle in a very picturesque location.
Over time, what started out as a tower within a much larger system of fortifications developed through numerous transformations into the castle we see today. Nowadays, the castle houses the Southern Jutland Museum.
The museum covers the history of the castle on the ground floor, and the history of Southern Denmark from the middle ages to today on the upper floors. There are also exhibits of historical collections from the local area, such as of textiles and ceramics.
The museum packs quite a lot into the space without making the place feel crowded. Unfortunately, the information panels are only sporadically in English. This made it quite difficult to follow the story of any one section. I was, however, told that they are working on English translations at the moment, which is positive.
I have always loved museums, and my current studies and experiences have put me in close contact with quite a lot. So I must admit that I really appreciate having a national museum in Sonderborg. Maybe I should get more involved with it? Would love to find a way!
Photo by Judith Doyle
We are getting a bit jumpy about moving to Sonderborg so while we are waiting we thought up a challenge for ourselves. We want to come up with – and do – 99 different things! That can be done, right?
We promise we are not going to jump around all the time but we are a bit excited. We’ve started the list and will create a counter on the page so you can see how we are doing.
Do let us know if you have any ideas for things to do.