Tag Archives: Augustenborg

Piet Hein: Kuben – Spheres within cubes

Roundabout art. It seems that where people build a roundabout in Denmark there is an urge to put something in the middle.

One of the better examples of roundabout art is the cube with spheres outside Augustenborg. The sculpture is made by Piet Hein, a scientist, architect and poet who created many interesting things.

On the way to work we pass by it every day and I got curious about it.

The sculpture, called Kuben, was inaugurated in 2008, exactly 20 years after Peit Hein had finished his drawings for it. The artist himself never saw it finished as he passed away in 1996. It weighs 5 tons and stands 7 meters tall. The sculpture is funded by Bitten og Mads Clausens Foundation.

The company contracted to create the sculpture, Royal-Tee, has some interesting photos from the construction and positioning of it. Here is one of showing how the different sections are produced:

Kuben being constructed by the company Royal Tee.

Sculpture Garden by Augustenborg Palace


If you walk in front of the baroque palace in Augustenborg you might stumble on a charming garden where you can enjoy art for free.


Officially it goes by the name of Augustiana Skulpturpark og Kunstcenter Augustenborg but the day I was there the art centre was closed so that is for a future post. But the sculpture garden is worth a visit in it’s own right.


The sculpture garden is the second largest of it’s kind in Denmark and is home to about 100 sculptures. It moved here from Fyn together with the gallery owners Mette Buhl and Uffe Larsen.


The park sits in gorgeous setting at the edge of a forest right on the water by Augustenborg Fjord and with the palace in the background. A beautiful setting and a great place for a walk any time of the year.

tour of city Sonderborg

Take a Tour of the City

It is often difficult to learn all there is to know about a city , or even tiny village, just by walking around on your own. You will undoubtedly miss some corner with its intriguing story that you would have loved to learn about. A good way of taking a stab at getting to know about these corners and stories is by going on a tour.

tour of city Sonderborg

Typically, most tourist offices offer city walks on a number of themes, sometimes by professional guides, and others by highly interested volunteers from the city itself. Sonderborg is, of course, no less.

Sonderborg tourist office organises a series of guided walks in the municipality, mainly in the summer holiday period. Among the tours offered there is an 1864 town walk in Sonderborg, a walk around Grasten castle and gardens, as well as town walks in Sonderborg, Nordborg and Augustenborg. Unfortunately for me only the 1864 town walk is advertised as offered in English, with all the others only offered in Danish or German, so I decided to check it out.

1864 Town Walk

This walk around the streets of Sonderborg takes you from Radhustorvet, in front of the main Sonderborg tourist office, down to the castle, along the pier and up towards Sct Marie Kirke. During the walk you see locations connected to the 1864 war, learn about what went on, as well as hear stories about the people living in Sonderborg at the time.

The walk appeared interesting. However, there was one downside: the languages! The walk was intended to be given in Danish, German and English and on the day I attended all 3 languages were required. Unfortunately, the guide didn’t appear equally comfortable in all of them. This resulted in the walk being around 90% Danish, 6% German and 4% English! If it wasn’t that some of the Danish people took pity on me and translated the main points it would have been very difficult to understand much of anything (thank you family from Blans!).

Therefore, if you understand Danish, I urge you to try it out (and come back and tell us how it really is), if you understand German and are interested in it, do check it out (after all my German/Danish recognition is not the best in the world. However, if you only understand English I can only recommend that you not bother with it…unless you get another guide, that is!

Launching Sebbe

Sebbe Als is a ship built on a real Viking warship found in Roskilde Fjord. It spends the harsh days of winter in The Naust (a low building at the water edge) on Augustenborg Fjord, during which time it is repaired and repainted. Every spring it is then put back into the water and taken to it berth in Augustenborg harbour, where it is docked for the summer season. Below is our experience of launching Sebbe back into its natural environment.

9:20: We arrive at The Naust. “Pirate” Kim is already busy preparing the ground for Sebbe’s exit. We find the other group members in the back room having their breakfast.


9:40: The troops are gathered in front of the Naust. Steen, the chairman of the independent society that owns and operates Sebbe (and its sister ship Ottar, which was launched a week earlier) welcomed everyone and we started getting ready for putting the ship into the water.

The first task involved lowering the ship onto pieces of wood over which it could then be rolled the 10m into the water. This is necessary as the ship is raised on wood during the winter. A lot of rocking, moving and balancing is required at this stage, though not much effort on the part of the general troops.

Camera Roll-220

10:05: Sebbe is ready to roll. All the troop are aligned on each side, one at each oar hole. We are ready to push, pull and tug Sebbe over the rollers and into the sea. “En, tooo, TRE!” says Steen. A lot of huffing and puffing. But Sebbe refuses to move. We try a couple more times, before a slight change of tactic gets Sebbe rolling.

10:20: Sebbe decided to stop moving. Plan B is required. This involves the use of a pulley system to help us push Sebbe into the water. The pulley is set up

10:30: Plan B is ready to be put into action. The troops are back on each side of the boat. “En, to, TRE!”. After a couple of false starts Sebbe starts to slowly make its way close to the water. Until the pulley system starts breaking down.

10:45: We revert back to Plan A. Sebbe is halfway out of the Naust and are ready to head down the slight slope. While using the changed tactics used earlier, where the back of Sebbe is levered upwards as we push, Sebbe slowly makes its way towards the water.

11:00: Success! Sebbe is in the water. The time it has taken this year appears to be close to a record. The larger number of people helping out certainly helped. Sebbe is tied to the bridge off to the left while we all get a well-deserved drink.

Click for panorama of Sebbe going into the water

11:20: Although the big job of pushing the boat into the water is done we still need to put in the fittings, including the floor boards and the oars. While we were busy relaxing “Pirate” Kim had already started, and soon the rest of us go to work carrying things from the Naust to the boat, while others sweep inside the Naust.


12:30: Sebbe is all together now! Another well-deserved break for lunch that two of the members had gone off to buy for all the rest of us. As befits a Danish lunch we had rugbrod with different toppings (and cake, of course!).

13:20: There is only the last job of the day left: getting Sebbe to its “summer home” in Augustenborg harbour. As the mast will be put up in the harbour we need to row it over to its berth. We all take our places and rowed it we did.

13:55: Sebbe is in its berth. Our day of Viking work is over.

Sebbe is berthed in Augustenborg harbour next to her sister, Ottar. You can see both of them as you cross the road on the bridge dividing the harbour.