Dybbol Historic Centre tells the story of the 1864 war. During this war the Danish border was pushed northwards as the land around Dybbol was won by the Prussians. It was only during a referendum in 1920 as part of the reparations of WWI that the land came back under Danish rule. This war had a significant effect on the area that is still felt to this day.
The 1864 story is told in a number of ways. First of all you get to watch a video about the war. I was surprised that the first part of the video focussed on the war movements and where the trenches where, before we got to why the war was being fought. I guess that most of the visitors are Danes and Germans from the area who already have very solid knowledge of this war, which is why this explanation is not critical. On the plus side, getting the commentary in English on my headphones was not a problem at all.
Following the video you are directed to a diorama of the Danish trenches. I liked that the background on the 4 people in the diorama were given a background, explaining how they got to be there. In this background you also got information that one of the guys was 35 and was there as a ‘paid replacement’ for someone’s son. This information made it that much better in providing the emotion of the war.
However, you don’t only get to hear and see what the war was like, you can also experience the story in the outside area. With events organised throughout the day, such as shooting of guns and a telling of the story of a soldier. You can also make pancakes on an open fire and make bullets, as was done during the winter special opening.
A visit to this site is a pleasant way of spending a morning. From the 1st of April to the end of October it is open daily from 10-17. During winter there are special winter events on specific weekends.
Going across the border to shop has a long history along the Danish-German border here in Southern Denmark. These days where the Danish kroner is fixed to the Euro there is not a big currency difference for goods but different policies make some product have very different prices depending on which side of the border you step into a shop.
The way the Danish government tries to school the people in how they should consume is in large part done through taxes, which has the added bonus that money flows into the state coffers. Whether a tax is introduced to make money or to try and change behaviour is not always clear. However one thing is certain. If a thing people crave is cheaper south of the border you will get Danes driving for hours to save money.
Apart from regular VAT, where Denmark comes out at the top second in EU at 25%, Denmark has also special taxes on things like:
In 2011 Danes spent 6.6 billion kroner in cross border shopping and 47% of all Danes had shopped abroad in that year. In 2011 the primary items for shopping were alcohol (38%) and soft drinks (31%). The new “fat tax” introduced at the end of 2011 has meant that most of the people driving across the border to shop now also shop for regular groceries (56%). In fact every 4th beer produced in Denmark is sold in Germany, primarily to Danes, which means 181 million liters of beers travel back and forth over the border every year.
Here’s a list and map of the biggest chains of border shops across the border in Germany.
What items you shop for when you go across the border and which stores do you go to?