Tag Archives: Froslev

Tips for a Tourist in Sonderborg

In the beginning of May Ann’s sister, Cecilia, and a friend came to visit us in Sonderborg for 5 days. We asked her to write a guest post about her experience. Cecilia is currently studying at DCU in Dublin.


I am just back from 5 days spent in the Sonderborg area visiting Ann and Michael. I had been to Denmark before visiting Copenhagen and south Jutland, but this was my first visit to Als and its environs. We were blessed with some good weather, with the sun shining on most days, which was a welcome change to the Irish weather.

My main tip to anyone visiting the area is to get a good pair of comfy shoes since walking is undoubtedly the best way to see the town. The pier next to Sonderborg Slot was a favourite walking place of ours during our stay with really beautiful views and a relaxing atmosphere. But perhaps coming from a small island and now living in a big city, makes me slightly biased to the wonders of the sea (and a blue sky).

Sønderborg Slot i solen

The people in Denmark seemed to be extremely friendly, and I did not have much problems in communicating. Surprisingly enough, it was only at the tourist information in Sonderborg that I was asked whether I could speak German once I started speaking in English. Luckily I studied German for 6 years during secondary school so I managed to get the required information. However, people on the street we stopped to ask for directions, and people in shops were overall quite helpful, and even where the level of English was not that high, communication was not an issue.

If you are staying for more than 2 days, however, I would suggest you rent a car. This is because, once you spend a day visiting Sonderborg town (Sonderborg slot, perhaps the Dybbol site, and soaking in the atmosphere on the first day and Danfoss Universe on the second day), it would make sense to venture further afield. Nevertheless, keeping Sonderborg as a base is a good idea, since it is truly a lovely town and you can never get tired of walking along the pier in the evening and stopping for a coffee or ice cream at the café there.

We rented a car from Europcar in Sonderborg for the middle three days of our trip, having spent the first day walking around Sonderborg and the last day at Danfoss Universe. I was quite excited about this because I got to drive on the right hand side of the road (which is the wrong side where I am coming from i.e. Malta and more recently Ireland). But for those who have never done this before, do not despair. I did not find it to be that hard, and got into it quite quickly, although for the first day I had to keep telling myself: keep to the right…keep to the right.

Having a car, we got to go further afield. Froslev Prison Camp, I think, was one of my favourite places, being well laid out, having English versions for most (probably all) exhibits and really interesting. However, the highpoint of having a car was undoubtedly our visits to Germany, which is a short hop away from Sonderborg. Having lived on 2 different islands, this has not yet been possible to date. However, you must keep in mind that you then need Euros to use in Germany in addition to the Danish Kroner in Denmark (though with credit cards, this is a minor issue nowadays).

Us in front of Egeskov Slot

A further tip for a trip to the area is to remember to get your inner child out, especially when visiting places like Danfoss Universe and Egeskov castle. It is only by doing this that you can get maximum enjoyment out of the visit.

Tak Ann, Michael and all the people I met in Sonderborg and on this visit. I will hopefully be back :).


Annie’s Kiosk #18/99

Annie’s Kiosk is a small snack hut on the scenic way from Sonderborg to Flensburg. Small as it might be, it punches above its weight; it even has a long wikipedia entry in German!


The kiosk is famous for its hotdogs (and ice-creams). In typical snack hut style, you walk up to the window, order your hotdog – different choices of sausages, mustard, ketchup, remoulade, fried onions, raw onions and pickles – pay, and then get to enjoy it on the open-air benches and tables to the side. There you can get a good view of Flensburg Fjord and Store Okseø.

The kiosk is a favourite stopping point for motorcylists and drivers in the area. It served as a perfect stopping point for us after visiting Cathrinesminde Teglværk in Broager in the morning and before continuing onwards to Frøslev Prison Camp in Padborg, while allowing us to enjoy the scenic views down to the kiosk.

Froslev Prison Camp #17/99

At the start of WWII Denmark more or less stood back and let Nazi-Germany occupy the country. Denmark adopted a policy of collaboration with the oppressors in order to spare the country and people from actions of war. This lasted until August 1943, when the underground resistance movement had started their activities and the Danish government could no longer collaborate with the Nazis.

As a result of the government ending the collaboration most Danish police officers and border patrolmen were arrested and jailed. Simultaneously, the Nazis started to apprehend people from the resistance, communists and others and deporting them to concentration camps. Although people in Denmark did not know of the atrocities in the concentration camps in Germany they were horrified by the deportations of these political prisoners. To prevent this the Danish authorities offered to build Frøslev Prison Camp close to the German border where the Nazis could detain Danish prisoners.

The camp was put into use on August 13 1944 and in the nine months it was in operation under the Nazis 12,000 prisoners were held there. Against the agreement 1,600 of the prisoners were deported to concentration camps in Germany, where about 220 perished.

Guard tower Faarehus camp Frøslevlejren

The museum is, like the Resistance Museum in Copenhagen, run by the National Museum and is free to visit. Unlike several museums in this region almost all displays are in English. The artifacts and the stories of the items and buildings are very well presented and make it an interesting visit. The museum about the camp is in the guard tower and one of the barracks.

The guard tower at Froslev Prison Camp

Unlike the concentration camps, living conditions in Frøslev were bearable and there was sufficient food. The museum is less stark and gruesome than the other camps in Europe where the sheer scale of torture and atrocities can leave you numb.

Apart from the museum telling the story of the prison camp there is also museums from the Home Guard, UN and Amnesty, each of which had a barrack that we quickly covered.

Frøslev Prison Barracks Frøslevlejren

If you are a history buff expect to spend 2 hours in the museums here. For more information check the website.