A German videographer calling himself “friedfisch” created this cute little video about a day trip to sunny Sønderborg where he explores the shoreline with a friend. That’s one and a half minute of happiness right there 🙂
Now and then people email us with questions about Sonderborg. We are happy to answer (to the best of our abilities). Sometimes we can turn our answers in to blog posts, so feel free to send us your questions.
Ed Yandek from Ohio, US was heading to Sonderborg for a conference and his wife came along. They spent a week in town and we had an email correspondence before their trip. After they got back to Ohio Ed sent us his impressions and thoughts.
We have been back in Cleveland now for one week but are still having very fond memories of our visit to Sonderborg. We had a nice room at the Comwell overlooking the water and that was also the meeting site, so it was very convenient to walking all over town. We found the people very friendly, especially when I would ask questions, such as why all the young people had nautical looking caps– found out it was for graduation, and then we saw them running all over the city celebrating. Weather was really fine as we came prepared with jackets and umbrellas. We had mostly lovely weather that week, except for the very wet evening of the bonfires. The Castle museum was amazing and we learned a lot about the history of that region. We also went to the mill museum and the military museum across the bridge. It was a nice walk. It made some of the old history lessons I had many years ago seem more real, since Americans really are not very knowledgeable about the Danish-Prussian issues of that period. After a week there we can see why it is a popular town for visitors. I think it would make a nice staging point to explore the larger area with a car some time. I assume there is a local rental place in the city somewhere?
We had only been to Copenhagen before and liked it a lot, but find we are more and more liking smaller towns like Sonderborg when we visit in Europe.
One thing that surprised me was how prosperous everything and every one appeared yet I would say that from an American point of view the cost of living is pretty high. Mainly it seems due to the tax structure. But, I suppose this is part of the social history and wanting to elevate the standard of living for everyone. It does seem to be successful, at least for a country such as Denmark…
Anyhow, we enjoyed your country and town immensely and I want to thank you again for your tips, which were all very helpful.
The email is published with Ed’s approval. If you have travelled to Sonderborg we would love to hear your story or see your pictures.
The summer holiday also included a visit to Sønderborg. Here we are by a statue next to the university, Alsion.
The statue is placed with its back to the university and front towards Als Sound, where sailors have the nicest view of the statue. It will stay there only till September – too bad that it is moving away again – I think this is the perfect spot for it.
Let’s take them in sequence – first we have Socrates.
Since we moved to Sønderborg a year ago I have been fascinated by the history of this region and in particular how destiny has changed the lords of these lands back and forth between dukes, kings and kaisers. The most spectacular change is probably Denmark’s defeat in the Second Schleswig War and more the Battle of Dybbol in 1864.
In 2014 it will be 150 years since the battle took place and there will be renewed attention to this war. One very interesting idea in telling the story of what caused the war and how the different parties progressed is the recently started 1864live.dk created by three historians; Peter Yding Brunbech, Steffen Lind Christensen and Lene Elmegaard Bladt. 1864live publishes small snippets of text on a blog, Twitter and Facebook as they happened 150 years ago like this:
We asked the people who created the site a couple of questions about the site.
Where did you get the idea for the project?
We got inspiration from many different social platform communication projects, but the most important one is probably the project RealtimeWWII that is live tweeting from the second world war.
What technology do you use to manage the 3 platforms?
We tried a couple of different systems but decided on a wordpress-blog because it was the easiest to update on blog twitter and Facebook automatically. It’s working ok, but of course it would be better to create separate content for each platform. That would however take too much time.
What sources do you use?
We are all historians and use a range of different sources. Amongst others some good general works on Danish foreign policy and German policy in the period. But also contemporary newspapers such as “Fædrelandet” and “Illustreret Tidende”. And some of the older very thorough works on the subject like Neergaard’s “Danmark under junigrundloven”
Do you have any plans or thoughts about translations?
It would be great to be able to do it in German and/or English but we simply dont have the resources
Are you collaborating with any institutions?
We are not collaborating with anyone at the moment but have a very open mind as to the possibilities. We just have not gotten around to it yet.
Which aspects of the conflict do you find the most interesting yourself?
Perhaps because I am an historian my chief interest is the very complex political background to the whole conflict, and how it is very difficult to understand the conflict properly if you do not understand the different views in those days on such concepts as nation, state and democracy.
Do you get any funding?
No, we don’t but we wouldn’t say no to some either 🙂
– Very interesting idea. I hope they can keep up the steam over the next two years and I am looking forward to following the war – from a distance.
In 1864 Denmark was massively defeated by the Austrian/Prussian armies on a hill just outside today’s Sønderborg around Dybbøl, a village on top of a hill. The politicians in Copenhagen had little knowledge of what the conditions were on the ground and called on the army to defend the fortification by any means. The Danes were outmanned one to nine and once the Prussians attacked they completely overran the Danish defense.
In two years time the biggest TV production ever made in Denmark will tell the story of the people of the battle of Dybbøl. We will write more about that when we hear it.
For now you can see a music video recently released by the Danish country singer Lars Lilholt where he sings about the battle and calls it Denmark’s Killing Fields. Parts of the video is shot in hills in Dybbøl with old cannons etc.
If you want to learn more about the battle, the Dybbøl History Centre will open for the 2012 season on April 1st.
Have you ever walked along the pier or across the bridge in Sonderborg and wondered what goes on below the surface of the water? To me the water usually looks dark, cold and inhospitable. But that’s not the case for the (crazy?) guys from Cold Blooded Divers. They seem to love the cold waters of Denmark and looking at some of their videos it seems like there is a world of colours and life to be explored below the surface. Here they dive around Sonderborg Castle:
Here is another video that starts off with pictures of a concrete barge getting sunk in Sonderborg harbour. The barge is 35 by 86 meters and has lots of hiding places for marine life. As they dive down to the barge you can see huge cods in the wreck:
As the tag line to this blog says, Sonderborg is a ‘town on an island’, so as you can guess there is a lot of water-related activity. When I was in Sonderborg earlier in summer I could easily realise that kayaking, sailing, fishing and other similar activities are a big thing in the area.
What I didn’t realise, however, was that Sonderborg is also being advertised as a cruise destination. This helps reinforce my idea of Sonderborg as an aspirational city and helps calm my qualms about moving to a a smaller city after having gotten used to the excesses of London.
The video is made by Avid Cruiser a specialist in reviewing ports and cruises. Apart from the video above Avid Cruiser also has a comprehensive run down of things to do in and around Sønderborg and how to dock there which is probably useful for boaters. Maybe he is commissioned by the city to create the video to explain what it has to offer to potential tour operators and cruise guests. I’m not sure, but it’s a great introduction to Sønderborg.