Padborg ↔ Flensburg
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The local historic museum in Bov (Padborg, Bovvej 2, Mondays closed) is housed in the reed-thatched house „Oldemorstoft“, the parish reeve’s official residence from 1472. Here you learn a lot about the border, the gendarmes, and the battle of Bov: In 1848 the first battle of the Schleswig-Holstein revolt (Danish: Treårskrigen) started here, where 10,000 Danish soldiers and 6,000 Schleswig-Holstein 'rebels' faced each other. If you look closely, you will find cannon balls in a garden wall near the memorial stone in the centre of Bov.
While the course of the North Sea/Baltic Sea Cycle Route is easy in this area, untrained cyclists on the Border Route have to be prepared for demanding rises around idyllic Niehuus. The Border Route between Bov and Kruså leads right through the glacial tunnel valley of the Kruså. But the amazing view into the valley is worth the trouble. Here you get an impression of the power of melt water. In the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago, here there was a glacier snout of the ice masses with a height up to 3 km. Today you find a nature experience area and various hiking trails here.
The name Niehuus refers to the lowland castle Nygenhus, which once was located nearby, and of which some relics still remain. The castle was build in 1345 as a customs office on the Oxen Trail to Flensburg, but fell into decay, when the Danish king Eric of Pomerania lost Flensburg to Holstein. Some parts of the historic Oxen Trail, which was called ‘Der krumme Weg’ (the bended road) by the locals, remain here as 17th century paving.
The village Niehuus, which today is part of Harrislee, was hit particularly hard by the demarcation of the border in 1920. It lost its church. Until 1920, the church road lead through the tunnel valley to the church in Bov, which towers over the tree tops at the northern horizon. With the demarcation, no less then seven border crossings were on Harrislee’s new community area.
But just like neighbouring Padborg, Harrislee knew how to profit from the proximity to the border. Even before Demarks entry into the EC (1973), Scandinavian enterprises were called to the commune, laying the foundation for rapid growth of industry, trade and population.
Kruså, Kupfermühle, Wassersleben
In Kruså, people who are interested in history and who have heard about Count Folke Bernadotte, have a deeply symbolic point of reference: His statue and a memorial stone to commemorate the rescue of Danish and Norwegian concentration camp prisoners in April 1945. Where the statue stands, an armada of 200 white busses arrived on 20 and 21 April 1945. The passengers were 4,000 Danes and Norwegians, straight out of Neuengamme concentration camp. This was the height of the efforts of evacuating Scandinavian concentration camp prisoners since December 1944. Besides the Danish ministry for social and foreign affairs, the deserving main player in those efforts was Count Folke Bernadotte, vice president of the Swedish Red Cross. For more than 6,000 saved prisoners Kruså and Padborg became the first stop on their way to freedom.
In Kupfermühle, a district of Harrislee, you cycle straight through an industrial museum on the Border Route: The old copper mill (Kupfermühle) was founded in 1612 by Danish King Christian IV. The roofs of many Danish royal castles were covered with copper sheets from the former “Krusau´er Kupfer- und Messingwerken” (Krusau Copper and Brass Works). The listed factory and dwelling buildings house a fascinating museum of the copper mills history with many exhibits. (Harrislee, Zur Kupfermühle 14, Tuesday 2:30-5 pm or by appointment: Tel. +49 461 7935)
Near Wassersleben you should schedule for a short detour to the border crossing Schusterkate. Until 2001, passing the border on this idyllic wooden bridge over the Krusau River was only allowed in the summer time, to enable the townspeople of Flensburg to visit their forest, which was located in Denmark. Nowadays the bridge is open all year round, but the forest is not in German possession any longer. Still, crossing the bridge for a walk in Kollund forest has remained a popular summer time pleasure for Flensburgians.
In Wassersleben the North Sea/Baltic Sea Cycle Route has its eastern starting and ending point. After a nap on the beach and a refreshing swim in the Flensburg Fjord, you can challenge yourself in the park-like surroundings of Germany’s largest miniature golf course.
Between the beaches of Wassersleben and Ostseebad, the Border Route runs directly along the shore of the fjord. On one side a wide forest area pushes itself on cliffy bluffs down to the road side. On the other side, the broad inner fjord opens itself with an amazing panorama, inviting to rest and dream. The many sailing boats indicate that this is one of the most beautiful sailing areas of the Baltic Sea.
In Flensburg the Border Route starts and ends at a wonderful place that is impossible to miss: The ‚Hafenspitze’ (top of the harbour).
Many visitors have heard of Flensburg before – in various contexts. Germans know the federal bureau of motor vehicles and drivers first of all; Danes know the town as a shopping centre close to the border. For both nations, the successful Bundesliga handball club SG-Flensburg-Handewitt is a household name. Today even cruise ships call at Flensburg’s harbour – for a good reason: This town has flair.
|First time visitors are surprised by the fascinating harbour panorama with its steep fjord slopes. The maritime atmosphere and historical building fabric of the traditional see trading town, which was chartered as early as 1284, continues through the contemplative shopping streets in the town’s heart. Behind the neat facades you find picturesque merchant houses with old storehouses over and over again. Some of them date back to the times of the West Indies trade. Flensburg’s fleet once counted nearly 300 ships, which in the late 18th century freighted the semi-finished products tobacco, rum and cane sugar to Flensburg for further processing. This part of the town’s history can be experienced in the Navy Museum at the ‘Museumshafen’ where you also can gaze at museum ships.|
High above the town, on the Museumsberg, the Municipal Museum is enthroned. In two prestigious buildings and on an exhibition space of 3,000 sqm, it gives an extensive insight in the history of art and culture in the region Schleswig from the 13th to the 20th century.
Besides Flensburg’s handsome landmark, the Nordertor from 1595, the enthralling experimental museum Phänomenta provides an interactive presentation of scientific and technical phenomenons – an environment experience with all senses.
On a walk through the beautiful lanes and alleyways around Flensburg harbour - we recommend the sign-posted round trail 'Kapitänsweg' (Captains walk) - you will notice the Danish charm of those quiet quarters. Not only because of many a hoisted Dannebrog (the national flag of Denmark) or because you often hear the Danish language.
After all, Flensburg was governed by the Danish crown for 400 years – until 1864. The laws and rules for the townspeople came from Copenhagen. The flourishing of the sea and rum trade was mainly due to Denmark’s neutrality and the trade relations to Danish West India. Moreover, Flensburg’s merchants imported goods for the Danish market.
Those connections to the North caused a loyal mood towards the Danish state in the town, and spread loyalty to the King. In fact, the German language dominated in Flensburg already from the 15th century, but the people saw no contradiction in that. Not until the 19th century the connection to Holstein and Germany grew stronger.
After the Danish defeat in the 1864 war, the German-Danish border was relocated to the Königsau in the North. Flensburg now belonged to Prussia and from 1871 to the German Reich. Finally, in the poll about national affiliation in 1920, 75% of Flensburg’s citizens voted for Germany. Now the Danish minority organised itself with a tight network of associations and institutions, which became even tighter after 1945, when many people suddenly preferred being Danish to being German. Today you can count 20-odd % of Flensburg’s population to the Danish minority, which is being represented by own schools, kindergartens, churches, clubs, a library, a newspaper and many more. They live in a very fruitful and harmonic way with the German majority and preserved Danish culture and language, which gives Flensburg its special character: The city of two cultures.
|Duborg Skolen - dänisches Gymnasium|