Knivsberg still echoes to the sounds of the past
For three centuries, Knivsberg ridge has played a key role for the German minority in Sønderjylland. Today the location offers a cornucopia of activities.
At first sight, the ridge looks like any other ridge. Appearances can be deceptive, however, as the location boasts a dramatic history and endless possibilities for ctivities. Sønderjylland’s highest point, Knivsberg, is home to a theatre auditorium, rooms for overnight accommodation, meeting rooms, barbecue area, fishing lake and hiking trail.
It wasn’t always like this, however. For three centuries, Knivsberg has primarily acted as a focal point for the German minority in Sønderjylland. From the first half of the 8th century, open air festivals often provided the background for national expression in Sønderjylland. This trend increased over the years, in particular due to the fact that Sønderjylland has changed hands several times.
Following the war in 1864, Sønderjylland, as we know it today, fell into German hands. The region was reunified with Denmark in 1920, following the end of the First World War.
From dramatic history to current idyll
Knivsberg’s first recorded civic festival took place on 15 July 1894. In 1901, a 46-metre-high memorial of former Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck was erected. In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, however, the memorial was destroyed by members of the Danish resistance.
It's difficult to find traces of Knivsberg’s dramatic history when visiting the location today. It’s run by DJN, the German minority’s youth organisation working to promote sport for young people in North Schleswig.
The association offers cultural, musical and creative activities at Knivsberg, with the area still hosting Knivsbergfesten, which remains an important event for the German minority.
Many tourists also visit the location to enjoy guided tours and activities, rent a shelter or a fire hut, take in the spectacular view of the Baltic Sea or let the kids have fun on the nearby aerial runways and climbing courses. The site also has an insect hotel and provides an insight into the many birds, fish and insects in the area.
Today, Knivsberg is a universally popular destination.