Udsigt fra Knivsbjerg

Knivsberg still echoes to the sounds of the past

Photo: Deutsches Archiv Nordschleswig

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.

Telte til sommerfest på Knivsberg
Photo: Deutsches Archiv Nordschleswig
Sommerfest på Kvisberg - oversigt over pladsen
Photo: Deutsches Archiv Nordschleswig

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.

Much more Aabenraa...

Brundlund Castle seen from the lake
Brundlund Castle: Art at the castle
Oversigtsbillede i Frøslevlejren i Sønderjylland
The Frøslev Camp and the white busses
Shelter på St. Okseø
Ox islands
Barsø - boat on the beach and ferry in the background
Barsø - becoming an organic paradise

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