It’s hard to believe that this idyllic place was once a war-town battle field where thousands of brave soldiers lost their lives.
But it is.
I’ve visited Sønderborg and Dybbøl Mølle twice, although the first time is sort of a blur. I was 12. So, on our road trip through Southern Denmark, we went there after Møgeltønder to see this important Danish war site.
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Why you should visit Dybbøl Mølle
If you’re not Danish, German or have no interest in military history, would this still be interesting to visit?
Yes, I think so.
It’s an important national symbol, yes, but there’s one more thing here that most people can appreciate – a stunning view. From the top, you get panoramic views over the fjord and Sønderborg. Plus, if you’re traveling with family, it’s a fun place to take the kids because of the activities and green areas.
Battle of Dybbøl
For the uninitiated, I’ll just sum up the story about Dybbøl and why it’s so important to Danes really quickly.
On 18 April 1864, Denmark was at war with Austria and Prussia (what we now know as Germany) about the rights to Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg. Dybbøl Banke had been bombed twice, and after many long battles and negotiations, Denmark finally surrendered most of South Jutland.
This is a decisive moment in Danish history, because we at this point go from being a large nation to a small one. The 1864 battle is known as the bloodiest in the newer era and it’s associated with a heroic last stand, just like the Alamo for Americans. To us, it’s a symbol of pride.
In fact, because of this, the entire town of Dybbøl has become a protected area, and it’s now illegal to disturb the trenches, mill and surrounding area.
The History Centre Dybbøl Banke
Hours: 10am-5pm from Apr-Oct
Price: Adult/child – 120/70 DKK
If you’d like the full story, you should head to History Centre Dybbøl Banke. It’s just a little further up the road from the mill.
Here, you can experience the roar of cannon fire in the huge blockhouse which originally served as a shelter for the soldiers. You can also try casting your own bullets and experience the daily life for a soldier back when they slept on straw mattresses.
Exhibitions at Dybbøl Mølle
In the old buildings of the mill, you can learn about the dramatic history and the battles between 1848 and 1864 through drawings, photos, and weapons. You’ll find four exhibitions:
- 1st floor: The history of Dybbøl Mill
- 1st floor: Dybbøl as a national symbol
- 2nd floor: Warriors’ graves and memorial stones
- All floors: Milling
During the summer, you’ll find lots of events and activities for the whole family.
Grind your own flour
So, although the mill has a few years on its back, it still functions. When the wind allows, it operates as it did in bygone days and you can grind grain into flour. It’s a fun hands-on experience both for kids and yourself. You can also buy the flour in the mill shop.
How to get there
Dybbøl Mølle is just 2,5 km west of Sønderborg. Walking there takes around 40 minutes (uphill), and you’ll need to cross the fjord bridge.
You can also take bus 112 from the city centre or drive there. Just cross the bridge and follow Dybbølgade. It’s very easy to find.
Where to stay near Dybbøl Mølle
Dybbøl Mølle is super close to Sønderborg, where you’ll find restaurants, more sights and city life. These are the best places to stay near Dybbøl Mølle.
Dybbøl Annex – A nice location close to Dybbøl Mølle, a little away from the city. Super quiet and cosy apartment. Find the latest prices here.
Steigenberger Alsik – Hotel & Spa – If you prefer a modern Danish stay, this minimalist hotel is the perfect find. It’s got a pool, stunning views and huge rooms. Find the latest prices here.
Visit next: Sønderborg
After Dybbøl Mølle, head to nearby Sønderborg on the island of Als. It’s just a quick 10 mins drive and a great base to explore Sønderborg Castle, the beautiful promenade and the rest of Als.
Planning to visit Dybbøl Mølle? Ask me anything in the comments!
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- Must-see: 25 best places to visit in Denmark
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- Winter: Winter in Denmark: 15 hygge cold-weather activities
- Beaches: 12 best beaches in Denmark
- Nature: 12 mind-blowing places for nature in Denmark
- Camping: Camping in Denmark for beginners
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