National symbol of Danish bravery

Photo: Sønderborg Kommune

Dybbøl Mill is of great significance to the people living in Sønderborg city during the war in 1864. The sight of the mill, standing upon the battlefield, gives the people strength and today the national symbol of Danish bravery is still standing at Dybbøl Banke.

Bloody compatriots and bombarding is part of daily life in Sønderborg. Many of the formidable battles of the war in 1864 is happening on the towns door steps, the battlefield is laying upon Dybbøl Banke and in the middle of it all stands Dybbøl Mill. Overlooking the sound Als Sund, the citizens of Sønderborg can see Dybbøl Mill and this gives them the strength to endure the terror of the war.

Upon Dybbøl Banke, the Danish entrancements is situated between the battlefield and the sound, shielding the city – however, the German cannons is grooved.

Standing at Dybbøl Mill today overlooking green meadows and vigorous cornfields, only the remains of the entrancements reviles the bloody past. Luckily, for us a very special technic is discovered in the 19th century making it possible to retain time – photography!

Photography of entrancement no. 6 after the storm on Dybbøl Banke, April 18th 1864.Photo:Christian Freidrich Brandt (1823-1891)

The Prussian´s has placed cannons on Broagerland upon the cliffs Gammelmark Klinter, from here they can fire across the bay Vemmingbund and hit the Danish entrancements. The Prussian cannons is the latest on the market and the grooved bores gives them a longer reach this fact becomes a cruel reality for the citizens of Sønderborg on April 2nd and 3rd 1864.

Hear more on a guided city walk “A Town in Ruins – an 1864-town walk”, during summer time.

Photography of the southern part of Sønderborg city after the bombardment on April 2nd and 3rd 1864. In the background; Sønderborg Castle. Photo:Ukendt fotograf

The luck does not keep up. The citizens of Sønderborg is still strong at hearth, as long as Dybbøl Mill stands it´s ground so will they!

Depp-rooted and defiant it towers upon the hillside, as if it is making a statement, not to be lay in to ruins a second time, a symbol of continuously victory and security to us all. Bertha Hahn – age 15 in 1864.

Sunday April 10th 1864 a shell hits the mill and the whole mill top crushes down. Only 8 days later, the Prussian army sets in a storm and Dybbøl Banke is lost. However, the narrow sound and the pontoon bridge saves Sønderborg from the enemy - for the time being.

Photography of Dybbøl Mill shot to peaces, taken after the storm on Dybbøl Banke April 18th 1864Photo:Christian Freidrich Brandt (1823-1891)

Denmark loses the war and the country border is moved up north to stream Kongeåen, extending across Jutland between the cities Ribe and Kolding. Dybbøl Mill, changes status from a symbol of Danish endurance to national symbol of Danish bravery.

Today Dybbøl Mill and the surrounding buildings is a museum, were you can learn more on the mill and it´s operation and Dybbøl as a memorial sight for the Danish and German descendent.

Today, Dybbøl Mill is laying in a green area of scenic beauty upon Dybbøl Banke - here with Sønderborg city in the background.Photo:Kim Toft Jørgensen

Read more on museums and the 1864-town walk

Dybbøl Mill - the museum
Dybbøl Mill - the museum
A Town in Ruins - an 1864 town walk
A Town in Ruins - an 1864 town walk
1864 - History Centre Dybbøl Banke - cannon is fired
History Centre Dybbøl Banke
Sønderborg slot spejlet i Alssund
Sønderborg Castle

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