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Als: War, cake and climbing paths

Als in Southern Jutland, Danish history is very close. And cakes. The Ødyssee throws itself into all that Als has to offer.

Af Sarah Steinitz

Denmark - Als, Nordborg, castle - travel

The Battle of Als

Als i Southern Jutland is one of the islands that many do not really think of as an island - including several of the island's inhabitants. You can drive there over a bridge, and there live close to 50.000 people. So it's a slightly different league than many of Denmark's small islands.

Just before you get to Als, it pays to stop at Dybbøl Banke. Here is a beautiful and living museum about the war in 1864, which has left heavy traces in the history of the southern Jews - and not least on the island of Als, where part of the war was fought.

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At the museum, you can stand in the middle of the fortifications and look out over the old battlefield - with the story in the back of your mind about how 8.000 grenades were fired from the Prussian soldiers in just six hours against the Danish soldiers during the most violent bombing.

Suddenly the roar of the grenades stopped and there was complete silence. Maybe the Danish soldiers were hoping for a break, but shortly after, 10.000 Prussian soldiers came leaping in a rush against the Danish fortifications, and the Danes quickly gave up defending the Dybbøl position.

Later in the year, when negotiations on the new borders broke down again, the ceasefire ceased. Shortly afterwards, the Battle of Als took place, where more than 3.000 Danish soldiers fell and Denmark had to surrender.

The result of the new borders was that Denmark lost more than 40% of its land area and about half of its population.

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Sønderjysk coffee table and experience park

The battle of Dybbøl has become part of the South Jutland identity and something that everyone at Als knows. From the war also sprang a tradition that has held since then. Namely the South Jutland coffee table.

After 1864, Southern Jutland was under German rule, and the Danes met in town halls, where they were not allowed to sing Danish songs or serve alcohol.

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Instead, it was found that everyone brought different kinds of cakes, pies and all kinds of goodies, and thus the South Jutland cake orgy arose. 7 kinds of soft cakes, 7 kinds of dry cakes and 7 kinds of hard cakes. So 21 kinds of different cakes. Bon appetite!

There is a lot to see and experience at Als, and if you are a child - or just a big play child - you should not deceive yourself for a trip to the Universe. With Virtual Reality paragliding, high climbing paths, a segway, a ballpark and a 5D trip to the moon, you can unwind in the adventure park and try out the new technology in all possible guises.

We even had to try several of the activities several times with the children - probably enough for great entertainment for the staff. But what's, who says you only have to be a child once?

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You can watch the video from Als at the top of the page. 

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About the travel writer

Sarah Steinitz

Sarah has a degree in sociology from the University of Copenhagen with a supplementary education in journalistic communication from the Danish Media and Journalism Academy.
From March to September 2018, she and Tine Tolstrup will explore the island kingdom and travel to 37 islands in Denmark. It's going to be an adventure. An adventure they call The Odyssey. They are part of a generation that flies around the world after the book "1000 places you must see before you die", but still have never been to Avernakø or driven over Storstrømsbroen. They will seek out the adventures that await around the corner - on Fejø, Fanø, Fur and the 34 other islands that they travel around on their Ødyssé.

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