Top Historic Sights in Sønderborg, Denmark

Explore the historic highlights of Sønderborg

Sønderborg Castle

Sønderborg Castle history began probably as a fortified tower constructed by Valdemar the Great in 1158. The castle was built to provide protection against attacks by the Wends and was part of a larger system of fortifications. Over the centuries, the castle has gradually been enlarged and rebuilt. In the years following construction of Valdemar's fortified tower, an important struggle developed between the Danish king a ...
Founded: 1350 | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

St. Mary's Church

The St. Mary"s Church in Sønderborg is located on a hill and is a very iconic for the city. In the Middle Ages there was a leper colony on a hill just outside the city. It was named after Saint George and around 1300 the chapel of this leper colony stood in the place of the present St. Mary"s Church. After the old parish church of the city, the St. Nicholas Church, was demolished around 1530, the Saint-George c ...
Founded: 1595-1600 | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Ulkebøl Church

Ulkebøl Church was built in the 13th century. It was enlarged in the 16th century and again in 1787. It contains a beautiful triptych altarpiece from the 1500s.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Sandbjerg Manor

The history of the Sandbjerg Estate goes back to the beginning of the 16th century. In 1564 the estate became the property of Duke Hans the Younger (1545-1622), when his brother Frederik II transferred ownership of a third of the royal duchies to him - an area which included Ærø, Als, and Sundeved in the Duchy of Schleswig. The Duke left his mark on the landscape, commissioning the building of a dam -which e ...
Founded: 1783 | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Lysabild Church

Lysabild Church was built around 1100 is one of the oldest in the region. The frescoes and baptismal font made of Gotland limestone are notable. The altarpiece is from the 1780s, chancel arch crucifix from 1450s. There are historic war monuments of 1864-1920 in the churchyard.
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Kegnæs Church

Kegnæs Church was built in 1615 by John II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg. It was built in the style of many local Romanesque style churches. The altarpiece dates from about 1450 and was formerly (like the font and pulpit) situated in the now vanished St. Nicolaj Church in Soenderborg. The figure of Christ is from about 1500 on railing between nave and chancel. Two side figures, the Virgin Mary and the apostle Jo ...
Founded: 1615 | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Hørup Church

Hørup Church is a Romanesque whitewashed granite block church with Gothic additions. It has an separate belfry. The pulpit dates from 1576 and 12 apostle figures in the altarpiece from 1425.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Ullerup Church

Ullerup church was built around 1200 in Romanesque style and has mainly survived. The tower was added in 1902. The Baroque style altarpiece was made 1707 by Anthon Günther Fres from Elsass (Alsace). The Renaissance style pulpit is made of oak in 1578. The baptismal font, made of Gotland limestone, dates from c. 1400.  
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Adsbøl Church

Adsbøl Church dates from the 13th century and consists of Romanesque choir and nave with Gothic features. It was damaged during the war or 1658-1659 with Sweden, but was restored. In the late 18th century it was remodelled again. In the cemetery is a memorial of World War I victims.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Tandslet Church

Tandslet Church was built around 1200. The wooden bell tower was built also in the Middle Ages and it is situated in the Bronze Age burial mound. Frescoes dates from the late Middle Ages and pulpit from 1576. Altarpiece was made by Aabenraa artist Jes Jessen, from 1798. Organs were built 1863 by Marcussen & Son, Aabenraa.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Nybøl Church

Nybøl Church dates from c. 1150 and is typical Romanesque stone church. It was expanded later in the Middle Ages and again in 1582. The font is original from the Romanesque age. The pulpit dates from 1608.
Founded: c. 1150 | Location: Sønderborg, Denmark

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.