It all happened just outside the windows of the museum on July 10th in the year of 1920 – the famous ride of the Danish king on horseback across the border which was wiped off the map – a pi.cture we have seen so ofte n being illustrated in the history backs. Here H.M. King Chr. X was cheered. Here he lifted up a little girl dressed in white on his horse.
For 56 years the region had been under Prussian control. The king’s ride across the border that did not exist any more meant that now is was over. The region belonged to Denmark again.
If you walk from the museum down to the old border today, you will find it hard to imagine that people trying to flee by crossing the border were shot in cold blood. Many people tried. Most of them succeeded. They smuggled goods in a large scale across the border. Here there was a crossborder trade in small wooden sheds on both sides of the border, too. If you were going to leave Denmark, you had to go through the Danish customs room lying in the southeast corner of “Den Gamle Grænsekro” before you could go south through No Man’s Land until after a few hundred meters more to the south you would be checked by the Prussians at their frontier station. This building still exists, but is converted into a private residence. Opposite this two former Prussian gendarme houses are situated. The old main house of the museum was situated north of the old border and was a private residence at that time, but with a proviso that said that there must always be a bed at the disposal of gendarmes staying for the night here in a room on the first floor.
As you may understand, the area around the museum is really a historic treat for the ones who appreciate the whirr of wings when it comes to history.
The museum tries to illustrate what happened around the Reunification, to explain what the Unification meant and to communicate knowledge about what it meant to people who voted the region back “home” to Denmark in 1920. The museum has many things to show its guests and quite recently – in 2006 – it has been enlarged with a new wing for exhibitions 125 m2 big.
In 2008 it will be extended again. This time with a new glass arcade which is supposed to unite the old and the new building. Keep an eye on the calendar and on the news on the homepage of the museum for occasionally the museum arranges cultural features such as an evening with singing and reading, days of open-house arrangements and so on.
The museum was opened July 10th 1995 by H.M. Queen Margrethe II and H.M. Queen Ingrid. Also H.R.H. Crown Prince Frederik, H.R.H. Prince Joachim, H.E. Ingolf, Count of Rosenberg and approximately 5000 people took part in the happy event. Since then running the museum has been managed by idealists – unpaid members of the board – 7 in all- and 16 attendants.
The number of visitors passed 69.000 in 2016.
We are looking forward to YOUR visit.