Denmark does have a lot of old windmills spread across the country – but if you ask anybody in Denmark to name just one windmill they will all name the same. Dybbøl Mølle. It is not just an average windmill it is a national symbol of Denmark. The windmill is so famous so back in the 70s when sing and song writers were writing protest songs against society the most famous song starts like this – There is something wrong in Denmark Dybbøl milling flour has gone to hell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82jhIdM0ykM.
Dybbøl Mølle is famous because of its location. It is right next to an old Danish fortification called Dybbøl Banke. This is the spot of several battles during the two wars of Schleswig the first in 1848-50 and the second in 1864. After the battle of Dybbøl in 1864 the war was pretty much lost by the Danish army and there wasn’t any chance of a victory on the battle field. The windmill at Dybbøl was shot to pieces during both of the wars but was rebuild after both wars.
The mill no longer functions but it has been transformed into a national memorial of the wars. The current mill was built in the fall of 1864 after the end of the war and it is still standing today.
The mill is both a memorial for the war and a museum of an old mill so even if you have no interest in the history of the wars of Schleswig you can still enjoy a visit to the mill and see how to make flour in the traditional way.
The ground floor is dedicated to the memorial of the war with some of the history of the war. There is also a lot of small memorabilia of the war which has been made after the war and sold as symbols of the Danish nation.
When you move up to the first floor there is more about the functioning of the windmill. You will have the chance to grind you own flour in a series of old hand driven mill stones. It is pretty hard work to make just a little bit of flour. When you have tried to grind flour by hand you really understand why you need to have a bigger windmill.
When you are done with the museum exhibition you can walk to the top and go outside to have a look of the area. There is a good view down towards the water since the mill is located close to the water.
Dybbøl Mølle is located about 2 kilometers from down town Sønderborg so you can walk here from the city – or you can catch a bus – just remember to check the timetables of the buses since there is only a bus every hour.