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Schloss Sandbjerg out

Sandbjerg Castle can be traced back to the 16th century. Around 1500, Sandbjerg Manor is mentioned for the first time, and in 1564 King Frederik II transferred one third of the royal share of the duchies to his brother Duke Hans the Younger (1545–1622), who thereby came into the possession of the islands of Ærø and Als and the Sundeved peninsula in the duchy of Schleswig.

Towards Alssund the duke had a dike built that still exists. This converted a cove of the sound into the lake Møllesøen. His water mill, the remains of which can still be seen, was operational until it burnt down in 1916.

On the death of Duke Hans in 1622, Sandbjerg was inherited by his descendants of the Sønderborg line. When one of these, Duke Christian Adolf, went bankrupt in 1667, Sandbjerg became Crown property. Several years later, in 1673, the estate was sold to Prefect – later Chancellor – Conrad Reventlow (1644–1708) in Haderslev. He was granted permission by the king to establish a province out of Sandbjerg and his other possessions in Sundeved: the county of Reventlow-Sandbjerg.

Duke Hans's Sandbjerg was situated where Sandbjerggaard now lies – on the other side of Møllesøen. In 1788, Conrad Georg Reventlow had a mansion built on the headland facing Alssund. The builder was Christian August Bohlsmann from Sønderborg. The Mansion together with the Tenant's Farmer House, which was erected in 1783, the other utility buildings and the park constitute a total complex between Møllesøen and Alssund – the present-day Sandbjerg Estate.


The Reventlow family owned Sandbjerg right up until 1930. For a number of years in the 1850s, the Mansion was the honorary residence of General Frederik Bülow, victorious at the Battle of Fredericia in 1849. He died at Sandbjerg and lies buried at Dybbøl Cemetery.

During the war of 1864, the Germans bivouacked in Storskoven wood – the Danish army was on the other side of Alssund. On the morning of 28 June, the great clock at Sandbjerg gave the signal at 2 o'clock for the invasion. Conservation boat runways and canon emplacements can still be seen along the coast, and there are also remains of column markers in the oldest trees. After the war of 1864, the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein were annexed to Germany.

After the First World War, North Schleswig was – in 1920 – reunited with Denmark. The reunion was celebrated with a large-scale day of public rejoicing at Dybbøl Enbankment on 11 July, and after the celebrations King Christian X paid a visit to Sandbjerg, where he, according to tradition, he – as Reventlow's guest – had his first meal in the recovered territory.

With the conversion of the entailed estate into fee simple in 1924, and after the death of the last Reventlow in 1929, Sandbjerg was sold to the Copenhagen barrister Knud Dahl and his wife, Ellen Dahl, née Dinesen, both of whom were known in Southern Jutland for their deep commitment to the issues of the borderland area. Like her sister, Karen Blixen, Ellen Dahl was artistically gifted. After Knud Dahl's death, she opened the doors of Sandbjerg to cultural figures and scientists, and in 1954 she donated the estate to Aarhus University. On her death in 1959, the university took over the full right of disposal of Sandbjerg Estate.


Sandbjerg – between lake and sound

The 50th anniversary in 2004 was, among other things, marked by the publication of a book on Sandbjerg. Via 17 contributions written by staff at the university as well as people with links to Sandbjerg and that part of the country, one can learn about the earlier and recent history of Sandbjerg and its buildings. There is also an account of the life and biography of the founder of present-day Sandbjerg, Conrad Georg Reventlow, owner of Sandbjerg from 1775 to 1815. There are further contributions about interiors and artistic treasures, about banquets and daily life down through the ages, about Sandbjerg as an estate inspectorate with public administrative authority, about Sandbjerg's hydraulic engineering installations and mill operations, and about the natural history of the area – including information about the woodlands, flora and geology.

The contributors are Inge Adriansen, Hans Fink, Erik B. Nielsen, Kaj Raunsgaard Pedersen, Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen, Søren Rasmussen, Hans-Henrik Schierup and Mette Smed.

The book has 415 pages and has many illustrations, some of which are original material. It is published by Aarhus University Press and is at present obtainable from Sandbjerg for DKK 200 (normal price DKK 298).




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