[ German naval base and Sønderborg Barracks]

German naval base and Sønderborg Barracks

High above Alssund are the monumental buildings that comprise the old German naval base. In about 1905, the Germans decided to move the Baltic navy from Kiel to new naval bases in Sønderborg and Flensborg. The move would provide better harbour facilities but was also to protect the sailors from the temptations of Kiel's harbour quarter. In 1905, building work began on two of the three huge buildings in Sønderborg. They were designed by architects Adalbert Kelm and Eugen Fink and combined the neat German castle style with Art Nouveau. A marine hospital followed in 1908-09. Today, the old naval base houses Sønderborg Barracks.

Big bang for housing and brothels

  • Story written by: Peter Dragsbo
  • Time / Periode 1905 1908

The naval base doubled the town population almost overnight. New streets and houses shot up everywhere. The navy had three quarters built: Houses on Engelshøjgade for the naval officers, an English style garden city at Jomfrustien for the deck officers, and a tenement house on Helgolandsgade for the petty officers. The new buildings also included an impressive brothel on Lyshøj to keep the crew happy. The brothel ran smoothly until 1918 but has since been demolished. Finally, in 1911-1912, the town built a high school for the officers' children on Kongevej 37. Then, in 1918, a revolution broke out in Germany. Sønderborg also gained a council for workers and soldiers. And the council sent the sailors home. The naval base became a Danish barracks in 1920. Today, Danish officers are being trained at Sønderborg Barracks.

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