Two years ago, my lovely wife and I took our honeymoon in Denmark and Norway. It was a dream of a honeymoon, and we are very eager to return to these countries, despite a few rather peculiar experiences.
One of the weirder experiences was looking for a youth hostel outside of Copenhagen. It was relatively inexpensive, set up in the suburbs in an abandoned military base. Romantic? Not so much: barracks-style rooms, and the nearest source of food was a wretched falafel stand some two miles away. But we ate, slept, and left without thinking much about it after we were gone.
Until last night, when, out of the blue, it occurred to me: does Denmark have that many military bases to abandon? Was this one used during the Cold War? Or was it abandoned earlier–i.e., after WWII?
Suddenly what seemed an innocuously inconvenient night on our honeymoon took on an ominous tinge: was this perhaps an abandoned Nazi military base?
I’ve got no idea; furthermore, I’ve got no idea how I’d find out. I forget the name of the place.
Does anyone know where I’d start to look to find out the history of this weird little hostel?
AFAIK, most hostels in Denmark are part of the DanHostel network (there are also several non-affiliated hostels, but for obvious reasons they are harder to search for). Clicking on a hostel name on the map on the linked page takes you to a web page with a photograph and description of that hostel. The DANHOSTEL Hillerød Vandrerhjem looks like it might have originally been a barracks, and is 27km from Copenhagen so might count as a suburb. Does that name and photo ring a bell? This site has more photos and a map of the hostel’s location. It looks as though it’s set in parkland and so the nearest falafel stand might be a couple of miles away; the Hillerød train station is 3km from the hostel. The hostels closer in to Copenhagen’s city center don’t look military in origin.
At the time of the German invasion in April 1940, the Danish Army had 14,500 soldiers. By May of 1944, 210,000 German soldiers were stationed in Denmark, which suggests that a sizeable proportion of the barracks in Denmark at the end of the war were probably built by the Germans, and any pre-exisiting bases would certainly have been used by them. So, if that’s something that you consider ominous, then yes, :eek:. Of course, German Army != Nazi.
When I first saw your post asking about a converted former military base outside Copenhagen, I thought that you might be referring to Christiania:
However, if you’d visited Christiania you’d definitely remember it, and the nearest falafel stand is a lot less than 2 miles away! (I’m also not sure if they ever opened the hostel that they’d been talking about for years).