Sønderho - Denmark's Most Beautiful Village
A visit to Sønderho is a must when you visit Fanø. It is not without reason it has won the award as Denmark's most beautiful village. As you walk in the small streets, with the pretty old homes, you feel as if you have travelled back in time.
Park the car at the church and spend a couple of hours walking in the small crooked streets, visit the Art Museum, Nana's Stue – a café that has a lovely collection of old Fanø tiles, Hannes Hus, Sønderho Mill and Sønderho Church. The many old, well preserved buildings mainly stem from the 18th and 19th centuries, when Sønderho was the dominant shipping town of the Jutlandic west coast.
The harbour and shipyard area was situated in a small sheltered bay in the north-eastern end of Sønderho. The changing currents eventually made the harbour fill with sand, and today, it is an area of meadows.
From summer 2020 it is yet again possible to sail in Sønderho harbour because the last few years have been spent digging out the natural canal.
Fanø Art Museum
The museum offers both a permanent exhibition of painters who are connected to Fanø, and also different temporary exhibitions. Read more about the artists on Fanø on page 28.
Villagers were once obliged to use the Crown’s mill in Ribe, on the mainland, but in 1701 the vicar eventually got permission to build one here. There have been several mills – the previous one burned down in 1894. The present mill was erected the following year and was in use until 1923. After this, it fell into disrepair, but has since been renovated. Today it functions as a museum.
In 1928, a group of villagers and visitors who were interested in preserving the mill founded a trust (Fonden gamle Sønderho) and bought the mill.
Hannes Hus faithfully maintains the old atmosphere in this 17th century captain's home.
Hanne, a captain's widow, and her daughter Karen, lived on in this house until 1965 when it was acquired by the village Trust. Inside are the original furnishings, stove, pictures, sheep stable and souvenirs from the captain's travels. Hannes Hus is a unique museum where one can experience a genuine Fanø sailor's family home.
Sønderho Fire Museum, Nordland 12
”Sprøjtehuset” is one of Denmark's oldest and best conserved fire houses. Since 1868 the old fire fighting waggon has stayed here, and over the years Jørgen von Hahn has collected items, records and more, which provides visitors with a vivid impression of how fire fighting used to be done.
The fire fighting waggon is from 1895 and is originally from Shackenborg. The type is the same which was originally used in Sønderho in 1868.
”Den Gamle Redningstation”, Sønderho Strandvej
This building is fully equipped with a life-boat and life saving equipment. The boat is still standing on the waggon, which used to be drawn to the shore of the beach by 6 horses. You can see the equipment that was used from shore to help unfortunate people in the water. You will also find photographies, descriptions and a record of the life savers.
The tile collection
At the restaurant, Nanas Stue, you can see a large exhibit of Dutch wall tiles, also known as Fanø tiles. The tiles were brought home by the sailors in the 19th century and used as both decoration and to reflect the heat from the houses’ ovens.
The close connection this church had with the maritime era has left an indelible mark on the building which has more votive ships than any other church in Denmark – 15 in all. The Baroque altar dates from 1717, and the pulpit is from 1661. The gallery with original decoration dates from 1782. This is an assembly hall church which originally seated 800 people. The unique arrangement of the pews and the position of the pulpit makes the church a building well worth visiting.