Krusau (Kruså) – once the most important border town in Denmark

We visit the small border town Krusau (Kruså) on the Danish-German border. Krusau (Kruså) is best known for one of its most important border crossings between Germany and Denmark, the border crossing Kupfermühle – Krusau (Kobbermølle – Kruså). The place is named after the German-Danish border river of the same name.

Where is Krusau (Kruså) actually

Krusau (Kruså) is a border town on the one hand, but also a municipality with the districts Kollund and Sonderhav on the other. We present the border town here. Krusau (Kruså) is located about six kilometers north of Flensburg in the immediate vicinity of the German districts of Wassersleben and Kupfermühle. These belong to the municipality of Harrislee.

Krusau (Kruså) can be reached from the south via the German federal road B200. In the north, the two cities of Sonderborg and Appenrade are about 25 kilometers away. Krusau (Kruså) borders in the west on Pattburg (Padborg) with its motorway connection to the E45.

Nothing going on in Krusau (Kruså)?

Admittedly, Krusau (Kruså) has seen better days. Especially in the 1960s, border trade in Krusau (Kruså) experienced a very special boom. This was due to the legalization of pornographic articles in Denmark. You couldn’t see how one sex shop opened next to the other, all along the street.

Customers from Germany did not have to wait long and bought and consumed whatever else they can find in Germany was denied. Mail order also flourished. But also in Germany the official chastening changed and so the shops one after the other closed again. Two of these shops still remain, otherwise the attractive shopping town of Flensburg or the cheaper VAT rate in Germany is causing problems for the Danish border towns.

An antique market attracts customers from far away, otherwise a flea market, a small boutique, is trying and a bingo in survival.

Krusau (Kruså) is a very attractive community with plenty of potential. The largest employer is the Arla dairy, whose products are also sold to Germany on a large scale. Even the EU has a small office here for the funding of cross-border projects.

In addition, many people from Denmark and Germany appreciate Krusau (Kruså) as an attractive place to live. You can get to the forest and nature quickly, the Flensburg Fjord with its beaches is not far. In the village there is the mill pond as a small lake. A supermarket, some service providers and a multi-purpose hall complete the offer. We personally traditionally buy our Juleträ, the Christmas tree, in Krusau (Kruså) in mid-December and then enjoy our year-end hot dog, only to order the first hot dog of the year two weeks later.

Lost Place in the middle of Krusau (Kruså)?

Hotel Krusaagaard has been sleeping for many years. It had everything that makes a romantic little family hotel. A small outdoor swimming pool, a small park and the romantic architecture of a manor house.

But in contrast to Sleeping Beauty, who kept her beauty in a beauty sleep, Krusaagaard decays and threatens to have to be torn down. At the moment, another foreclosure auction is once again setting the course for a lasting past or a new future. How I would love to see Krusaagaard from the inside.

Back to the beginning

The first evidence of settlement of Krusau (Kruså) can already be found at the end of the 14th century.

With the demarcation between Germany and Denmark in June 1920 Krusau (Kruså) developed into a lively border town. However, it was now also separated from the industrial site of Kupfermühle (Kobbermølle), since this place was added to Germany. But from then on Krusau (Kruså) developed into a popular shopping destination.

With the construction of the train station and its large railway systems in Padborg in 1928, many employees of the Danish State Railways or their contractors moved here. In 1921 the border town had just 350 inhabitants, in 1930 there were already 275 people who felt at home here.

For fear of a German occupation during the Second World War, the Danes built a piece of track on which they placed a railway wagon loaded with wood. If necessary, this should block the border. Too good to think that it would have worked. And so it stayed where it was – unfortunately in contrast to the occupiers.

In the 1950s, Denmark opened up to foreign freight forwarders. This also attracted many transporters from Germany. Krusau (Kruså) developed into a logistics location. In 1956 the new border crossing was opened. Now much more could be processed. Meanwhile more than 775 people lived in Krusau (Kruså).

By 1970 the place grew to 1,800 inhabitants, but this has again reduced to 1,665 people by 2011 and to around 1,520 people to date.

With the implementation of the Schengen Agreement fixed border controls lifted in 2001. But they have been reintroduced since 2017.

Die Wassermühle und der Mühlensee

Die ehemalige Wassermühle ist heute ein Wohnquartier für Individualisten. Ihre Bedeutung erkennt man nur bei genauerem Hinschauen. Bis ins Jahr 1964 war die Wassermühle am Mühlensee in Krusau (Kruså) aktiv. Dann wurde sie geschlossen. Dabei waren die Vorläufer diese Anlage verantwortlich, dass sich an dieser Stelle der Ort gründete.

Heute lässt es sich an der Wassermühle entlang zum Gedarmstien hin wandern. Der Mühlensee selbst prägt die Landschaft im westlichen Teil von Krusau (Kruså). In dessen Umfeld befinden sich die beliebten Wohngegenden.

The Arla dairy in Krusau (Kruså)

You can see it in the large factory. The Arla dairy is the most important employer in Krusau (Kruså). In 2010 the Danish-Swedish food company built this large facility and gave this region the all-important new boost. It is located at the main intersection of the important north-south and east-west connections and blends in harmoniously with the town.

What should you definitely see in Krusau (Kruså)?

Krusau (Kruså) is not a place where you can go on a sightseeing tour. But a place to be discovered. You can quickly get to Sonderborg or Aabenraa through Krusau (Kruså). But you can also arrive here and explore the area. And it has many nice corners ready.

Via the Gendarmstien leads the way to the easternmost border crossing Schusterkate (Grænseovergang Skomagerhus), one of the smallest border crossings in Europe is and also the easternmost of the border crossings Denmark – Germany.

The border crossing Kupfermühle – Krusau (Kobbermølle – Kruså) we have described its history here.

You can get to copper mill (Kobbermølle) with its wonderful industrial museum. Danish-German history is lively told here. But even a tour through the small museum village of Kupfermühle will not be forgotten.

A small monument on Flensborgvej, the main street, reminds of a Swede who is very revered here. Count Bernadotte saved many people from the German extermination camps and brought them back with a spectacular evacuation. First they arrived in Padborg and Kruså. We told the story of the legendary white buses.

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