From the Thorsberger Moor to the Sacred SpringHistorical Tour of Süderbrarup
This “kettle bog” in the northern part of Süderbrarup is one of the largest sacrificial moors of the Roman imperial period. Most of the victims were captives taken from defeated armies between the first half of the 2nd century A.D. and approximately 300 A.D. After first finds were made by peat-cutters, formal excavations in the Thorsberger Moor were first carried out between 1858 and 1861. The most recent investigation using modern scientific methods was performed in 1997. To this date, approximately 1,800 votive offerings have been found and recorded, believed to have been ritually destroyed prior to a human sacrifice. Many of these artifacts can be seen today at Gottorf Castle in Schleswig.
Kummerhy Megalithic Tomb
Following the excavations of the Thorsberger Moor, Conrad Engelhardt, the director of the Antiquities Museum in Flensburg, first opened the nearby barrow, or megalithic tomb, in 1861. Inside, a simple burial chamber surrounded by two circles of stones was found. Artifacts found inside the mound date from the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. It is clear that the tomb served as a last resting place for many centuries. The grave was excavated again in 1927 and the earth from the mound piled around it as a wall. The monument is located in a paddock once known as "Cummer-Hye", most likely derived from the Low German "Kaamer-Hye", or 'hill with the burial chamber'.
Süderbrarup Railway Station
The railroad link between Kiel and Flensburg entered service on December 21st, 1881. The railway station in Süderbrarup, with its coloured bands of decorative brick, finally linked the municipality to the wider world. From 1883, the railway station was also the terminus of the Schleswig-Angeln railway line, which operated as the Schleswiger Kreisbahn (Schleswig District Railway) from 1898 and extended its tracks to Kappeln in 1904. Passenger traffic on this local line ended in 1972. The right of way between Schleswig and Süderbrarup is now a long-distance bicycle path. The Angelner Dampfeisenbahn, a steam railway, continues to operate on the line between Süderbrarup and Kappeln. It is the northernmost museum railway in Germany.
Alte Post (Old Post Office)
The history of this distinctive building is closely intertwined with that of its builder, the postmaster and chronicler Adolf Petersen. He assumed the management of the Süderbrarup Post Office in 1899, at the age of 24. In 1902, he had the post office built, which remains in the possession of his descendants. Over the years, the postmaster expanded his district to serve 42 communities. Petersen retired in 1939, but was called back to public service in 1945, becoming the volunteer mayor of Süderbrarup. Deutsche Post continued to operate a post office in this building at Bahnhofstraße 6 until 2008.
St. James’s Church
This whitewashed stone building was likely commissioned during the term in office of Albinus, Bishop of Schleswig from 1117 until 1135. The church is dedicated to the apostle St. James the Great, patron saint of pilgrims. This fact, along with the discovery of a lead seal from the church depicting a pilgrim’s staff and scallop shell, permits us to conclude that Süderbrarup was once a popular destination for pilgrimages. The church formerly had a 14-meter-high wooden bell tower, which was replaced by the current tower in 1892.
Sacred Spring in Süderbrarup
The “sacred spring” is located on Quellenstraße at the site of a former paddock. It was traditionally believed that the water from the spring had healing properties. Many pilgrims are believed to have bathed in its waters during the warmest season of the year, seeking relief from their illnesses. This flow of visitors presumably attracted merchants to serve them, and this is believed to be the origin of the Brarup Market, a Süderbrarup festival that has been celebrated on the last weekend in July since 1593.
Since 1925, the water of the “sacred spring” reaches the surface in a small, stone enclosure. However, due to a lowering of the water table, the “spring” today is fed only by runoff from the surface.