Directly to the south of Kolding, a distance of 9km (5 2/3 miles) -- follow the signs pointing to Christiansfeldt -- is one of the most powerful but understated monuments of Denmark, Skamilingsbanken. A rolling hill that rises to a height of 113m (370 ft.), it commemorates the survival of the Danish language and the Danish nation against German incursions throughout the centuries. Its location marks the frontier between Denmark and North Schleswig, a hotly contested territory that was bounced around between Germany and Denmark repeatedly throughout modern times. In 1920, as part of the settlement at the end of World War I, the Danish-German border was moved 82km (51 miles) to the south, where it has remained ever since. Today, few Danes can articulate the reason for the emotion associated with this site. For reasons of tact, since the 1960s, the site has been downplayed within the Danish national psyche. Beginning in 1998, it has been the site of a concert presented the first Sunday in August, for which the Royal Danish Opera travels down from Copenhagen to present operatic works by archetypal German and Danish composers Richard Wagner and Karl Nielsen. The event is free, with further details available at the tourist office in Kolding.
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