Esbjerg Tourist Attractions
JutlandEsbjerg, the fifth largest town in Denmark, lies on the west coast of Jutland facing the northern tip of the island of Fano. It is the country's most important North Sea harbor and largest fishing port; in addition it is the base for Denmark's oil and gas exploration in the North Sea.
A lightship lies in the harbor.HistoryAfter the Treaty of Vienna of 1864, under the terms of which Denmark had to cede the Duchies of Schleswig-Holstein and Lauenburg to Germany, the ports on the west coast of Schleswig were available to the Danes only on payment of customs duties. Therefore it was decided in 1868 to build a port on the site where Esbjerg now stands, especially with a view to trading with Britain. The port was completed in 1878 but later modernised and extended on several occasions. Esbjerg received its town charter in 1898.EconomyExports and imports and the processing of fish form the major branches of the town's economy. The principal exports are the products of agriculture and fishing. There are fur farms outside the town. Passenger traffic is also of significance; there are ferry services from Esbjerg to Great Britain (Newcastle and Harwich) and to the Faroes (Tórshavn).SightsWithin the town there are wooded areas and parks with lakes and sports facilities, including Strandskoven, Vognsbol Park and Norreskoven.The Rock Festival in Esbjerg rules.
Water Tower (Art Gallery)
In the Esbjerg municipal park near the extensive harbor stands the Water Tower (1897), the town's landmark. At Hanvegade 20 can be found the Art Gallery, housing a comprehensive collection of 20th C. Danish paintings and sculpture. Among the exhibits are works by Harald Giersing, Wilhelm Lundstrom, Richard Mortensen, the Jorgen brothers and Arne Haugen Sorensen. Special exhibitions and concerts of international repute are held in the Art Gallery. In the entrance stands the ironwork sculpture "Esbjerg", by Robert Jacobsen (1962).
Esbjerg Museum (West Jutland Amber Museum)
The Esbjerg Museum at Norregade 25 is well worth a visit. The museum has a collection of several hundred pieces of natural amber in many colors as well as processed amber. More amber is found here on the west coast of Jutland than anywhere else in Denmark. The exhibition explains how amber was formed many millions of years ago. The museum also displays objects illustrating life during the Viking era, as well as dioramas of towns with market-places and shops, etc.
Museum of the Printing Press
In the southern part of the town center of Esbjerg, at Borgergade 6, the Museum of the Printing Press is set out like a Danish printing-works, with apparatus and demonstrations of traditional methods of printing of books by hand. It is a working museum, and visitors may on request obtain finished examples of the craft.
Running parallel to Borgergade is Kongensgade, Esbjerg's busy pedestrian zone and shopping street with a number of Art Nouveau houses and 19th C. buildings; to the east is the railroad station.
On the quay of the fishing harbor stands the Fish Auction Hall, covering an area of 8,000sq.m/9,570sq.yd; the first auction is at 7am every weekday. A little way north can be seen a memorial to fishermen lost at sea. This is in the form of a granite rotunda engraved with the names of Esbjerg fishermen who have lost their lives at sea since 1900.
Fisheries and Maritime Museum
In Tarphagevej, to the northwest of the memorial to fishermen lost at sea, will be found the very interesting Fishing and Maritime Museum (1968). It houses a comprehensive collection of fishing boats and equipment, with photographs and diagrams.There is also a freshwater aquarium containing fish found in the seas around the Danish coasts, and a large seal basin with a viewing window.
Address: Tarphagevej 2, DK-6710 Esbjerg, Denmark
Opening hours: Jul 1 to Aug 31: 10am-6pm
Sep 1 to Jun 30: 10am-5pm
Sep 1 to Jun 30: 10am-5pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24)
Entrance fee in DKK: Adult kr85.00, Group discounts kr60.00, Child 12 & under kr40.00
Useful tips: The aquarium's seals are fed daily at 11am and 2:30 p.m. and give birth to their pups in July.
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
Holy Trinity Church
Esbjerg can boast a number of interesting churches. To the north of the town center, in Grådbyet, stands Holy Trinity Church (Treenighedskirken), built in 1961 to designs by Erik Flagsted Rasmussen and Knud Thomsen. The building has four triangular gables; three have glass mosaic windows by Jens Urup Jensen, while the organ fills the fourth. Adjoining the church on the north is Vognsbøl Park.
In Fyrvej, in the Sædden district of Esbjerg, stands Sædden Church, which forms part of a shopping center. It is an impressive building, designed by the architects I. and J. Exner and dedicated in 1978. The gallery and steps are of wood, the altar and font stand in the middle of the church, and the organ has 33 stops.
Grundvigs Church (Jerne Church)
There are two notable churches to the east of Esbjerg's town center; Grundvigs Church in Ribegade, built in 1969 by Ole Nielsen with a V-shaped roof, and the Romanesque Jerne Church, which was mentioned in the records as early as 1306. The latter is built of granite and was later provided with a brick tower; inside can be seen an altar of 1634 and a granite font. The organ, installed in 1989, has 20 stops.
Esbjerg holds annual rock festivals in June and September.The Rock Festival in Esbjerg rules.
Marbæk Nature Park
By way of Hjerting, an attractive coastal suburb with a view of Ho Bay, the road leads to Marbæk Nature Park, some 12 km/7 mi northwest of Esbjerg. Large areas of heather and scrub are a feature of the landscape. Two Iron Age settlements have been excavated here. The steep coasts at Ho Bay are impressively picturesque, as are the lakes inhabitated by flocks of birds. The Marbækgård, with an agricultural exhibition and a restaurant, is situated in the center of this area.
14 km/9 mi west of Varde lies the town of Oksbøll. In the Romanesque Ål Church are some beautiful 13th C. wall-paintings, including scenes from the legend of St Nicholas and a frieze of a cavalry battle, and a Romanesque font. In the Local Museum in Oksbøl are displayed objects from a refugee camp which was situated there during the Second World War. Farther south, at Blåvands Huk, the most westerly point in Denmark, stands a lighthouse. The nature reserve on nearby Skalligen Peninsula will be of interest to ornithologists.
Driving west from Varde (20 km/12 mi north of Esbjerg) the visitor will come to the seaside resort of Henne Strand. In this region will be found the most beautiful dunes on the coast of Jutland. From the 64m/210ft high shifting dune known as Blåbjerg there is a superb view. A little to the north stretches Blåbjerg Plantation, a wooded area.
Map of Esbjerg Attractions