Billund

 

 

Billund is a town in South Jutland with 6,662 inhabitants (2020), located in Grene Parish. It is the second largest city in Billund Municipality and is located in the Region of Southern Denmark. The city is first and foremost known for its airport, Billund Airport, which is Denmark's second largest, and not least the amusement park LEGOLAND, which had 1.7 million. visitors in 2012.

Billund grew considerably during the 1960s, not least due to the toy group LEGO's production of plastic building blocks. LEGO also established an airport during this period and in 1968 built the amusement park LEGOLAND. Globally, the LEGO Group has around 10,000 employees, of which there are almost 4,000 employees in Denmark.

In the center of the city is the city's cultural center, Billund Centret, inaugurated in 1973 with i.a. Billund Church, Billund Library, exhibition hall, theater hall and restaurant. The town is also home to the Billund Trav racecourse, built in 1971.

 

History

The place is historically connected with Grene Church, whose original Romanesque building is first mentioned in 1291. As a place name, Billund is mentioned in its origin as "Byllundt" in the year 1454 and only later as "Billund" in 1510 in connection with the erection of a granite cross near Ankelbo . In 1682 the settlement numbered 2 farms. The total cultivated area was 176.9 acres of land owed to 11.43 acres of hart grain. The form of cultivation was pasture farming with roofs.

When the staff band was abolished in 1788, there were eight farms on the site and another, Vestergaard, was added in 1790. It is assumed that Billundgaard, which was where Billund Trav is today, dates from the same period. Almost a hundred years later in 1880, the town's first mill was built by the road between Vejle and Varde and in 1888 a dairy and Krog School in 1890. In 1895 the mill burned to the ground and a mill was built once again on the site in 1897, Billund Mill , according to template of Dutch wind turbines.

Billund is described around the turn of the century as follows: "Billund, by Landevejen, where it divides into Vejle and Kolding, with Skole, Mølle, Andelsmejeri, Købmandshdl., Kro and Telefonst."

In 1897, the railway was built from Vejle to Billund's neighboring town Vandel, and later the line was extended to Grindsted (in 1914). A telephone exchange was established at the dairy in 1902, an assembly hall was built in 1904 and in connection with Billund Mill a tenant house was built in 1910. In 1914, Billund's first mission house was founded and a station building was built in the town.

 

In 1916, the later founder of Lego, Ole Kirk Christiansen, bought Billund Maskinsnedkeri and Tømmerhandel (founded in 1895). Kirk Christiansen started as a carpenter and had his farmhouse opposite Billund's then and current farm. He started construction in the area, i.a. of a newer dairy in the town and one in Randbøl and he also built Skjoldbjerg Church a few kilometers south of the town. With the social crisis of the 1930s, however, Kirk Christiansen had to go other ways. He then started an extensive production of utility items such as ironing boards, stair ladders and miniature toys. The toy was initially created from surplus pieces of wood from the rest of the production, but in 1932 Ole Kirk began an actual toy production. Initially, he produced the yo-yo whose discs were also used for wooden toy vehicles. In 1934, the factory was named "Lego". It was local women at Billundegnen who painted the wooden toys. In the late 1930s, Billund got its own waterworks, gymnasium and town hall, while the local electricity plant was closed down and transferred to Sydjysk Andels Elektricitetsforsyning. During the occupation, the old Lego factory burned down in 1942, but a new one was built immediately after. In 1945, Billund Formbrændselsfabrik was built and railway tracks were laid from Grindstedbanen to the factory the following year. Another three years later, Lego launched its first plastic bricks on the market.

The 1950s Billund was, as elsewhere in Denmark, characterized by poverty and discouragement, among other things. due to the closure of the railway between Grindsted and Vejle and thus also of Billund Station. In return, Billund Boligforening was founded and a number of homes were built, just as a retirement home was built in the city. In 1959, Lego donated a 15 td. large park north of the city with playground, outdoor stage, toboggan run and lake. In 1960, Legofabrikken's wood product warehouse burned down, and the company then completely abandoned the production of wood product toys and based its future exclusively on plastic toys and Lego bricks. In 1962, Billund Airport was inaugurated, first as a private airport for Lego, but was taken over by the county and a number of municipalities two years later. With the airport and Legoland's opening in 1968, Billund entered new times. More than 30 years later, in 1999, the citizens of Billund decided through a referendum that they would continue to belong to the then Ribe County instead of a closer connection to Vejle County. Today, both counties are closed.

Etymology
The name "Billund" means the grove with bees.