Ebeltoft (formerly spelled Æbeltoft) is located on Djursland in
East Jutland. With its 7,167 inhabitants (2020), the city is the
largest city in Syddjurs Municipality. Ebeltoft is located in
Ebeltoft Parish and belongs to the Central Jutland Region. Ebeltoft
is located on the west side of the peninsula Hasnæs, and is the only
East Jutland port town with a west-facing port.
The city was probably built around the year 1200 with a market town privilege from 1302 and is one of Denmark's largest destinations due to the old town and a colorful shop and museum life (including Farvergården, the Frigate Jutland and the Glass Museum), and it almost doubles its population during the summer holidays. Near the town is the nature area Mols Bjerge as well as many beaches with Blue Flag and many cottages.
Molslinjen calls at the city by fast ferries to Sjællands Odde. The Film Academy was established in 1993 on the hills north of Ebeltoft with the status of a folk high school. The author Troels Kløvedal was based in a small town just outside Ebeltoft.
In recent years, Ebeltoft has lost many jobs, and now builds its economy mainly on tourism, which also means that in recent years there has been more focus on tourism in the city, and many new shops have opened. Many of Ebeltoft's stores are specialty stores, such as lifestyle shops and a candy bar. In addition, in and around the city you will find Denmark's largest concentration of small studio glass workshops.
The name is spelled 1301 Æpplætofte, 1317 Æplætoft, 1356 Æblætofthæ, 1532 Æbeltovtth etc .; it has been thought to come from "abel" or "apple" (abild); the latter is probably the most probable, especially since the apple tree is found in the city's oldest seals (the name was Latinized to "pomagrina" and "pomagrium").
The Middle Ages
From the beginning, the place has probably been a village or a fishing village and was an annex to Draaby up to the Reformation (that it must previously have been a separate pastorate is not likely). But the name appears, as far as is known, for the first time in Erik Menved's letter of 21 January 1301, whereby the town was granted market town privileges. On August 25, 1317, the king issued a new one, giving the citizens the same law and statutes as Viborg and Aarhus. Its privileges were later many times confirmed and extended, such as July 29, 1356, 1443, 1506, 1552, March 21, 1563, May 28, 1607, and November 30, 1648. The law mentioned in the letter of 1317 is probably the old Schleswig city court, of which the town received a copy from Horsens the same year. In 1430 the byting is mentioned, in 1479 a mayor. Incidentally, the City is mentioned only a little.
A large part of the city's medieval streets have been preserved, and in 2015 Ebeltoft topped a list of best-preserved medieval towns, which the National Association for Building and Landscape Culture had compiled.
In 1558 a Latin school was established in the town.
The city suffered from the plague 1619-20 and was badly included in the wars of the 17th century, especially 1627-29, when it was taxed so that its rich priest Niels Pedersen had to provide it with money, and "the largest part of the city was shot down" . As a result of the war, the Danish Atlas says that "half the streets are deserted after that time, and stone walls of the old houses close the scattered buildings together". The town also suffered damage in 1643-45, and in the war of 1657-60 the Swedes had their fortification on "Skansen", just as at that time there was a battle in the cove between Swedish and Danish ships.
The city's main occupation was maritime trade, which was particularly significant in the second half of the 17th century, when the city grew its competitor Grenaa over its head, had large grocery and warehouses, shipyards and a lucrative traffic, especially in Bergen, as well as the large firewood transport from the royal forests in the area brought much life. In 1672 the town had 817 inhabitants. The government also had a grain warehouse there ("Magasingaarden", located on Adelgade, was demolished in 1806). The Danish Atlas says that the city once had 30 ships, and its citizens themselves report in 1772 that in earlier times it had some twenty larger vessels. In the Great Nordic War, when it lost part of its ships, however, the turning point occurred: in 1711 it had another 18 ships with 442 cargoes, 1732-35 12, 1768 9, 1772 5 and 1798 only 2 ships. In 1769 the city had 562 inhabitants and was smaller than Grenaa.
The Latin school was abolished in 1739.
In the 19th century, the city developed little, although the improved port conditions brought some more life, and it was one of the country's smallest market towns.
In the War of 1807-14 the city was also occupied by the enemy, in 1808 some of the Spaniards lay here.
Businesses of 1890: 192 lived by intangible enterprise, 114 by agriculture, 11 by horticulture, 21 by fishing, 12 by shipping, 495 by industry, 176 by trade, 183 by various day-care enterprises, 65 by their means, and 15 enjoyed alms.
In Ebeltoft, around 1900, 4 markets were held annually: 1 in February, 1 in March and 1 in June with horses and cattle, 1 in September with cattle and sheep.
Of factories and industrial plants there were around 1900: 1 tannery, 1 malt factory, 2 breweries (one with malt factory), 1 distillery, 1 brickworks, 2 mills and 1 communal dairy.
"Æbeltoft Avis" and "Æbeltoft Folkeblad" were published in Byen ("Æbeltoft Dagblad" was published in Randers).
The interwar period
During the interwar period, Ebeltoft's population was slightly increasing: in 1916 1,704, in 1921 1,959, in 1925 1,877, in 1930 1,897, in 1935 2,037, in 1940 2,026 inhabitants. No suburban development took place.
At the census in 1930, Ebeltoft had 1,897 inhabitants, of which 140 subsisted on intangible activities, 692 on crafts and industry, 266 on trade, etc., 187 on transport, 262 on agriculture, forestry and fishing, 133 on housework, 181 were out of business and 36 had not stated source of income.
The post-war period
After World War II, Ebeltoft continued its population development. In 1945 there were 2,104 inhabitants in the market town, in 1950 2,167 inhabitants, in 1955 2,265 inhabitants, in 1960 2,227 inhabitants and in 1965 2,485 inhabitants. No new suburban development outside the municipal boundaries took place.
The municipal reform in 1970
In 1301, King Erik Menved issued market town privileges to Ebeltoft, and the town was a market town until this concept disappeared with the Municipal Reform in 1970. Thereafter, Ebeltoft was the capital of Ebeltoft Municipality until the Municipal Reform in 2007, when it was part of Syddjurs Municipality.