Esbjerg is Denmark's fifth largest city with 72,037 inhabitants (2020) and is located in southwestern Jutland. It is also the capital of Esbjerg municipality and western Jutland's largest urban area with direct connections to Kolding and Odense via the E20 motorway and the railway.

The port is the driving force in Esbjerg, and the many offshore activities are the biggest factor. In addition, the Port of Esbjerg functions as a ferry port and shipping port for deliveries to Horns Rev Offshore Wind Farm. The city was once Denmark's largest fishing port.

Northeast of the city is Esbjerg Airport.

In sports, Esbjerg is especially known for its traditional football club EfB and Ice Hockey Club Esbjerg Energy, which play their home matches at Blue Water Arena and in Granly Hockey Arena.

In culture, Esbjerg is home to the Esbjerg Rock Festival, which has been held every year since 1991 in Vognsbølparken and the city's music house designed by Jørn and Jan Utzon.



Esbjerg arose around the harbor that the state built from 1868 as a replacement for the harbor in Altona, which had been the Danish monarchy's most important North Sea harbor, but which had been lost by the surrender of the duchies in 1864 at the end of the Second Schleswig War. Before this time, the area was a deserted and deserted area. Hjerting had also been seen as a possible new port.

In 1801 Esbjerg had 20 inhabitants, in 1840 13 inhabitants, in 1860 30 inhabitants.

In 1860, at Esbjerg Kleve (the name may come from "æs" meaning fish bait (corresponding to Esrum Sø) or from "ese", meaning lifted, rise) in Jerne Parish were two farms, and the place had 30 inhabitants. Now there is not much of the slope to be seen: some crashed by storm in 1881 and 1882, and the rest have almost been swallowed up by the port facilities. From the beginning, the population consisted only of the engineers and their assistants and the changing workforce, but soon the settlers began to show up: the first was blacksmith Frants Møller, whose business developed into a large iron foundry and machine shop (Jensen & Olsen), and gradually the plant progressed, pulsating life stronger and stronger: "The houses grew up like Toadstools", one big business after another was founded, many admittedly to soon disappear again, but some also took permanent root, and the development took place after a while. for Danish conditions unknown scale and was at the time compared with urban development in the United States.

In 1875, according to a census in October, the city had 1,006 inhabitants. Of the counted inhabitants, 30 had arrived in 1868, 134 in 1869, 83 in 1870, 57 in 1871, 63 in 1872, 90 in 1873, 204 in 1874, and 342 in 1875. At the same time, the city's only industry was a shipyard.

In 1874, a railway connection was established to Fredericia and Varde, which quickly led to the city developing. As early as 1870, the first city plan came to ensure that rapid growth was moderated. The city plan was drawn up by Land Inspector Wilkens and consisted of an approximately rectangular street network adjacent to the new dock harbor, whose construction was started in 1868. In step with the city's rapid growth, the street network was expanded according to the same principle. , partly adapted to the landscape.

Developments up to World War I.
Esbjerg developed rapidly. One institution after another was established, thus a pilot station and customs office (with credit warehouse 1890, free warehouse 1900) as well as railway station 1874, post office 1875, telegraph station and pharmacy 1883. The town got church 1887, own priest 1891, district doctor and sheriff 1893, municipal self-government . 1 January 1894, as it was separated from Jerne Parish and finally, by law of 19 March 1898, it was elevated to a market town from 1 January 1899. Two years before, one of Esbjerg's larger landmarks, the Water Tower, had been built after the German model.

The port
The harbor was built according to the Act of 24 April 1868 (after several places for its location such as Ribe, Hjerting, Skallingen and Ringkøbing had been mentioned) to provide Nørrejylland with an export harbor, as Sønderjylland had been lost in 1864, and the country's products , especially cattle, for the most part had to be carried across the marsh and Hamburg to find their way to England.


The first plant, led by the engineers Carlé (until 1872) and E. Petersen (however, the preparatory work was done by C.G. Bruun), consisted essentially of an approx. 5 ha large dock harbor, cost approx. ½ mio. According to the provision, it was to be completed by January 1871, but was not opened until August 1874, and on 20 August 1878 the harbor was completed with a depth of 4½ m in the front harbor and 4 m in the dock harbor. But by then, new works had already been started, such as the extension of the northern pier and the deepening of the dock harbor and the harbor gutter, which were completed at the beginning of 1881, and the plant then stood at almost DKK 2 million. However, the final works soon proved insufficient, among other things the dock harbor had to have the same depth as the front harbor, and in 1886-1888 a new harbor was built (water construction director V. Kolderup-Rosenvinge), just like a 4 m deep fishing harbor, and a reconstruction of the dock harbor locks, heavy iron gates that open inwards and thus give the water access during the flood, while holding it back during the ebb (the change of river is approx. 1½ m). Later, new alterations and extensions were still being made; Thus, in the financial years 1895-96 and 1899-1900, the dock harbor was improved by rebuilding the lock, dredging to 6 m and new quays as well as a smaller hauling berth, and at the same time the southern front harbor was deepened to 6 m, and in 1901-02 a new fishing harbor was built west of the dock with 4 hauling berths. During all these works, the port came to stand for approx. 5 million Finally, the Act of 4 May 1907 commenced new significant expansions to the north with a fishing port up to 5.7 m deep and a traffic port between this and the previous facilities, all intended for approx. 4 mio. In addition to a customs chamber building, the administration building, the United Steamship Company's office building, a silo warehouse and the Statens Eksportslagteri and fish warehouses emerged.

A rescue and storm warning station was built adjacent to the harbor. The same year that the harbor opened, in 1874, regular steamship service began in London (Thameshaven), in 1875 there was regular connection with Newcastle, and in 1888 the service was extended to Parkestone and Hull, all with state support provided by the United Steamship Company. The port thus became one of the country's largest export ports, and it was left only for Copenhagen and Aarhus. In particular, cattle, pork, meat, butter, eggs and fish were exported, especially to England; but also imports increased year by year, especially of coal, salt, fertilizers, fodder, sugar and petroleum. The importance of the port was increased very significantly by the fact that it is difficult to freeze even in the severe ice winters when most of the country's ports are inaccessible. Of the exports in 1913 are mentioned: approx. 98.7 million kg of pork, 34.3 mill. kg of butter, 10,300 cattle (1912: approx. 20,000) and 9.6 mill. dozen eggs. Customs revenues in the same year were DKK 447,200. In 1910, 868 ships (of which 702 steamships) arrived with a total of 184,108 t of cargo, of which 767 in foreign trade with 130,182 t, and 871 ships (of which 704 steamships) went out with 159,564 t of cargo, of which in foreign In the same year, the customs fleet's merchant fleet was 155 vessels with a total tonnage of 23,401 tonnes, of which 41 were steamships with a tonnage of 21,514 tonnes and 104 motor vessels with a tonnage of 1,527 tonnes, in addition to 33 smaller vessels of less than 4 tonnes.