Frederikshavn, formerly called Fladstrand (in Latin "Ora Plana"), is the largest city in Frederikshavn Municipality and Vendsyssel's second largest with 23,124 inhabitants (2020). The town is located in the North Jutland Region next to the Kattegat on the east coast of the Nørrejyske Ø. Frederikshavn is named after King Frederik VI and received township rights in 1818.


People have lived in the area around Frederikshavn for many thousands of years. Archaeological finds from the Stone Age to the Viking Age have been found. In the landscape around the city there are remains of these people in the form of numerous burial mounds, long dolmens and Iron Age tombs.

The Renaissance
The place was formerly called Fladstrand or Fladestrand after its location and Flade Parish, to which it belonged. It was originally a small village and a fishing village, which gradually grew up with its rich fishing and trade. The first time Fladstrand is mentioned is probably 1572, as it is referred to as a place where a lot of German beer and other beverages are imported. It was also a widely used crossing point to Norway.

Already Frederik III had Nordre Skanse built north of the city to protect the harbor. The harbor "had 4 Batteries" (later it was named after Major General, Regiment Commander Adam Ludvig Moltke, who died in 1810, who had been in charge of the first facilities of the harbor).

Under the dictatorship
The Fladstrand citadel was built in 1687 just southwest of the harbor under the command of Colonel Anton Coucheron (died 1689). It consisted of the still standing tower, which was surrounded by a wall in which there was a fortress gate. At about the same time, Søndre Skanse was built a little south of the city. Before 1687, a command from the fort at Hals had served in Nordre Skanse, but the citadel then got its own commander and crew, and the commander's residence was first at "the round tower", later in Hornværket.

Around the same time, in 1686, the town was allowed to build its own church, especially with the participation of Vice Admiral Iver Hoppe and customs officer and chief surgeon on the fleet Peder Visberg, and it became an annex to Flat Church from 1696 until 1812, when it got its own priest. Since the decree of 31 December 1700, the city had to meet consumption and also had other burdens in common with the market towns. For a long time, however, it was only a small town: in 1684 it had 12 houses with 2¾ barrels of hart grain. The town and its grounds formerly belonged to Bangsbo, Lengsholm and Knivholt; in 1748 sold Mette Bille, chancellor. Arenfeldt's widow, the town of "Indvaaner i Fladstrand" Peder Hansen Høyer for about 4,000 rigsdaler, and he sold it again in 1775 for 5,000 rigsdaler to Johs. Andersen Glerup, former owner of Eget in Skærum Parish, who some years later issued deeds to 42 residents of Fladstrand, former tenants. In 1730, 10 houses burned. In 1769 the town had 525 inhabitants.

The fortifications were continuously developed: in 1712 they were expanded a little north of the citadel Hornværket with bastions and tombs, as well as a battery on the islet Deget approximately 4,000 acres northeast of the harbor.

In 1764, the commander's residence, together with the store manager's house, the material yard and the bakery (the latter had previously been in the town, but burned down in 1730), were sold to the above-mentioned Peder Høyer, who had them partly demolished. The same year, the building in Nordre Skanse was sold to Captain Müllertz.

Frederikshavn first became a market town and got its current name on September 25, 1818.

1812-43, Hirsholmene was an annex to the church.

The fortress, however, remained in existence until 1864; the citadel and a large part of Hornværket were handed over to the harbor. The fortress gate was demolished in 1892.

The early industrialization
It was not until the middle of the 19th century that the city began to grow due to the port facility, and later the railway facilities contributed to the city's development. The city had its coat of arms approved on April 1, 1898.

Frederikshavn had around 1900 annually 3 markets: 1 in April with cattle, 1 in September with cattle, horses and sheep and 1 in October with cattle and sheep. It was market day every Wednesday and Saturday.

Of factories and industrial plants, the town had around the middle of the 19th century: 1 book printing plant, 2 brick distilleries, 2 lime mills and 1 cigar factory. Of factories and industries, the town had in 1872: 1 printing house, 1 brick distillery, 3 lime mills, 2 tobacco factories, 1 tannery and 1 shipyard, which employed 40-50 workers, though mainly by repairs. Of factories and industrial plants, the town had around the turn of the century: 1 iron foundry and machine factory (about 80 workers, established as a limited company in 1898, share capital DKK 225,000), 3 shipyards (in 1898 14 sailing ships of 276 tons were built in the town), 1 lime factory, 1 tobacco factory, 1 tannery, 2 white beer breweries, 2 mineral water factories, 1 export slaughterhouse, 1 sawmill and 2 book printing works.

Two newspapers were published in Frederikshavn: "Frederikshavns Avis" and "Frederikshavns Folkeblad" (also "Sæby Avis" (or "Dronninglund Herreds Avis") and "Sæby Folkeblad" were published in Frederikshavn).

Frederikshavn's population was increasing at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century: 1,374 in 1850, 1,467 in 1855, 1,843 in 1860, 2,133 in 1870, 2,891 in 1880, 4,848 in 1890, 6,538 in 1901, 7,176 in 1906 and 7,916 in 1911.


By industry, the population was divided in 1890 into the following groups, comprising both breadwinners and dependents: 658 lived by intangible activity, 1,470 by industry, 980 by trade, 454 by shipping, 396 by fishing, 105 by agriculture, 11 by horticulture, 651 by various day care activities, 62 of their funds, 54 enjoyed alms, and 7 were in prison. According to a 1906 census, the population was 7,176, of which 391 subsisted on intangible activities, 140 on agriculture, forestry and dairy farming, 767 on fishing, 2,743 on crafts and industry, 1,382 on trade and more, 1,301 on transportation, 251 were retired, 128 lived by public support and 73 by other or unspecified business.

The interwar period
During the interwar period, Frederikshavn's population was growing: in 1916 8,532, in 1921 9,411, in 1925 9,650, in 1930 9,882, in 1935 10,500, in 1940 15,275 inhabitants. The progressive suburban development in Flade-Gærum Municipality was incorporated into the market town from. April 1, 1939.

At the census in 1930, Frederikshavn had 9,882 inhabitants, of which 612 subsisted on intangible activities, 3,771 on crafts and industry, 1,506 on trade etc., 1,305 on transport, 931 on agriculture, forestry and fishing, 793 on handicrafts, 845 were out of business and 119 had not stated source of income.

The post-war period
After World War II, Frederikshavn continued its population growth. In 1945 there were 16,827 inhabitants in the market town, in 1950 18,394 inhabitants, in 1955 20,018 inhabitants, in 1960 22,522 inhabitants and in 1965 24,379 inhabitants.

The urban development resulted in the establishment of an urban development committee, which prepared an urban development plan for the Frederikshavn area comprising both the market town and the surrounding rural parishes.

Frederikshavn's favorable sailing conditions with a natural harbor and an anchorage located sheltered by the archipelago Hirsholmene and Deget, the many small reefs and the proximity to Sweden and Norway have had an impact on the city's economic, political and military history. During World War II, the city was part of the German Atlantic Wall, and had the status of a defensive area, the Verteidigungsbereich. There were only four areas with such status in Denmark during the occupation. The other three were Hanstholm, Esbjerg and Aalborg.

The port has traditionally been the city's economic hub with fishing and shipbuilding. But after the crisis in both the fishing industry and for the shipyards up through the 1980s, the city has managed to go from shipyard town to host town. Investments have been made in construction and other business-oriented activities that can secure the city's future. They have chosen to secure three core areas that are considered important for the city's development - that is, business, tourism and settlement.