Gedser is a town on Falster with 722 inhabitants (2020), located
40 km south of Stubbekøbing, 56 km south of Vordingborg, 17 km south
of Væggerløse and 24 km south of the municipal seat Nykøbing
Falster. The city belongs to Guldborgsund Municipality and is
located in Region Zealand.
Gedser belongs to Gedser Parish, which until 1 October 2010 was a church district in Gedesby Parish. Gedser Church from 1915 is located in the city.
Guldborgsund Municipality has prioritized Gedser as a development area, and both the city and Gedser Odde are covered by an area renewal program, which will contribute to creating long-term and sustainable growth in Gedser.
The name "Gedser" is thought to originate from the Old
Danish getír with the meaning "goatherd" and ear. Overall, the place
name means "the goatherd of the goat shepherd".
West of the farm Søvang on Strandvej 33 A is a rampart where Valdemar Sejr's royal manor Gjedsergaard or Gjedesgaard was located. At Gjedsergaard, peace negotiations with Germany took place in 1431, and here Frederik I's daughter, Duchess Elisabeth, died in 1586, when she was on her way home to Mecklenburg after a visit to Tycho Brahe at Hven.
The meadow west of the rampart has been a cove, and from the southwestern corner of the rampart a gutter led out to the cove. From the 13th century onwards, there was a ship crossing to Rostock. It is reported, however, that the ice winters of 1546 and 1554 were so severe that it was possible to cross the Baltic Sea in a horse-drawn carriage. Christian IV used to make his way across Falster when he went to the Duchies.
On Sydfalster, only a narrow shoreline was not flooded during the violent storm surge in November 1872. The water washed away farms, houses, animals and people and caused many ships to run aground on the east coast of Falster. On Falster, 52 people died. Subsequently, a 17 km long dike was built along the east coast of Falster to protect itself from the Baltic Sea.
Station and ferry port
In 1884, the financier C.F. Tietgen permission to build the railway section Nykøbing Falster-Gedser and a traffic port in Gedser. It was all completed on July 1, 1886. The Gedser line became part of the original Sydbane, where train traffic to Germany went.
In 1899 Gedser is not yet described as an actual town: "At Gjedserodde there is a school and Gjedser lighthouse (white, solid lighthouse; the white, hexagonal lighthouse, built in 1802, stands 1200 Al. Within Falster's south-east decoration; Fl. Height 62 F ., Lysvidden 3 1/4 Mil; paa et Bifyr, mellem Hovedfyret og Kysten, er Fl. Højde 46 F.) med Fyrmesterbolig og Telefon. Ud for Gjedser Rev ... ligger Fyrskibet „Gjedser Rev“. Gjedser Jærnbanestation ... med Havn (13—14 F. Vand), hvorfra der er Postdampskibsforbindelse med Warnemünde samt Lodseri og Kro ".
The measuring table sheets also show a poorhouse and a hospital. The hospital must be the quarantine station that was set up at Kroghage west of the city during the First World War due to possible epidemics. As early as 1892, Gedser was hit by a cholera epidemic for 2 months, where the ferry passengers had to stay on the ship for 24 hours before they had to come ashore, where they were disinfected in a house on the middle pier.
In 1903, the postal steamers on the Warnemünde route were replaced by railway ferries, and a new station building was inaugurated. It was designed by architect Heinrich Wenck. When military attacks from Germany were feared, the station was equipped with towers and shards facing south. In 1926 it became possible to transfer cars with the German ferry "Schwerin".
At the end of World War II, the ferries were bombed, and the route was not resumed until 1947 with a Danish ferry. The division of Germany made it necessary to have a route to West Germany, so in 1951 a ferry connection was established to the railway station Großenbrode Kai at Femernsund, from where there was a train connection to Hamburg. Gedser-Großenbrode became the main route, while the route to Warnemünde in East Germany lived more quietly.
After the Bird Escape Line
With the opening of the Bird Escape Line in 1963, Gedser-Großenbrode was closed down, and the new main route went from Rødbyhavn on Lolland to Puttgarden on Fehmarn. However, the Norwegian-owned Moltzau Line - after which Moltzaugade in Gedser is named - created a new route from Gedser to Travemünde near Lübeck. It was significantly longer than Rødby-Puttgarden with a sailing time of 3½ hours, but you escaped a long stretch of road before getting on the German motorway network.
Following the reunification of Germany in 1990, the Moltzau Line, now called the Europa Line after several name changes, closed the route to Travemünde and instead established a route to Rostock's Überseehafen on the east side of the Warnow River. DSB had also started to move its activities over here from the outdated ferry port in Warnemünde on the west side of the river, and in 1995 DSB completely closed the Gedser-Warnemünde route. In 1996, DSB Rederi Europa bought Linien. Through several mergers, DSB Rederi became part of Scandlines, which still operates the Gedser-Rostock ferry route.
With the closure of the Warnemünde route, there was no longer a railway connection at the other end, so the last international train ran on the Gedserbanen in 1995. But the Gedserbanen intermediate stations were long closed, and the line had lost its significance with the Bird Escape Line. The last ordinary train ran on the line on 12 December 2009.
The station building in Gedser has been preserved on Stationsvej 1. The conservation association Gedser Remise exhibits railway equipment in the depot north of the station, and the members have run veteran trains on the track until 2015, but now it is so worn that it can no longer be done. Gedserbanen has not been officially closed.