Hanstholm is a fishing town in Thy with 2,136 inhabitants (2020), located in Hansted Parish. The city belongs to Thisted Municipality and is located in the North Jutland Region. The name comes from the fishing village Hansted, which is located at the western end of the limestone cliff that lies on Jutland's northwestern point. Hanstholmknuden is geologically the northern remnant after glacial erosion of the top over a large salt diapir. It is approx. 7 km long and approx. 3 km wide. The suffix -holm is due to the fact that the area was previously an island (islet), and the name was thus formerly Hanstedholm. The residents of Hanstholm are called "holmboer".

"Hanstholm" was gradually used as a common place name for the municipality of Ræhr-Hansted-Vigsø, which was named after the three most important localities on the limestone cliff. The municipality was briefly called "Holmen" and also included the areas south of the limestone cliff Sårup, Savbjerg and Borup. During the municipal reform in 1970, Klitmøller and Hjardemål as well as Frøstrup were merged with the municipality, which officially took the name Hanstholm Municipality. As something new, the town of Hansted was now also called Hanstholm. The area's other place names have been retained. Previously, the fishing village was in Hansted Parish, Hillerslev county, until 1970 Thisted county, 1970-2006 Viborg county.



In 1843, Denmark's largest and most powerful lighthouse (Hanstholm Lighthouse) was built on Hanstholm with a lighthouse keeper's residence, just as there was a rescue station. The population lived off agriculture and fishing.

In 1917, the Riksdag decided to build a harbor in Hansted. The leader of the project was engineer Jørgen Fibiger. Due to scarce appropriations, the port was not completed before World War II. The occupying forces stopped the construction of the harbor in 1942.

During the war, extensive fortifications were built in Hansted (Verteidigungsbereich Hansted). A similar plant was built in Southern Norway Battery Vara (Møvik Fort). Together they were to master the entrance through the Skagerrak to the Kattegat. An area in the middle where the cannons did not reach was blocked by naval mines. At the same time, the inhabitants of the area were evacuated from the site, and it took several years after the end of World War II before they could return. The largest cannons, 38 cm, were of the same type as the Tirpitz position (not completed) at Blåvand, however, the piles were of a different type.

After the war, the harbor construction was confirmed by the Folketing after major political discussions. It was started in 1960 and in 1967 the fishing port could be opened, while the traffic port came later. In parallel with the port construction, an urban planning took place, which was completed in 1966. As there was great uncertainty about the future urban development, the urban plan was designed so that an area for center purposes and public buildings was laid out closest to the harbor. In the immediate vicinity of this, the east of a larger residential area was laid around an east-west axis, as the expansion of the residential area was assumed to take place quarterly as the housing need increased, thereby ensuring that the city was functional regardless of size. Stage sketches were made for 1500-2000, 2400-3500, 3,400-4,800 and 4,500-6000 inhabitants. Farthest to the east and separated from the residential area by an access road from the hinterland to the port, an industrial area was laid out.

From 1949, a nature reserve was laid out as a game reserve south of the city; today, the Hanstholm reserve is Denmark's largest nature reserve and part of Denmark's first national park, National Park Thy.

Hanstholm is thus both a city, an old name for a limestone cliff and the name of a former municipality by the North Sea. During the municipal reform in 2007, the municipality was merged with two other municipalities and thereby disappeared as an independent municipality, as it is now part of Thisted Municipality.

The port
Until the autumn of 2008, the company Fjord-Line's ferries sailed from the port to western Norway (Egersund, Haugesund and Bergen). Fjord-Line's fast ferry Fjord Cat (formerly MasterCat and Mads Mols) sailed to Kristiansand. until October 2009.

There has also previously been a ferry connection to both the Faroe Islands and Iceland from Hanstholm with the ferry Norröna owned by the Faroese shipping company Smyril Line. But after about 20 years, where the ferry from the Faroe Islands and Iceland regularly called at the city's port, Smyril Line chose a little unexpectedly to stop all its sailing to Hanstholm in the autumn of 2010 and instead move all its operations in Denmark to Hirtshals about 140 km north.

With the loss of the ferry to the Faroe Islands and Iceland, Hanstholm harbor also lost its last ferry connection to the city, but hard work is still being done to establish a new ferry route abroad and to get some of the old routes back to Hanstholm harbor.

Known to the public
During World War II, Hanstholm was heavily fortified with a myriad of bunkers and a heavy coastal battery. Some of the remains can be seen in Bunkermuseum Hanstholm. On the coast between Hanstholm and Vigsø is an extra bunker facility with 17-cm cannons.

The cannon position from World War II was the starting point for the film The Olsen Gang in Jutland. The corresponding Norwegian film Olsen Banden tar Gull was shot at the opposite cannon position, Møvik fort (Batteri Vara) near Kristiansand.

The sea hero Niels Juel spent his childhood on the farm Nørtorp. South of the farm is the old rampart. The highest points in the area are Hjertebjerg Høj and Baun Høj. In Sårup there are four protected giant mounds. There are many plowed giant mounds on Hanstholmen. In addition, there are a number of settlements from the Iron Age.