Nysted is a former market town - Denmark's southernmost - on
southeastern Lolland with 1,312 inhabitants (2020), located 27 km
east of Rødby, 24 km southeast of Maribo, 19 km south of Sakskøbing
and 18 km southwest of the municipal seat Nykøbing Falster. The city
belongs to Guldborgsund Municipality and is located in Region
Nysted belongs to Nysted Parish. Nysted Church is located in the middle of the city.
Nysted is located on the east side of Nysted Nor
opposite the castle Aalholm and has a natural harbor, the only one
on Lolland's south coast after the embankment of Rødby Fjord in
1878. 8-10 km outside the harbor is the sand bar Rødsand, and the
intermediate waters are shallow with many large rocks , so the
harbor has provided good protection for medieval ships, but today's
cargo ships cannot sail in there. Nysted Harbor is now mainly a
marina. Closest to the harbor there is a 20 m wide dug canal. The
water depth in the harbor and the channel is 3.7 m.
Nysted is high by Lolland conditions. The highest point of the city at the town hall is 12½ m o.h. Therefore, the city did not suffer nearly as much damage from the storm surge of 1872 as other cities on the Baltic Sea.
During the last ice age, the ice
weighed so heavily on Scandinavia that the earth's crust bulged
inward. This caused the crust in the areas around the ice, i.a. in
the area where Nysted is located, rose. When the ice disappeared,
Lolland was largely landlocked with present-day Germany, separated
only by a large and watery river that has now become the
Fehmarnbelt, Little Belt, Great Belt, etc.
At the same time, the ice had left a landscape with thick moraine deposits (soil and rocks), which had been picked up by the sliding ice along the Baltic Sea region. In some places the deposition took place in the form of large, flat plains (most of Lolland and Falster), while ice and meltwater in other places made more dramatic landscapes (marginal moraines, death holes, tunnel valleys, etc.).
In varying depths below the moraine are large limestone deposits that have formed in earlier periods, when the whole of Denmark was covered with water. In Nysted, the limestone is close to the surface and has been broken in several places. Nysted is located on the southeasternmost part of a system of "hills" and lakes that stretch obliquely across Lolland from Nysted over Maribo to Ravnsborg and further out into the Småland Sea, where the islands are part of the same system.
In the years after the ice had melted, Scandinavia rose again, and similarly the Nysted area sank, so that former settlements today lie at the bottom of the sea. The land south of the present city "drowned" and left behind the landscape one can see today.