Ringkøbing - or Ringkjøbing - is a market town in West Jutland with 9,923 inhabitants (2020), located in Ringkøbing Parish. The town is located by Vonå and the northeast corner of Ringkøbing Fjord. Ringkøbing is the largest city in Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality and belongs to the Central Jutland Region.

In the summer, Ringkøbing is strongly influenced by tourism, not least because a lot of holiday home guests are attracted to the North Sea and shop in the city. One of the city's largest workplaces is Vestas Nacelles, which is located at the city's small industrial port and since 1998 has installed nacelles and wing hubs for Vestas MW turbines.

In 2007, the Cambridge Institute named Ringkøbing Europe's happiest city. Behind the appointment is a European survey, which is conducted every two years.


The Middle Ages
Ringkøbing is an old town that probably dates back to the 13th century; the first time its privileges are mentioned is 1443, when they were confirmed by Christoffer of Bavaria, later they were often confirmed and extended, thus in 1482, 1515, 1545, 1586, 1608 and 1648.

The Renaissance
While no merchant in 1368 was allowed to export goods from the town's port without paying customs duties in Ribe, on October 20, 1599, Christian IV declared it to be a customs post with unimpeded shipping of all goods just like other legal customs offices. In particular, the export of axes in those days has been an important source of income for the city. The export took place in this part of the country before only over Ribe, but on February 8, 1553, later repeated, the town was allowed to export barn axes, but not grass axes, against the usual duty. On the whole, in addition to fishing, trade has been its main source of income. Trade was conducted mainly in Norway and the Netherlands, but also in Hamburg.

Ringkøbing, however, remained a smaller town despite its good catchment area and apparently favorable location by the former far more navigable fjord, It has thus never had more than one church and no monastery in the Middle Ages. Its most prosperous time falls in the 16th century and first half of the 17th century. as late as 1656, Arent Berntsen could say about it: "Ringkøbing is probably not of much size, but it has some wealthy citizens, whom large consignments of grain and axes negotiate from the country and again ship to Holland and other places". But already in a priest's report from 1638 it is stated that: "there may be about a hundred citizens in the town, most of them of very little fortune". Several accidents contributed to its decline, for example in the Count's Feud it had been burned by Johan Rantzau, in particular a flood on December 1, 1615, when the surrounding fields were destroyed, the town was both destroyed, and 34 farms and houses suffered more or less damage. The king exempted the injured from tax for 3 years. In 1624 the city again suffered from flooding, and in the 17th century wars, especially in 1644 and 1657-60, when first the enemy and then the Allies haunted it; also fires have probably ravaged it, though no account has been left of any extensive fire. In addition, the increasingly difficult sailing conditions in the fjord gradually increased, as Nyminde Gab from about the middle of the 17th century began to migrate south (in the 17th and 18th centuries oysters were also caught in the fjord, but Gabet's migration to the south and the the subsequent exclusion of salt water made them disappear).

Under the dictatorship
After the ordinance of 28 January 1682, Ringkøbing remained among the cities that had to engage in foreign trade. In 1682 it was also determined that in the future it should have one mayor, as before, but only 2 councilors (formerly until 8).

A Latin school, mentioned in 1547, was abolished in 1739.


How the condition was in the second half of the 17th century shows an appraisal of the town's land and properties: there were a total of 142 Nr. (valued at 8,732 rigsdaler 3 marks), of which 46 were deserted construction sites. In 1695 an explanation was required as to what had happened to these deserted squares, but only very few of them had been used, and 2 other farms had been deserted since that time. According to a census from 1710 with 102 citizens, explaining everyone's conditions, the city was in the greatest misery: "here are many desolate places, many widows and few citizens, most of whom by unfortunate maritime damage and loss of their merchandising have come to naught. " In 1743 it is reported that more people had to sell farms and houses due to the industry's so strange decline, and in 1745 the town is said to have to perish completely if it is not helped in any way. According to the Danish Atlas, in 1769 the city had 506 inhabitants against 623 in 1672, that its industry was in more than the increase, trade at all, since the city was no longer a warehouse for other market towns, shipping was small and went only to Norway with grain and fat products etc. The town, which had formerly had 10-12 ships, then had only one; the others who were transported were strangers. After that time, however, things progressed somewhat: in 1774, the town's merchants, partly as shipowners, partly as charterers, had a total of 12 ships; most belonged to the town's two most enterprising merchants Jens Tang, owner of Nørre Vosborg (died 1826), and Jens Bjerg Rindom.

Well, almost all ships were lost in the War of 1807-14, but already in 1816 there were 14 ships, and in the same year 300, mostly Norwegian ships were cleared and cleared. In 1829 there were 11 ships with a total of 147 commercial cargoes. Trade conditions were described in 1833 as quite good; while previously a large part of the western rain's products were sent from Ringkøbing and the surrounding area to Lemvig for export, they were then exported from Ringkøbing itself, partly because the road through the Limfjord to Aalborg became less navigable due to the conditions at Løgstør Grunde, partly and especially because in the war 1807-14 had had to fetch many necessities from Hamburg over land, whereby Ringkøbing from that time became like a staple city, as the English could not get under the coast and take the small vessels that went to Ringkøbing. But conditions changed when the Agger Canal was opened and the Løgstør Canal was constructed, and the sailing conditions on Ringkøbing Fjord became more and more unfavorable.

Ringkøbing County was founded in 1794, and the town became a county town.

The first infancy for an industrial development in Ringkøbing county took place in the late 18th century. Købstaden Ringkøbing developed small factories, which may not differ significantly from craft workshops. In 1780, a pharmacist Broager set up a small lacquer and chocolate factory. In 1787 a group of the town's most important merchants joined forces to set up a tobacco factory and in 1791 one of the merchants, Jens Harpøth, set up a tannery and leather factory. In 1801 a map factory was added and in 1805-06 another tobacco factory. In 1811 and 1817 two more tobacco factories were added. These companies were closely linked to trade. In 1830, Ringkøbing got another tobacco factory. Lemvig got its first tobacco factory in 1837, but it was not until R. Færchs Fabrikker in 1869 that Holstebro became a tobacco town. Around 1900, Færch gradually acquired other tobacco factories in the area and later R. Færch became the sole ruler of the county.

The early industrialization
Ringkøbing's population was increasing at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century: 1,274 in 1850, 1,331 in 1855, 1,409 in 1860, 1,546 in 1870, 2,035 in 1880, 2,290 in 1890, 2,712 in 1901, 2,938 in 1906 and 3,528 in 1911.

Of factories and industrial plants, the town had at the turn of the century: 2 tobacco factories (one, Mølgaards, was founded in 1830 and had about 85 workers), 1 organ factory (Andresens, founded 1890), 1 wool spinning mill and garment factory (share company from 1901, share capital DKK 24,000), 1 wagon factory, 1 chicory dryer (belonging to the limited company "De danske Cikoriefabrikker"), 1 factory of malt juice, 1 iron foundry (limited company, established in 1899, capital DKK 25,000; approx. 10 workers) and 1 soda factory. The town had 3 printing houses.

In Ringkøbing, 3 newspapers were published: "Ringkjøbing Amts Avis", "Ringkjøbing Amts Dagblad" and "Ringkjøbing Avis".

The following markets were held in Ringkøbing: 1 in February with horses, 1 in April, 1 in June, 1 in July, 1 in August and 1 in October with horses and cattle. Market day was from Easter to St. Michael's Saturday, otherwise Wednesday.


From 1875, Ringkøbing got a station on the West Jutland longitudinal railway. In 1911-61, Ringkøbing Station was also the starting point for the Ørnhøj line, which in 1925 was extended to Holstebro.

The distribution of the inhabitants by industry was in 1890: 343 lived by intangible activity, 933 by craft and industry, 531 by trade and turnover, 109 by agriculture, 12 by horticulture, 25 by fishing, 216 by various day-care activities, 85 by their means, 31 distressed alms, and 5 sat in jail. According to a 1906 census, the population was 2,938, of which 218 subsisted on intangible activities, 169 on agriculture, forestry and dairy farming, 33 on fisheries, 1,328 on crafts and industry, 659 on trade and more, 247 on transportation, 157 were retired, 93 lived by public support and 34 by other or unspecified business.

In the 20th century, a shipyard was added in the company of other industries, so that the industry also became an important industry.