Slagelse is a town in Southwest Zealand approx. 90 km from Copenhagen with 34,015 inhabitants (2020). It is one of Denmark's oldest cities. The city is Zealand's eighth largest and is located in Slagelse Municipality, which belongs to Region Zealand.

As a trading town, it has a large catchment area and is a natural center with pedestrian streets and shopping centers, not least with the West Zealand Center as the largest trading place. In the southeastern part of Slagelse is Antvorskov Barracks, where the Guard House Regiment is located. The barracks has 200 employees and can accommodate up to 2000 soldiers. In addition, there are several educational institutions.

In the middle of the city is one of the oldest brick churches in Denmark, namely St. Mikkel's Church built in the 14th century, and at the southern end of the city are the ruins of Antvorskov Monastery, which was handed over to the Johannite monks in 1164 by King Valdemar the Great. There is also a museum and the ring castle Trelleborg is a few kilometers from the city center.



Slagelse (in King Valdemar's Land Register Slauløsæ and Slaglæsæ, 1374: Slawelsæ, 1575: Slaugelsé) is a very old town.

In ancient times, there was a pagan place of worship, until Roskilde Bishop Svend Nordmand built a stone church around the year 1000. When Antvorskov Monastery came into being in the middle of the 12th century, sick people traveled far and wide to the monastery to be healed by the monks: act. Among these monks was Saint Anders, who has been given a spring, Saint Anders' Source named after him.

The Middle Ages
In the 11th century it is mentioned as a mint, as there are coins minted here under the kings Knud the Great, Hardeknud and Knud the Holy, and during the time of the last two kings, the mint masters Ulf and Fathir in Slagelse are mentioned. The town must have had its first market town privileges in 1280 by Erik Glipping, and in 1289 that duty-free treatment was granted everywhere except at Skanør market. On June 8, 1321, its privileges were affirmed. From Valdemar Atterdag's time, the intelligence about the city becomes more comprehensive. This king gave 13 April 1348 confirmation of its privileges and added new ones, among other things he gave its citizens equal rights with Roskilde citizens. Well, the city suffered a lot during the Black Death, which is said to have driven away about a quarter of the population, but that it was at that time considered a fairly significant city, shows what Danehof held on May 3, 1376, where Queen Margrethe left her son Oluf is crowned King. The following rulers also showed the city their attention. Thus Erik of Pomerania in 1403 confirmed its privileges, Christoffer of Bavaria added new ones in 1441, in 1460 they were confirmed again, in 1489 new ones were added, in 1515 they were confirmed by Christian II, in 1534 Count Christoffer gave new ones. In the 16th century, the theologian Hans Tausen worked as a monk at the monastery until he went to Wittenberg in Germany to study at the university. When he returned home, he was a convinced Lutheran and in 1525 gave the first Lutheran sermon in the monastery church.


The Renaissance
After the Count's Feud and the Reformation, Christian III confirmed them in 1552 and Frederik II in 1561. On the whole, it was probably to the benefit of the town that the latter king so often stayed at the nearby Antvorskov, whether it also on the other hand has brought burdens for the citizens when they had to keep stable space for 500 horses prepared during the court stay there. Christian IV (1597) and Frederik III (1648) also confirmed its Privileges.

The hospital and the churches must also be a testimony to the importance of the city in the later Middle Ages. In addition to the two parish churches and the hospital church, it had two more, namely St. Clemens Church (mentioned in an undated letter from no later than 1223), about which, incidentally, nothing is known, not even where it has been, and Our Lady's Church (mentioned no earlier than 1382) , which has stood roughly in the place of the later school, on the corner of Skovsøgade and Store Fruegade. It seems to have disappeared shortly after the Reformation, for in 1551 a royal letter was issued stating that the "deserted Church, which is called Our Lady's Church", must be taken down for the use of the parish church, the rectory, the school and the town hall. At the end of the 18th century, a small half-timbered church was mentioned, which stood on Frue Kirkeplads, but it has probably only been a mortuary chapel. When the Latin school was established is not known; it dates back at least to the beginning of the 16th century. In Slagelse there has been a Sankt Knuds Gilde.

In the Middle Ages and well into recent times, agriculture must be said to have been the city's most important source of income, but it has also from ancient times been one of Zealand's significant trading towns due to its rich catchment area. Even in the middle of the 17th century, Arent Berntsen could in "Danmarckis oc Norgis Fructbar Herlighet", say that, although there is no entrance to Slagelse, "there is still a large trade, since there is around it very good and well-built land. ". The town also used to have, so to speak, its own harbor, about 10 miles west of the town by the Great Belt, namely Skibsholm harbor, which has probably been located at the mouth of the Tude river, and which may have already been used in the Middle Ages. The river must also have been much wider and deeper in the past than now. Frederik II ordered in 1574 that the port should be closed down as a trading port and could only be used as an emergency port, but when the citizens of Slagelse complained about the damage this ban caused them, it was reopened in 1580.

Under the dictatorship

In 1648, Korsør complained about the break, the harbor made it, and after this town had become a stack town in 1661, Skibsholm harbor was finally closed down in 1664, and Slagelse then had to seek Korsør harbor. From that time it was overrun by Korsør: in 1672 Slagelse had 1,832, in 1769 only 1,289 inhabitants. Of course, like the other cities, it has suffered a lot from ravaging fires. In 1515 the city tax was reduced because the town had suffered great damage by fire, and similar provisions were taken in 1530, 1540, and 1650; a violent fire on June 22, 1652 consumed about 100 farms and houses, so the town was exempt from tax for 3 years, and later this tax exemption was extended for 5 years; new fires are reported in 1666 and 1669, in which year 36 houses burned, in 1740 44 farms and houses burned as well as the town hall, in 1772 the whole of Skovsøgade (22 farms and houses), and in 1801 part of the town burned again.

The famous poets and writers, B.S. Ingemann, Jens Baggesen and H.C. Andersen was a student at the city's Latin school. However, it was not a success for the latter, who went to school 1822-26. The teacher dr. S. Meisling made time a "torment" for young Andersen.

The early industrialization
As late as the middle of the 19th century, it played a role for the town that it had shipping points with magazines for shipping grain in two places by the Great Belt, by Mullerup and Bisserup. In addition, the city reportedly had a large upland trade with the farmers in the area.

The railway (Copenhagen) -Roskilde-Korsør came to the city in 1856, but the station was built a little north of the city; and in 1881 came the city park Slagelse Lystanlæg. Actually, the station town became Slagelse only in 1892 with the relocation of the station into the town and the construction of the current station building, designed by the architect N.P.C. Holsøe. In 1909, a power plant was built in the city, which in 1995 became Slagelse Musikhus.

In 1855, Slagelse had: 1 book printing plant, 2 beer breweries, 8 spirits distilleries (of which 5 with steam boiler), 4 tanneries and field breweries, 1 iron foundry, 1 machine factory, 5 flour and groats mills, 3 potteries, 1 tobacco factory, 1 cotton factory. In 1869 Slagelse had: 2 book printing houses, 2 steam beer breweries, 6 steam distilleries, 4 tanneries and field breweries, 2 iron foundries with machine factories, 5 flour and groats mills, 3 pottery factories, 1 tobacco factory, 1 soda factory, 1 wool factory, 1 wool factory needle factory. At the turn of the century, Slagelse had factories and industrial plants: 1 clog factory in connection with a sawmill, 1 gilding and sawmill with about 70 workers, 1 small gilding, 1 chicory drying, 1 cooperative pig slaughterhouse, 1 significant intestinal scraping, which performs intestines for sausage factories in Hamburg, the owners of the company lived, 1 large mechanical hemp yarn spinning mill, 1 steam distillery (established 1775), 1 manure factory, 2 steam beer breweries, one of which, "Poulsbjærg", became a limited company in 1896; 2 tanneries; 2 iron foundries and machine shops, 1 tobacco factory, 1 soda factory, 1 needle factory; 3 book printing houses, several mills, pottery, wool spinning mills and more.

In Slagelse, 3 newspapers were published: "Sorø Amts Folkeblad" (printed in Ringsted), "Slagelse-Posten" and "Slagelse Folkeblad".

Slagelse's population was increasing in the late 1800s and early 1900s: 4,011 in 1850, 4,747 in 1855, 4,931 in 1860, 5,468 in 1870, 6,076 in 1880, 6,816 in 1890, 8,958 in 1901, 9,768 in 1906 and 10,463 in 1911.

By industry, the population in 1890 was divided into the following groups, comprising both dependents and dependents: 629 lived by intangible activity, 2,936 by craft and industry, 1,449 by trade and turnover, 2 by shipping, 251 by agriculture, 63 by horticulture, while 1,029 were distributed by others occupations, 360 lived by their means, 90 enjoyed alms, and 7 were in prison. According to a 1906 census, the population was 9,768, of which 622 subsisted on intangible activities, 417 on agriculture, forestry and dairy farming, 5,118 on crafts and industry, 1,858 on trade and more, 704 on transport, 492 were retired people, 414 lived on public support and 143 by other or unspecified company.