Stege is the main town on Møn with 3,786 inhabitants (2020) located in Stege Parish. The city is completely merged with Lendemarke. The district is located west of Stege Harbor separated by a short bridge over the narrow strait, which is also the entrance from Stege Bay to the north. Stege is located in Vordingborg Municipality and belongs to Region Zealand.
Stege (old form Stickeburgh, Stigheborgh, Stikee, Stighe, Steckæ and Stæcke, as early as 1268, however, the form Stege occurs), presumably from Old Norse stik (pole that is framed in the water, and stika to block sailing by framing poles) is very old and owes its rise to the permanent castle Stegehus or Stegeborg, which lay to the south of the town at the entrance to the noret at the later harbor, and which may have been built by Valdemar the Great.
The Middle Ages
The castle is mentioned several times in history, such as 1247, when Erik Plovpenning held his half-brother Duke Knud of Blekinge prisoner here, from which captivity the Lübeckers freed him the same or the following year. With the help of the Lübeckers, Mr. Henrik Emeltorp in possession of the castle in 1254, which he soon had to give up again. In 1288 the outlaws attacked the castle in vain, when Prince Vitslav of Rügen had it (and Møn) on loan; In 1290, a German nobleman Hinze Falkenhagen is mentioned as chief at Stegeborg. In 1310, Erik Menved redeemed Stegeborg and fortified it again, but from 1329 it was almost uninterrupted for 30 years in the hands of German mortgagees. Then Valdemar Atterdag conquered it in 1358. He must have rebuilt it and provided it with 3 towers and strong ring walls. In 1438, one of Erik of Pomerania's cousins had it on loan. Among the royal chiefs in the Middle Ages could be mentioned Chiefs at Stegehus were Henning Moltke 1323, Fikke Moltke 1362, Councilor Jens Rud 1396-1401, Valdemar Bydelsbak 1419, Count Vitslav of Eberstein, Erik Aagesen Thott 1457-64, Laurens Axelsen Thott 1465, Axel Valkendorf 1480, Vincens Iversen Dyre 1485, Mogens Gøye 1500 and Jørgen Rud 1503 and Anders Bille (from 1505), who is known for his brave defense of Stege, as the Lübeckers, after landing on the island in 1510 and after destroying the market town Borre , attacked Stege himself and the castle; he added to them such a great defeat that they had to flee the island.
When Stege got township rights is not known. The first known privilege is Erik Klippings of 14 May 1268, in which he gave the citizens of Stege town permission to use the forests that then surrounded the town, as well as the grazing at the same place according to the right they had previously received in his grandfather Valdemar IIs time; later, the town's privileges were confirmed in 1321, 1447, 1483, 1572, 1590 and 1696, among other places. fortification of ramparts and tombs. It had good trade and shipping in Germany, and it took, as it seems, a living part in the herring fishery in the Sound and had fishing villages at Skanør and Falsterbo. It has been in great favor with the kings in the 15th century. Thus, in a letter of 16 April 1447 (the same date as he confirms the city's privileges), Christoffer of Bavaria tells the city that the citizens may buy unhindered in Zealand and elsewhere in the kingdom grain, ax, cattle and other edible goods. In 1450 Christian I announced that when the common people and peasants who build and live on Møn trade in Germany, this is forbidden, "as our market town Stege is thereby particularly humiliated and corrupted", for "Peasants escape Ager og Eng og Købmændene af Købmandsskab ". This ban was enforced several times later. But Stege also had its days of adversity, thus several fierce fires, especially in 1457, when almost the whole town must have been burned, and the violent plague on Møn 1484, which also greatly affected Stege. In the Middle Ages, the town had a church in addition to Sankt Hans, namely Sankt Gertruds, which was located to the south of the town near the castle wall, and which according to some accounts must have been demolished after the Reformation as superfluous, after others only destroyed by the Swedes in 1658 ( its materials were to be used to renovate St. Hans Church). In the Middle Ages, the city had a Skt. Knuds Gilde.
During the Count's Feud, Stegeborg was destroyed. Already when
Anders Bille immediately joined Frederik I's ascension to the
throne, the relationship between the sheriff and Stege citizens, who
held Christian II, became bad. When, after fortifying Stegeborg and
securing it as far as possible against surprise, on the arrival of
the Lybian fleet to the Danish waters in 1534, he left Møn to go to
Copenhagen (which he did not reach, however, as Count Christoffer
had already reached Køge, so that Anders had to seek refuge on his
farm Søholm on Stevns, which he soon had to hand over, after which
he went over to Christian II's party), Stege joined the whole island
to the captured king's party, and the citizens of the town became by
cunning lords over the castle, which they blew up and in a few days
completely collapsed on the barn and the cattle houses near. When
Count Christoffer came to the town, he rewarded Stege for his
allegiance to Christian II by giving it a letter on Vesthale and
Vesthale Fang (Ulvshale and Hegneden Skove) in 1535, but later the
authors of the castle's destruction were executed, and Stege town
also got it feel when Christian III's party came to power. The
castle was never rebuilt, although by royal letters of 22 May 1557
and 19 April 1558 it is seen to have been Chr. III's intention. The
barn remained standing until the end of the 17th century. As late as
the end of the 18th century, one could see the rampart with the
remains of walls and towers, but by the beginning of the 19th
century, the last remnant must have been destroyed.
The town is also seen in recent times to have enjoyed the favor of the kings, so Frederick II in 1582 ordered that the peasants should bring their goods to Stege, and in 1585 he forbade foreign merchants to lie in Grønsund and shop, Stege town to harm. In 1632, Christian IV left the town of Rødsten exaggerated. The town also had better conditions after the island's second market town, Borre, as mentioned above, was destroyed by the Lübeckers and never from that time came up again. However, it went back with Stege, probably especially due to the decline in fishing. To this were added the wars, by which it suffered much, both the Seven Years' War and especially the Karl Gustav wars, when the enemy plundered it in 1658 and tortured it as well as the whole island, during the occupation 1659-60.
In 1557, Stegehus and Møn were granted to Niels Truidsen Ulfstand to Barsebæk, who lost it due to debt in 1563, and only briefly regained it in 1566.
A remarkable trial took place in Stege in 1567. The new priest Iver Bertelsen betrothed himself to the widow of the former priest to secure the office, but would not marry her. He even omitted the exorcism from the baptismal rite. He was therefore sentenced to death; however, the sentence was later changed to life imprisonment and forfeiture of property.
In 1634, Corfitz Ulfeldt became sheriff at Stegehus. When Ulfeldt was appointed to the National Council in 1636, he married Leonora Christina and lived on Møn 1636-1637.
Under the dictatorship
In 1664, Møn was mortgaged to the Dutchman Gabriel Marselis, but the king kept Stege By.
In 1672 it had 656 inhabitants. Conditions became even worse, if possible, in the unfortunate years 1685-97 for the whole island, when it was the headquarters of the horse farm. A large part of the city wall and 2 city gates were demolished under Samuel Christoph von Plessen 1685-1697, who used the materials for the construction of Nygårde (now Marienborg). Also in the 18th century, the city led a languishing existence, often haunted by fires, thus in 1740, 1754. 1761 and especially May 22, 1774, when 112 of its 183 farms and houses burned. In 1769 there were 791 inhabitants. In the 19th century, it experienced renewed prosperity.
The early industrialization
In Stege, 2 markets were held annually: 1 in March and 1 in October (horses and cattle).
In Stege, 2 newspapers were published: "Møens Avis" and "Møens Folkeblad".
Of factories and industrial plants, the town had at the turn of the century: 2 iron foundries, 2 white beer breweries, 2 sawmills, 2 book printing houses and 1 mineral water factory.
Stege's population was increasing in the late 1800s and but stagnated in the early 1900s: 1,808 in 1850, 1,934 in 1855, 1,932 in 1860, 1,960 in 1870, 1,931 in 1880, 1,969 in 1890, 2,245 in 1901, 2,230 in 1906 and 2,250 in 1911.
By industry, the population of the city was divided into the following groups, comprising both dependents and dependents: 239 lived by intangible activity, 719 by trade and industry, 539 by trade and turnover, 70 by shipping, 24 by fishing, 129 by agriculture, 13 by horticulture, while 96 were distributed to other occupations, 53 lived on their means, 16 enjoyed alms, 3 were in prison, and 68 were in mental institutions. In rural areas the distribution was the same year: 3 lived by intangible activity, 80 by handicrafts and industry (of which 70 by woodcarving), 40 by agriculture, 6 by shipping, 14 by fishing, 14 by other occupations and 5 by their means. According to a 1906 census, the population was 2,230, of which 197 made a living from intangible activities, 137 from agriculture, forestry and dairy farming, 16 from fishing, 823 from handicrafts and industry, 559 from trade and more, 201 from transport, 90 were retired people, 160 lived by public support and 47 by other or unspecified business.