Today the Flensburg harbor only get the occasional ship arriving with goods from far away – but back a couple of hundred years the harbor was the beating heart of the city with ships arriving from far away. Many came arrived with sugar from the Danish West Indies colonies. And even before this when the city was founded it was built for its location at the sheltered fjord and proximity to the most important land based trade route leading north to the rest of Denmark.
With the important role of the harbor in the history of the city it isn’t surprising there is a major maritime museum down at the harbor of Flensburg. You can go and visit the museum – when we arrived we got the option of buying a ticket just for the maritime museum or pay a couple of euros more and get a combo ticket for the maritime museum and two other museums in the city. We decide to go for the combination ticket.
The museum ground floor has an exhibit of different models of ships and what items which used to be onboard the ships sailing to and from the harbor. There is also some paintings and general displays of the history of the city and how it developed around the harbor. There are a lot of explanations – but it is mainly in the languages of the area which is Danish and German and the English explanation is limited hence it might be difficult for non-native speakers to get all of the display.
The museum doubles as a rum museum since rum has been one of the most important items traded out of the harbor of Flensburg. The museum tells about the history of rum and the connection to the Danish West Indies islands which supplied the sugar. As part of this display are some information’s about the Danish slavery history since the sugar at the Danish West Indies was based on slave labor as was the case in most of the European colonies in Americas.
If you have some interest in maritime history or rum this might be a museum of interest for you – it is a pretty good museum for a minor city but you might find better museums of this sort in bigger cities around the globe.