The western harbor of Esbjerg

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After Denmark lost the second war of Schleswig there was a reorientation in the Danish economy. Before this time most of the Danish agricultural export had been taken to Germany – it would mainly be cattle which could walk to Germany themselves and then be exported from the large port in Hamburg. After the loss in the war Denmark didn’t want to be dependent on Germany anymore so a new focus in the export was needed.

Station of Esbjerg

The Danish agricultural production was modernized and the production of new quality products was started. The  farmers joined together to deliver their milk to cooperative dairy factories which were producing quality butter – the new butter quickly became some of the best in Europe and were considered very attractive by particularly the large British market. In 1901 the brand of Lurpak were introduced to distinguish the Danish quality butter from other European producers which made an inferior product.

The production of butter was quickly supplemented with a large production of bacon which also needed to find a market – and once more the British needed the Danish product to supply the breakfast table.

Only problem for Denmark were the absence of any major port on the west coast of Jutland. If the export had to go through a port on the east side of Jutland the route to the British Isles would be significantly longer than a transport from the west coast. To make the transport to UK easier it was decided to build a new harbor. The city of Esbjerg was founded and it grew quickly to become the biggest city on the west coast of Jutland and the bulk of the Danish export went here by the newly built railway to sail across the North Sea.

Today the city of Esbjerg is the fifth biggest city in Denmark – but unlike the other towns in Denmark this city has no old center. The city is only 150 years old. So a walk around the city lack the charm you might find in older towns. There are only a few newer buildings spread across the town which you can go and see. The town might be fairly large for Denmark – but it pretty quiet when you visit on Sunday – so there weren’t a lot of people around when we walk the center of the city.

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