Frederikshavn is a Danish town in Frederikshavn municipality, Region Nordjylland, on the northeast coast of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark. Its name translates to "Frederik's harbor". It was originally named Fladstrand.

From upper left: Kattegat Silo, Frederikshavn Church, Havnegade, Port of Frederikshavn, Nordre Skanse


Coat of arms
Coordinates: 57.441°N 10.534°E / 57.441; 10.534
Country Denmark
RegionNorth Jutland ("Nordjylland")
City Status1818
Named forKing Frederik VI
  MayorBirgit Hansen (S)
  Municipal651.04 km2 (251.37 sq mi)
7 m (23 ft)
  RankDenmark: 39th
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)(+45) 98
WebsiteOfficial website

The town has a population of 23,296 (1 January 2019),[2] and is an important traffic portal with its ferry connections to Gothenburg in Sweden and Oslo in Norway. The town is well known for fishing and its fishing and industrial harbours.

Frederikshavn's oldest building, Fiskerklyngen, is originally from the mid-16th century, but the houses now there are from 18th19th centuries.


Frederikshavn was originally called Fladstrand (lit. "Flat beach") from its location in Flade parish.[3]:5–6

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1696 565    
1715 788+1.77%
1769 525−0.75%
1801 463−0.39%
1818 600+1.54%
1834 1,163+4.22%
1840 1,247+1.17%
1845 1,332+1.33%
1850 1,374+0.62%
1855 1,467+1.32%
1860 1,843+4.67%
1870 2,133+1.47%
1880 2,891+3.09%
1890 4,848+5.31%
1901 6,538+2.76%
1911 7,916+1.93%
1916 8,560+1.58%
1921 9,411+1.91%
1925 9,650+0.63%
1930 9,882+0.48%
1935 10,500+1.22%
1940 15,275+7.79%
1945 16,827+1.95%
1950 18,388+1.79%
1955 20,212+1.91%
1960 22,570+2.23%
1965 24,379+1.55%
1970 24,848+0.38%
1976 25,316+0.31%
1981 24,938−0.30%
1986 25,137+0.16%
1990 25,137+0.00%
1996 24,935−0.13%
2000 24,680−0.26%
2006 23,636−0.72%
2010 23,331−0.32%
2015 23,345+0.01%
2019 23,296−0.05%
Source: 1696[4]:37,1715[4]:40,1769[5]:95,1801[5]:95,1818-1845[4]:96,1850[5]:96,1855-1860[4]:96,1870—1916[4]:76,1921—1950[4]:81,1950-1970:83,1976—2000[6],2006[7],2010—[2]


The first mention of a settlement is in a letter dated 13 March 1572 found in the Danish chancery letterbooks.[3]:5 It was a fishing village, trading place and crossing point to Norway.[5]:95

The old Fladstrand church was built between 1686 and 1690.[3]:7 On 31 December 1700 a tax of 500 rigsdaler was put on the town which indicates a fair amount of trade.[3]:8–9

During the Great Nordic War from 1700 to 1721 the town saw a rise in activity as travellers to Norway embarked from here as the route over Sweden was cut. The activity slowly subsided after the war.[3]:12

A royal maritime pilot was stationed at the town from 1733 after King Christian VI was forced to stay in the town due to bad weather on his journey to Norway.[3]:9–10

In 1735 the town was described as a hamlet which supports itself on fishing and beaching of scows and some farming (fæstebønder).[3]:11–12

Military history in 17th, 18th and 19th centuries

Due to its advantageous proximity to the entrance to the Baltic Sea, Frederikshavn has historically been a naval base of some strategic importance.

In 1627 under Kejserkrigen, Melchior von Hatzfeldt troops built a Sconce north of the fishing village.[8][5]:95 The sconce became known as Nordre Skanse and is preserved to this day.[8] After the war this was manned by Danish troops.[5]:95 In 1675 the fortification was expanded with a sconse south of the harbour.[8][5]:95 Between 1686 and 1687 the fortification was expanded again with a heavy tower, a wall and a port. It was described as a citadel. The tower is known as Krudttårnet, (lit. "Gunpowder Tower"). In 1891 the wall and port was demolished, but the tower has been preserved.[5]:95 Krudttårnet is incorporated in the municipality's coat-of-arms.

During the Great Nordic War from 1700 to 1721 Peter Tordenskjold barricaded himself here in his fights against Sweden.[5]:95 In 1712 the Battle of Fladstrand was fought in the nearby sea between Swedish and Danish naval forces.

In 1735, 50 Danish men were stationed at the fortress.[3]:11–12 From the middle of the 18th century the military importance of the citadel was dwindling and some of the fortifications and building was disposed of. It gained new importance during the Gunboat War from 1807 to 1814, but its value diminished again after the war. The citadel was discontinued in 1864.[5]:95

Market town

During the Gunboat War, the town saw increasing trade and activity. The first artificial harbour was constructed from 1808 to 1810 due to the war and after several years of strong promotion of the local merchant Frantz Übersax.

Denmarks defeat in the war had a great impact in Fladstrand. The military left and the town largest source of income ceased.[4]:56-57 Denmark's general economic crisis worsened the situation.[4]:56-57 The town did not have status as a market town, but trade, craft and other activities exclusive to market towns had happened unlawful in Fladstrand for several decades anyway.[4]:52-54,61 A majority of the population had livelihoods based on crafts, services and trade, not production. This was used by the local civil servant as an argument for giving the town market town status (Danish: købstadsrettigheder).[4]:61-62 The harbour directorate (Danish: Kanal-, havne- og fyrdirektionen) argued that it was a strategic place for a harbour and giving the town market town status and legalising the current activities would help with the upkeep.[4]:62-63

On 25 September 1818[nb 1] Frederik VI bestowed the town status as a market town under the name of Frederikshavn.[4]:63-64


Frederikshavn has a mild humid subtropical climate which is allowing exotic plants such as palm trees to be grown and thrive on Bunker Ved Palmestranden beach.

Climate data for Frederikshavn,Denmark
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 2.7
Average low °C (°F) 1.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 69.7


Frederikshavn relative to the five largest cities in Denmark. It is north of Aalborg, northwest of Copenhagen and west of Sweden.

Companies in the area include MAN/BW Alpha and the Navy Base Frederikshavn (Flådestation Frederikshavn).

Frederikshavn, like the rest of North Jutland, was hit with hard unemployment. The town's largest workplace, the shipyard Danyard, closed in the late 1990s. This resulted in more than 2,000 workers being unemployed. Today there is still activity at the large ship building area, with many small companies renting space there. In summer 2008, the unemployment rate, like the rest of Denmark, fell to a minimum low record of approximately 2%.

As with many provincial municipalities around the world, some of its young people leave to large urban cities. However, the municipality is currently engaged in many innovative projects which are attracting tourists and aim to retain population.

Frederikshavn is currently beginning a transition to make it the first medium-sized city/large town in the world to rely exclusively on renewable energy resources for power, including transportation and cars. The process is expected to be completed by 2030.[9] As of 2010, the city was powered 18% by renewable energy.[10]

Martin Professional had a large presence before its closure in 2016.[11]

In culture

The Danish term "frederikshavner" (lit. "Someone from Frederikshavn") is used to denote a quality plaice, probably the most popular fish eaten in Denmark.

The drama/thriller series Norskov (2015–2017) was filmed in and around Frederikshavn.[12]


  • Bangsbo Museum
  • Frederikshavn Art Museum (Frederikshavn Kunstmuseum)
  • Frederikshavn Shipyard Historical Society (Værftshistorisk Selskab Frederikshavn)
  • Tordenskiold Festival, celebrated since 1998.[13]
  • Lighting Festival, biannual festival.[14]
  • Bangsbo Flower Festival[15]
  • Bangsbo Fort[16]
  • Bangsbo Botanical Garden[17]


Frederikshavn White Hawks are the local professional ice hockey team playing in the premier Danish ice hockey league, Metal Ligaen.



Three major roads connect Frederikshavn. E 45 connects to Aalborg in the south. Frederikshavn is the northern end of E 45 in Denmark. The route continues via the ferry in Gothenburg. Danish national road 35 connects Hjørring to the west. Danish national road 40 connects Skagen to the north. A secondary route connects to Brønderslev towards southwest.

Frederikshavn is served by Frederikshavn railway station. It is the terminal train station of the Vendsyssel and Skagen railway lines and offers direct InterCity services to Copenhagen, regional train services to Aalborg and local train services to Skagen.

Ferry service operated by Stena Line connects the town of Frederikshavn to the city of Oslo in Norway, Göteborg, in Sweden. There is also a ferry service to Læsø.

The nearest airport with scheduled national and international flights is Aalborg Airport 66km away.


Port of Frederikshavn

Port of Frederikshavn is the largest harbour in Frederikshavn. It is a commercial port owned by Frederikshavn Municipality.[18] It includes a ferry harbour, a cargo harbour and a large service industry. It has historically been dominated by the shipyard industry and fishing. Frederikshavn was in the late 19th century the dominant harbour for large fishing vessels in Denmark.[19] The European shipyard industry was hit with difficulties in the 1980s and Danyard, the largest shipyard in Frederikshavn closed in December 1999.[20] The municipality took over the harbour in 2001.[18] The site of the former Danyard was over the next 20 years transformed into a business park and the activity gradually went from manufacturing to service.[20]

In 2015 a large expansion of the port was started. The first of three phases was constructed from 2015 to 2018 by contractor Per Aarsleff. The official delivery from the contractor was on 8 June 2018.[21] The officially inauguration coincided with the towns 200 year anniversary as a merchant town on 25 September 2018.[22][18] The expansion makes it possible to receive larger ships and offshore installations, handle more bulk material and a flexible area for projects.[23] The first phase added 330.000 square metre hinterland and 600 metre of quay with a water depth 11 metre.[24] Most of the quay and hinterland areas in the first phase have been leased by Louisiana-based Modern American Recycling Services for an 11-year period.[25] In July 2018 they secured a contract to scrap the two platforms from Tyra Field.[18] Stena Oil is another large costumer. It is building Scandinavia's largest bunkering terminal on the new area.[24] In November 2018 all the hinterland areas of the first phase have been leased.[26]

The planning of the second stage of the expansion was started in June 2017.[27] Construction started in October 2017. It is expected to be completed in Q3 2019.[18] The second phase will add 170.000 square metre of hinterland and 400 metre of quay. The quay constructed in phase one will be deepened to 14 metres.[18]

When the second phase is complete the total area of the harbour will be 950,000 square metres (10,200,000 sq ft).[24]

A further expansion in third phase is an option if there is demand.[23]

South of the commercial port is Danish Navy Naval Harbour Frederikshavn. It is home to Danish navy 1st Squadron and Naval Operational Logistic Support Structure, OPLOG FRH. It is also the home location for the training ship Danmark and the royal yacht Dannebrog. It was home to the national icebreakers before their decommission in 2012.[28]

The naval harbour was inaugurated on 2 October 1962.[29]


The also town has a number of smaller marinas (listed in order from north to south):

  • Rønner Harbour (Rønnerhavn): pleasureboat, dinghy and fishing harbour
  • Northern Entrenchment Harbour (Nordre Skanse Havn): dinghy harbour
  • Frederikshavn Marina (Frederikshavn Marina): pleasureboat, dinghy and houseboat harbour
  • Neppen's Harbour (Neppens Havn): dinghy harbour


  • EUC Nord - a technical school located partly in Frederikshavn.


Notable people


Twin towns - sister cities

Frederikshavn is twinned with:[30]


  1. A printed widely circulated announcement was wrongly dated 23 September 1818.[4]:64


  1. "Area by municipality / region" (in Danish). Statistics Denmark. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  2. "BY3: Population 1. January by urban areas". Statistics Denmark. 30 Apr 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  3. Jensen, Anders K.; Skjering, H., eds. (1984) [First published 1917]. Frederikshavn ved århundredeskiftet [Frederikshavn at the turn of the century]. Danske Byer og deres Mænd (in Danish). XIII. Frederikssund: Thorsgaard. ISBN 87-88165-29-9.
  4. Christensen, Erik S.; Larsen, Jan Hammer; Nielsen, Henrik Gjøde; Thidemann, Jens (2018). Nielsen, Henrik Gjøde (ed.). Frederikshavn Købstad 1818-2018 [Frederikshavn Merchant Town 1818-2018] (in Danish). Denmark: Kystmuseets Forlag. ISBN 978-87-93444-07-2.
  5. Trap, J. P. (1960). Nielsen, Niels; Skautrup, Peter; Engelstoft, Povl (eds.). Hjørring Amt. Danmark (in Danish). 14 (5 ed.). Gads.
  6. "Population 1. January by urban areas, rural areas (1976-2004)" (in Danish). Statistics Denmark. 30 Nov 2005. Retrieved 26 Jan 2019.
  7. "Population 1. January by urban areas, rural areas (2006-2014)" (in Danish). Statistics Denmark. 11 Apr 2014. Retrieved 26 Jan 2019.
  8. "Nordre Skanse". Toppen af Danmark (in Danish). Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  9. Large-scale use of renewable energy - Udenrigsministeriet. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  10. "Frederikshavn". 100% Renewables. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  11. Isen, Marianne. "Martin lukker ved udgangen af marts". (in Danish). Retrieved 20 Jun 2018.
  13. "Tordenskioldsdage - Året er 1717". Tordenskiold.
  14. Archived 2008-12-06 at the Wayback Machine
  15. "Bangsbo Flower Festival".
  16. "Kystmuseet-Bangsbo Fort".
  17. "Bangsbo Botaniske Have".
  18. "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year". Port of Frederikshavn. 2018-12-19. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  19. Christensen, Erik S. (2012). "Frederikshavn som værftsby for fiskefartøjer 1870-1988". Erhvervhistorisk Årbog (in Danish) (61, No. 2): 47–61. ISSN 2245-1447. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  20. Olesen, Thomas Roslyng (2013). "From shipbuilding to alternative maritime industry – The closure of Danyard Frederikshavn in 1999". Erhvervhistorisk Årbog (62, No. 2): 78–96. ISSN 2245-1447. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  21. Frederiksen, Michael (9 June 2018). "Havnens bestyrelse drøfter ny udvidelse". Kanal Frederikshavn (in Danish). Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  22. Frederiksen, Michael (6 July 2018). "Kronprins Frederik besøger Frederikshavn". Kanal Frederikshavn (in Danish). Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  23. "About the port expansion". Port of Frederikshavn. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  24. "Stena Oil". Port of Frederikshavn. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  25. Østergaard, Nicolai (19 December 2016). "Skrotgigant fra USA vil hyre 200 i Frederikshavn". Søfart (in Danish). Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  26. "Increased Storage Capacity". Port of Frederikshavn. 2018-11-30. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  27. "The Port Prepares another expansion". Port of Frederikshavn. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  28. "Farvel til isbryderne". Forsvaret (in Danish). 2012-12-07. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  29. "Flådestation Frederikshavn bygges" (in Danish). Archived from the original on 5 June 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  30. "Venskabsbyer". (in Danish). Frederikshavn Kommune. Retrieved 2019-11-02.

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