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Title: Middelfart  
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Subject: Middelfart Municipality, Triangle Region (Denmark), Assens, Denmark, Bogense, Christian Eriksen
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Skyline of Middelfart
Official logo of Middelfart
Coat of arms
Middelfart is located in Region of Southern Denmark
Location in the Region of Southern Denmark
Country Denmark
Region Southern Denmark (Syddanmark)
as Mæthælfar 1231
as Middelfart 1496
Middelfart Municipality 1970
Population (2014)
 • Total 14,815
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 5500
Area code(s) (+45) 3

Middelfart (Danish: Middelfart) is a town in central Denmark, with a population of 14,815 (1 January 2014).[1] The town is the municipal seat of Middelfart Municipality on the island of Funen (Danish: Fyn).


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
  • Economy and transport 3
  • Landmarks 4
  • Sport 5
  • Notable people 6
  • Twin towns – Sister cities 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The name Middelfart, first recorded as "Mæthælfar" in Valdemar's Census Book in 1231, consists of the old Danish word mæthal meaning "middle" and far meaning "way". It therefore probably originated as designating the narrow passage between Funen and Jutland, only later being applied to the settlement.[2]


It is not known when the town was established but it certainly owes its existence to its location at the narrowest point across the Little Belt. The town was granted its first privileges at the end of the 13th century at a time when fishing played an important role in addition to its ferry link to Snoghøj in Jutland. From the Middle Ages, the town appears to have specialized in catching harbour porpoises. In the 16th century, cattle export was also significant.[3]

The Old Little Belt Bridge just south of Middelfart

After the

  • Middelfart municipality

External links

  1. ^ BEF44: Population 1st January, by urban areas database from Statistics Denmark
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^
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Middelfart is twinned with:

Twin towns – Sister cities

Notable people

Middelfart is home to football team Middelfart G&BK. Middelfart played host to the 1998 UCI World Cyclocross championships.


The Cultural Center Kulturøen (literally, "Culture Island"), contains the town library, a cinema, a restaurant, a café, and the tourist office.[8]

Henner Friiser Hus, a half-timbered house on Brogade from around 1575, is now part of Middelfart Museum offering exhibitions related to the town's history. Restoration work on the building was completed in March 2014.[7]

Middelfart Church, dedicated to St Nicholas, is located close to the harbour at the end of Algade. Built in several stages, it has a Late Romanesque chancel, a tower first constructed in the 14th century and a nave with lateral aisles from the late 15th century. The richly carved altarpiece is from 1650.[6]


Middelfart is served by the passenger rail service between Copenhagen and Jutland. Gammel Havn (Old Harbour) dates from the 1830s. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was extended and deepened to the east.[5]

From the Middle Ages until the end of the 19th century, the local fishermen were also whale hunters in winter. The only whale common in Danish waters is the Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocaena. The whale hunters linked their boats across the rather narrow Little Belt and by beating the sea with sticks and branches they directed the migrating porpoises to low water areas where they could be slaughtered. As the whale blubber was used for lamps, indoors and outdoors, the arrival of electricity made whale hunting uneconomical. In the winter of 1854–55, 1742 whales were caught, but a normal winter's catch would only be half of this number or even less. In the 20th century, the hunt was resumed during the two world wars. Two memorial stones now stand where the hunters landed the whales and where blubber was prepared.

Middelfart Municipality had a population of 37,685 in January 2014. The municipality is also a part of the East Jutland metropolitan area with 1.2 million inhabitants.[4]

The half-timbered Henner Friiser Hus, now a museum

Economy and transport

By the beginning of the 20th century, the iron foundry, with about a hundred workers, was the town's main industry. After the first Little Belt Bridge was completed in 1935, Middelfart became an important hub for traffic between Jutland and Funen. The population exploded from 2,345 in 1880 to 11,056 in 1950 although in the second half of the 20th century the rate of growth declined. In 1970, a motorway bridge to Jutland was opened and in 2007 Middelfart became the seat of an expanded municipality which included the former communes of Ejby and Nørre Aaby.[3]


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