Svendborg, Denmark

This charming town of about 27,000 people is located on the island of Funen. Highlights include buildings and cobblestone streets from the middle ages and a port that has served ships of all sizes since Svendborg was founded during the 12th century.

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1 Sct. Nicolai Kirke in Svendborg, Denmark

The Saint Nicholas Church in Svendborg has the honor of being this Danish town’s oldest church. It was built in 1180. Apparently the facade has not changed its Romanesque appearance much except for the bell tower that was added during the late Middle Ages. It is dedicated to Saint Nickolas who was a Greek Bishop during the 4th century. Nikolaos of Myra’s practice of gift giving evolved into the modern Santa Claus.

Gerritsgade 5, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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2 Pulpit Inside Sct. Nicolai Kirke in Svendborg, Denmark

This magnificent, octagonal-shaped pulpit inside the St. Nicholas Church in Svendborg is dated 1585. The elaborate carved paintings include the images of the Four Evangelists with their symbols at their feet. The writers of the Gospel are, from left to right: Mark (winged lion), Luke (the ox) and John (an eagle). Not shown is Matthew whose symbol is an angel.

Gerritsgade 5, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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3 Quaint Shopping Experience in Svendborg, Denmark

Svendborg offers a relaxed and charming shopping experience with mostly locally-owned shops tucked into historic buildings. This store at the intersection of Gerritsgade and Kattensundet is a picturesque example.

Kattesundet 5E 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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4 Brandt’s Bookstore in Svendborg, Denmark

In 1842, Peter Brandt opened a book bindery and store at Gerritsgade 20 in Svendborg. For the next 35 years he grew it into a successful business until his son, William, took it over in 1878. Under his helm, P. Brandt’s Bookstore became a social gathering place for literature enthusiasts. Then the third generation, Carl, took over the family business. Unfortunately, after 159 years, it finally closed in 2001.

Gerritsgade 20, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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5 Shopping Along Gerritsgade in Svendborg, Denmark

The street named Gerritsgade is in the historic core of Svendborg. It was first mentioned in 1552, making it one of the town’s oldest streets. On either side of the cobblestones are shops ranging from the luxury jewelry store Phigo to small specialty boutiques. You’ll also find taverns and excellent restaurants.

Gerritsgade 50, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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6 Culture Café at Kulturhus in Svendborg, Denmark

The Culture Café is part of Borgerforeningen Kulturhus. The Cultural Center is a complex of halls and an auditorium for special events and concert performances.

Ramsherred 4, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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7 Anne Hvide’s House in Svendborg, Denmark

Anne Hvide and her nobleman husband commissioned this yellow, half-timbered building in 1557 but he died before it was finished three year later. Through the centuries it had several owners who used it as a residence, an inn from 1837 to 1867, a library and the mayor’s offices. The Svendborg Museum acquired, restored and occupied Anne Hvides Gård during the early 20th century. It is now their annex reserved for special events and exhibitions.

Fruestræde 3, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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8 Old Police and Fire Station in Svendborg, Denmark

From 1886 until 1966, this red brick building at Ramsherred 2 by architect Jens Juel Eckersberg was the police and fire station in Svendborg, Denmark. It is now occupied by law offices.

Ramsherred 2, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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9 Wiggers Gård Building in Svendborg, Denmark

Back in the mid-19th century, three Wiggers brothers were prominent merchants in Svendborg, each with a successful enterprise. Charles Wiggers built the town’s first dress factory here in 1872 but it burned down several times. The current half-timbered Wiggers Gård or farm was constructed in 1939. Notice the wood carved panels that show various laborers including a seamstress.

Torvet 7 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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10 Mermaid Fountain in Svendborg, Denmark

The Mermaid Fountain graces the central square in Svendborg. It was created by Niels Hansen Jacobsen and sponsored by Consul General Peter Martin in 1929. Apparently, it has been moved around the city to several locations.

Torvet 10A, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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11 Torvet Town Square in Svendborg, Denmark

Torvet is the main town square in Svendborg. From here it is a short walk to all of the city’s major landmarks. Or on a warm sunny day, pull up a chair at the outdoor café by the same name and enjoy a bite to eat.

Torvet 10A, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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12 Vor Frue Kirke in Svendborg, Denmark

The Vor Frue Kirke has been a centerpiece of Svendborg, Denmark since it was built in 1279. The Church of Our Lady has been expanded several times since the Middle Ages. The most extensive restoration was in 1884 with a recent one in 2004. Within the spire, which was added in 1768, are twenty-seven bells. Three of them are extremely old. They were cast in 1656, 1505 and 1450.

Frue Kirkestræde 8, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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13 Yellow Half-timbered Krøyers Warehouse in Svendborg, Denmark

In 1856, Claus Krøyer had this half-timbered building constructed as a warehouse for his multi-generational family grocery business. Today it is called Advokathuset and serves as the offices for a law firm.

Krøyers Stræde 3, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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14 Two Females Carving Allegory in Svendborg, Denmark

I thought the carved arch over the door at Jessen Mole 9 was interesting. I especially enjoyed the two female reliefs which no doubt are an allegory for shipping. This street runs parallel to the harbor. It was named after a former mayor, Chamberlain JC v. Jessen. The building is home to Nordic Marine Consult A/S. They are independent marine surveyors.

Jessens Mole 9B 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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15 Maritimt Center Door Close Up in Svendborg, Denmark

These diamond-shaped utility doors are on the façade of the Maritmt Center near the harbor and quay. The Pakhusbutikken offers information about ferries plus charters on old sailing ships. They both provide delightful ways to cruises along and enjoy the archipelago around Funen.

Havnepladsen 2, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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16 Yellow Warehouse Along Harbor in Svendborg, Denmark

This bright yellow building along Havnepladsen at the Svendborg’s harbor was built by a merchant named HJ Rasmussen in 1858. It was initially used as a grain warehouse that supported the port’s active shipping trade. By 1874 it had become a flour mill. The Yellow Warehouse has since been renovated and converted into law offices for the Henning Moritzen firm and Advokatfirmaet Det Gule Parkus.

Havnepladsen 3 A, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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17 Naturama Zoological Museum in Svendborg, Denmark

In 1935, a local newspaper editor named Harald Thomsen used his extensive personal collection of taxidermy birds as the foundation for the Svendborg Zoological Museum. For a period of time it expanded to include live animals. The star attraction was a singing penguin. Today, the natural history exhibits at Naturama includes mammals, reptiles, insects, fossils and more in diorama displays.

Dronningemaen 24, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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18 Fylla Schooner in Svendborg, Denmark

Svendborg was founded during the first half of the 12th century. The early settlers were attracted to the natural harbor of the Svendborg Sound, leading to an early growth from shipping. This trend flourished in the early 20th century when a shipyard became a major employer until it closed in 2001. In the foreground is Fylla, a three-mast schooner. It was named Funen when it was built in 1922. It is now a charter ship.

Havnepladsen 3 A, 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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19 Former Town Hall Now Courthouse in Svendborg, Denmark

When this red brick building opened in 1881, it served as the town hall for the county and the municipality of Svendborg. Overtime, the various government departments outgrew their space and moved out. Since the 1980s, Gerichtsgebäude has only been a courthouse and a jail.

Tinghusgade 43 5700 Svendborg, Denmark
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