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Vejle, Denmark

Vejle is a Danish city in southeast Jutland. It is the site of the council of both Vejle municipality and the Region of South Denmark. The city itself has 50,213 inhabitants and the Vejle municipality has 104,933 (2008).

Vejle is a picturesque town located at the head of Vejle Fjord, and is known for the forested hills that rise to the north and south of the town and fjord. The central part of town features a decent sized cobblestone pedestrian mall leading past the former Town Hall, built in 1878-79.

The town is also an industrial center and has a large shipping port.

History

Throughout its history Vejle has played a significant role as a merchant town at a busy crossroads. That is still true today. Vejle is still an important junction for road, rail and sea transport.

The first recorded mention of the town is from 1256, and the first known municipal charter was granted in 1327, although the town itself is probably older. Vejle's oldest building, St. Nicolai Church, was built during the mid 13th century. The most notable aspect of the church is the display of the body of the Haraldskaer Woman "bog woman". The body dates from the Iron Age, and is remarkably well preserved with skin intact, a consequence of preservation in a peat bog.

Another notable landmark in Vejle is a windmill dating from 1847. The windmill is built on the slopes of the hills to the south, and is visible from almost everywhere in town.

During the Middle Ages and up to the mid 17th century the town was important as a market for traders and artisans. During these years the town developed its trade in agriculture and livestock.

In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Vejle's population was diminished as a consequence of plague and war. However, the town recovered and expanded throughout the 19th century, benefiting from improvements such as a new harbor on the fjord, a railroad station, and modern utilities.

From the mid 19th century into the 20th century, Vejle developed from a provincial market town into a busy industrial center. Because of the many wool mills, the town was at one point known as the "Manchester of Denmark".

As Vejle's population increased with the industrial expansion, so did traffic congestion. In 1975 the Vejle Fjord Bridge was constructed over the fjord so that through-traffic would no longer have to be routed through Vejle's center.

Vejle is still an industrial town today. However, industry has become less important to the city with the expansion of the data technology and communications markets.

LastUpdate: 2015-04-10 14:49:09