Situated on the southwestern coast of Denmark in west Jutland is Esbjerg, once the biggest and most important fishing harbor and a two-time “City of the Year” awardee. It was recognized as a city in 1868 to replace the Altona Harbour which was also a major North Sea port in Denmark. Until today, the city relies heavily on economic activities around the harbor such as fishing, oil, offshore and tourism-related industries. It has a population of about 72,000.
There are many interesting attractions and landmarks in Esbjerg, as well as entertaining activities for visitors. There is the German-inspired Water Tower built in 1896 and was the city’s original landmark, the more popular and striking Men at Sea – a monument of four, white 30-foot tall seated men which can be seen from the Esbjerg harbor and the statue of King Christian IX, founder of the city. Other notable architecture in Esbjerg include the 250-meter high Elsam, the medieval Skads Church adorned with 16th century murals that are still in good condition and the 12th century Baroque and Renaissance-style Jerne Church among others. There are also interesting museums such as the Fisheries and Maritime Museum which has exhibitions on fishing and seafaring in Denmark, the Esbjerg Museum with its displays on the city’s history including archaeological artifacts that are discovered in the area and the Kunstmuseum which is one of Denmark’s most popular modern art galleries. Nature lovers will also appreciate the open and green spaces that the city offers – there’s Marbaek, a nature reserve with hiking and bike paths, the Esbjerg Marina for water activities and the Esbjerg Ice Rink in the town center.

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