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Street in the old part of Horsens.

New development in the harbor area of Horsens.

Horsens is a Danishmarker city in east Jutland. It is the site of the council of Horsens municipality. The city itself has a population of 52,518 and the Horsens municipality has 81,565 (1 January 2009).

The municipality is also a part of the East Jutland metropolitan area, which has 1,2 mio inhabitants..


Horsens lies at the end of Horsens Fjord in eastern Jutland. The city is surrounded by typical moraine landscape with low hills and valleys created by glaciers during the last ice ages. Situated 50 km (31 miles) south of Aarhusmarker and 30 km (19 mi) north of Vejlemarker with approximately 200 km (125 miles) to Copenhagenmarker.


It is believed the name Horsens derives from the old Danish words hors (horse) and næs (headland). From the 12th century the name Horsenes is known.

The earliest traces of a city are remains of a pagan burial site and houses dating back to the 10th century. In the 12th century the kings Sweyn III and Valdemar I issued coins in the city. In the 1200s the city got its own legal code.

Excavations have shown that the city was expanded around 1300 with a moat going around the city and its harbour.From the middle of the 1800s industrialisation started and the population rose dramatically when people from the countryside moved to the city to work in the factories. The first Danish iron foundry outside of Copenhagenmarker was opened as well as tobacco and textile factories.


The city is currently undergoing a positive development with new industry moving to Horsens, or expanding their activities already in Horsens. A lot of electronics and graphical companies are based here. Horsens also has Denmark's only Industrial Museum. The city is also home to VIA University College.


European Medieval Festival
In recent years, much effort has been made to expand and improve cultural events. Several internationally known artists, like Iron Maiden, Joe Cocker, Elton John, The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Tom Jones, Bryan Adams, David Bowie, José Carreras, Helmut Lotti, Westlife, R.E.M., Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Dolly Parton and U2 have performed, or have performances planned in Horsens.

Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band Pretty Maids is from Horsens.

One of the largest cultural events in Denmark is the annual European Medieval Festival on the last Friday and Saturday in August. The town centre of Horsens is transformed into the largest medieval market town in Northern Europe with activities and entertainment for families and children of all ages.

Every March, Horsens hosts a special Crime Festival. The Crime Festival - in Danish called Krimimessen - is an event for literary crime, mysteries and thrillers. The Crime Festival is organized by Horsens Public Library and every year many well known and even famous crimewriters visit Horsens.

The city is home to Horsens Industrimuseum, a museum showing the history of the industrial society. The museum shows the technological development as well as the development in living conditions for workers.

European route E45 runs by the city of Horsens.

Jan Trøjborg from the Social Democrats is mayor of Horsens.

Vitus Bering, the famous Russian Navy captain was born here.


The largest educational institution in Horsens is VIA University College offering a wide range of mostly technical educations.


From 1853 the city housed the Horsens Statsfængsel prison, which held prisoners serving longer sentences. Notable prisoners included former minister of justice Peter Adler Alberti and mass murderer Peter Lundin.

The last execution in peacetime in Denmark happened in the prison in 1892 when Jens Nielsen was decapitated in the courtyard.

Carl August Lorentzen was a safe cracker who became famous for his escape from the prison in 1950 when he dug a tunnel from his cell and out to freedom. When the guards discovered he was missing they found a note from him with the words "Where there is a will there is a way". Lorentzen was captured a few days later on a nearby farm.

The old run down buildings were not fit for a modern prison so in 2006 the prison was closed down and the newly built Statsfængslet Østjylland prison was opened.

See also


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