Middelfart

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{water, park, boat}
{area, part, region}
{island, water, area}
{specie, animal, plant}
{language, word, form}
{build, building, house}
{town, population, incorporate}
{land, century, early}

Middelfart is a town in central Denmark, with a population of 14,589 (1 January 2010)[1]. The town is the municipal seat of Middelfart municipality on the island of Funen (Danish: Fyn).

Overview

The Middelfart municipality has a population of 37,274 people as of 2008. The municipality is also a part of the East Jutland metropolitan area with 1.2 million inhabitants. [2]

The town name Middelfart means central passage - and refers to one of the three ferry links formerly connecting the island of Funen with the peninsula of Jutland - in this case, the link between Strib and Føns. The earliest record mentioning the settlement is the Liber Census Daniæ (1231) listing it as Mæthelfar.[3] The local dialect shortened the name to Melfar, a short form still popular in names of shops, institutions and events, e.g. Melfar-Posten, a local weekly.

From the Middle Ages till 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 by sticks and branches they directed the migrating porpoises to low water areas where they could be slaughtered. The whale blubber was used for lamps, indoors and outdoors, and the coming 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.

Near Middelfart are two big bridges over the Little Belt sea strait.

Middelfart is serviced by the passenger rail service between Copenhagen and Jutland.

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

References

External links

Coordinates: 55°30′N 9°45′E / 55.5°N 9.75°E / 55.5; 9.75

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