- HOTELS (BEST RATED)
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- SIGHTS & LANDMARKS
- THINGS TO DO
Vejle is a town in Denmark, in the southeast of the Jutland Peninsula at the head of Vejle Fjord, where the Vejle River and Grejs River and their valleys converge. It is the site of the councils of Vejle Municipality (kommune) and the Region of Southern Denmark. The city itself has a population of 54,862 (as of 1 January 2016),making it the ninth largest city in Denmark. Vejle Municipality has a population of 111,743 (as of 2016) The city is part of the Triangle Region, which includes the neighbouring cities of Kolding and Fredericia.
Vejle is most known for its forested hills, fjord, harbour, shopping, pedestrian mall, and iconic windmill.
The word "Vejle" derives from the Old Danish word wæthel, meaning "ford" or "wading place" due to its location at a busy crossing over Vejle River. During Viking times, the wetlands around Vejle had to be crossed at the Ravning Bridge, a nearly half-mile wooden boardwalk. The first recorded mention of the town is from 1256, and the first known merchant town privileges were issued by King Valdemar III in 1327.
Archaeological digs near St. Nicolai Church in downtown Vejle have shown that there were residences in the area as far back as 1100. The king's castle, Castrum Wæthel, was located where Vejle Transit Centre is today.
During the Middle Ages, Vejle was important as a market town, and developed along those lines up to the mid-17th century, trading with cities such as Lübeck and Flensburg, in what is now Germany.
In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Vejle's population was diminished as a consequence of plague and war. In 1796, though, Vejle was made the seat of the newly founded Vejle County, and the town expanded throughout the 19th century, benefiting from improvements such as a new harbour 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 centre, eventually becoming known as the "Manchester of Denmark" for its many cotton mills.
Downtown Vejle was built on an island of glacial till in Vejle River remaining from a hill formed during the last ice age.
For a country where the highest natural elevation is only about 170 m (558 ft) above sea level, Vejle is known for the forested hills that rise to the north and south of the town and fjord.
The two valleys that converge at Vejle are both unique in Denmark: Vejle River Valley (Vejle Ådal) is the longest tunnel valley in Denmark, and the Grejs Valley (Grejsdalen) is the largest ravine in Denmark.
Both empty into Vejle Fjord, which connects Vejle by water through the Little Belt strait to the Baltic Sea, and through the Kattegat and Skagerrak straits to the Atlantic Ocean.
Vejle is the cultural and economic centre of Vejle Municipality and, as part of the unofficial Triangle Area (Trekantområde), is rich in industry, business, and the service sector. Historically speaking, industry has been very important for the city's development, while today more weight is placed on business and service, as well as high-tech firms.
During the Industrial Revolution, Vejle was known as the "Manchester of Denmark" due to its extensive textile mills. The local rivers provided water power to mills, including the extensive facilities of De Danske Bomuldsspinderier (The Danish Cotton Mills). In the first half of the 20th century, Vejle was something of a behemoth within the Danish textile industry, with some 25% of the city's workers employed in the industry. Despite the decline in the industry in Denmark, the last cotton mill in Vejle remained open until 1993. Today, many of the old mill buildings are used for art studios, office space, and, more recently, apartments.
Later on, newer industries took root in Vejle. The city is home to one of the largest chewing gum factories in the world, producing Stimorol brand chewing gum.
The Tulip slaughterhouses were also an important employer in the city. Today, Tulip has closed its factory at the harbour, but still maintains production in northern Vejle.
Today, Vejle's economy is shifting out of the industrial sector and into the high-tech sector, with a number of software companies operating out of the city.
Vejle is known regionally as a vibrant shopping town with a wide and varied offering of both chain and specialty shops, primarily located along the city's central pedestrian mall. Recently, in an effort to maintain its position as a premiere shopping destination, the town has invested in several public works projects to improve the city's appearance, including lengthening the pedestrian mall, developing new public art and architecture, and uncovering and beautifying Grejs River, which until recently ran in a culvert underneath downtown.
Two new shopping centres, Bryggen and Mary's, have also recently opened, offering more shopping and restaurants, etc.
Many of Vejle's neighbourhoods began as separate towns or villages that merged with the city as it grew. Søndermarken, Nørremarken, and Grejsdalen, however, were all founded as extensions of the city onto the surrounding hillsides.
Vejle's neighbourhoods include:
- Vejle centre
- Bredballe - east of downtown and north of Vejle Fjord; considered an affluent neighbourhood
- Grejsdalen - northernmost part of the city, located in the long, narrow valley of the same name
- Hover - west of Grejsdalen, closer to the centre
- Lille Grundet - north of downtown in the northwest corner of Nørremarken, relatively new
- Store Grundet - established in 2000, north of Lille Grundet
- Mølholm - southeast of the centre
- Nørremarken - northeast of the centre, including the North Woods (Nørreskoven) and Vejle Stadium
- Petersminde - on top of Uhrhøj, west of Grejsdalen
- Vestbyen (West Town) - western Vejle, including Skibet and Trædballe, and the scenic overlook of Himmelpind
- Vinding - southeast, next to Mølholm
- Søndermarken - to the southwest, located on land belonging to the former Petersholm manor
Transportation - Get In
Vejle is on the main Copenhagen - Aarhus - Ålborg train line with several departures every hour. It is a stop for all trains passing through, including InterCityLyn (ICL) to and from Copenhagen Airport, and ICE (InterCity Europe) trains to/from Hamburg and Berlin.
Vejle is the close to motorway E45, that passes on the Vejle bridge. This is one of the rare places in jutland with regular traffic jams.
Billund Airport (IATA: BLL) is located about 30 km from Vejle, with several bus departures every day.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
- Strøget. A long street in the pedestrianised center lined with historic buildings, cafés, restaurants and specialty boutiques, ideal for shopping. Most larger Danish cities has a "strøget" street.
Sights & Landmarks
- St. Nicolai Church. Old church. See the exhibited Haraldskær Woman, a well-preserved Iron Age nordic mummy.
- Vejle Rådhus. The city hall of Vejle. No public access unfortunately.
- Den Smidtske Gård, Søndergade 14. Old courtyard in a restored timber-framed merchants house from 1799. Cafe Conrad and a branch of Vejle Museum is located here. This is one of the only medieval buildings in Vejle, before the rapid industrialisation of the late 1800's.
Things to do
- Vejle Kunstmuseum. Art museum with a broad selection form mediecal Dürer and Rembrandt to abstract expressionism. A sizeable collection of Danish painters, in particular from the Golden Age.
- Kulturmuseet Spinderihallerne. Engage in the history of Vejle.
- Albuen (the elbow). A beach park in the city center. Relax and enjoy the beach life, take a swim or paddle along in a canoe.
- Trekantsområdets Festuge. A ten day regional culture festival every year in late August.