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Street in the old town
Street in the old town
Coat of arms of Horsens
Coat of arms
Horsens is located in Denmark
Location in Denmark
Country Denmark
Region Central Denmark (Midtjylland)
Municipality Horsens
Founded 12th century
 • Total 189 km2 (73 sq mi)
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Total 55,884
 • Density 300/km2 (770/sq mi)
Postal code 8700
Area code(s) (+45) 7
Website .dk.horsenswww

Horsens is a Danish city in east Jutland. It is the site of the council of Horsens municipality. The city's population is 55,884 and the Horsens municipality's population is 85,662 (1 January 2014).

The municipality is also a part of the East Jutland metropolitan area, which has 1.2 million inhabitants.[2]


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. Horsens is 50 km (31 mi) south of Aarhus and 30 km (19 mi) north of Vejle, and approximately 200 km (120 mi) from Copenhagen.


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 13th century 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 19th century 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 Copenhagen 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 there. Horsens also has the only Industrial Museum in Denmark. 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, such as Madonna, 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, Dolly Parton, AC/DC, U2 and Snow Patrol have performed, or have performances planned in Horsens.

Horsens also has it's very own music and art festival, Stoneass Festival,[3] which is held every August at the prison, Fængslet.[4]

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 technological development and developments in living conditions for workers.

European route E45 runs by the city of Horsens.

Peter Sørensen from the Social Democrats is mayor of Horsens.

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


VIA University College
A pedestrian zone

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


Horsens is the home to professional football club AC Horsens who play in the Danish 1st Division. Their home ground is the 10,400 capacity CASA Arena Horsens.

In 2015, the CASA Arena will host Motorcycle speedway when it holds the Speedway Grand Prix of Denmark for the first time, taking over as host from the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen which had held the Speedway Grand Prix event from 2003-2014.


From 1853 to 2006 the city housed the Horsens Statsfængsel prison, which held prisoners serving longer sentences. A notable prisoner included former minister of justice Peter Adler Alberti.

The last execution in peacetime in Denmark happened in the prison in 1892 when Jen 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. In 2006 the prison was closed and the newly built State Prison of East Jutland was opened. The new prison, which is placed near Horsens, held the mass murderer Peter Lundin for a period.[5]

Since its closure, the grounds of the Horsens Statsfængsel have been used for concerts. It was considered as the venue of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, along with two other cities in Denmark.

Notable residents

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Horsens is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ BEF44: Population 1.January by urban areas database from Statistics Denmark
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Stoneass Festival
  4. ^ Fængslet
  5. ^ "Peter Lundin hemmeligt gift" (in Danish).  

External links

  • The Municipality of Horsens (In Danish and English)
  • Horsens city official tourist website (In Danish/English)
  • Horsens New Theatre (In Danish)
  • The European Medieval Festival in Horsens (In Danish and English)
  • Denmark's Industrial Museum (In Danish, English and German)
  • Krimimessen (In Danish)
  • Vikings in Horsens
  • Instagram Photos of Horsens
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