Street in the old town


Coat of arms

Location in Denmark

Coordinates: DK 55°51′30″N 09°51′00″E / 55.85833°N 9.85000°E / 55.85833; 9.85000Coordinates: DK 55°51′30″N 09°51′00″E / 55.85833°N 9.85000°E / 55.85833; 9.85000
Country Denmark
Region Central Denmark (Midtjylland)
Municipality Horsens
Founded 12th century
  Total 189 km2 (73 sq mi)
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Population (1 January 2016)[1]
  Total 57,517
  Density 300/km2 (790/sq mi)
Postal code 8700
Area code(s) (+45) 7

Horsens is a Danish city in east Jutland. It is the site of the council of Horsens Municipality. The city's population is 57,517 and the municipality's population is 87,736 (as of 1 January 2016).[1] The municipality is also a part of the East Jutland metropolitan area, which has 1.2 million inhabitants.[2]

Horsens is best known for its culture and entertainment events. Horsens New Theatre is a cultural centre which holds over 200 events annually. It has managed to draw major names such as Bob Dylan, Madonna and The Rolling Stones.


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 (naze, 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. Industrialization started from the middle of the 19th century. 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.

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 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. Every year, many well-known crime writers 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 Superliga. 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.

Horsens is also home to professional basketball team Horsens IC who play in Basketligaen. The team plays at Forum Horsens which has a capacity of 3,300. The team has won the league 6 times most recently in 2014-15 and 2015-16 as well as winning the Danish Basketball Cup 3 times most recently in the 2014-15 season.


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 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. 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.[3]

Since its closure as a prison, Horsens Statsfængsel has housed a crime and prison museum, and conference and business facilities. The prison grounds have been used for concerts.[4] It was considered as the venue of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, along with two other cities in Denmark.

VisitHorsens (the local tourist office) moved to the Prison in 2013 and in 2015 a hotel called SleepIn has opened in the Prison.

Notable residents

Vitus Bering

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Horsens is twinned with:

See also


  1. 1 2 "BY1: Population 1. January by urban areas, age and sex". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  2. Archived 25 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. "Peter Lundin hemmeligt gift" (in Danish). TV 2. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
  4. "10 prison's now open to travelers". CNN. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Horsens.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Horsens.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Horsens.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/17/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.