Nykøbing Sjælland

Not to be confused with Nykøbing Falster or Nykøbing Mors.
Location of Nykøbing Sjælland in Denmark

Nykøbing Sjælland is a town in Denmark, located in northern Odsherred on the island of Zealand. Located on the Isefjord, it has a population of 5,195 (1 January 2015).[1] It is located in Odsherred municipality which is part of Region Sjælland. The town is a popular seaside resort.


Seal of Nykøbing Sjælland

Nykøbing Sjælland is one of the oldest market towns on Zealand, first mentioned in the last part of the 13th century, although the local church dates from the first half of the 13th century. The town was destroyed by followers of Marsk Stig in 1290, and it has since been swept by several fires. The town and surrounding land was pawned by the crown to the Diocese of Roskilde in 1370, but was redeemed by Queen Margaret I. In the Middle Ages, the town was known for its harbour and its role in herring fishing. It received a charter in 1443, after which commerce replaced fishing as the main occupation. A school teaching in Latin was established in 1590, and replaced by a school which taught in Danish by 1740. At this time, the population was a mere 350, making it one of Zealand's smallest towns.

The local courthouse was erected in 1868 on Holtets Plads near the church. This building also served as city hall and prison. It has been a protected structure since 1991 and is now the home of Restaurant Madkunsten.

In 1915 the Hospital for the Insane (in Danish "Sindsygehospitalet") was opened in Nykøbing Sjælland. After changing the name several times, the final name, The Psychiatric Hospital in Nykøbing Sjælland, was given in 2000. In addition being a general Psychiatric hospital it also contains Denmark's first (founded November 4, 1915) and to date only closed psychiatric ward (Sikringen) for the criminally insane and particular dangerous psychotic patients. Psychiatric Hospital had its own Chapel and cemetery, both now part of the Nykøbing Sj. Psychiatric Museum, known as "The Brainless Cemetery".

The Brainless Cemetery

The name "The Brainless Cemetery" (i.e., de hjerneløses kirkegård) was not a name out of disrespect for the patients buried there. Between 1945 and 1982 an estimate of up to 2,000 brains were removed from patients prior to being buried in the cemetery. After the removal the brains were sent to Psychiatric Hospital in Risskov (Aarhus, Denmark) to be used in research. The removal was done in the hospital's Chapel that also contains a room used for dissections. The removal of the brains were carried out by the nursing staff which beside their normal nursing care of psychiatric ill patients had had this additional task. During the period that the removals were carried out, relatives to the patients were not asked for permission neither were they informed. Most if not all of the patients buried at the cemetery have been buried without their brains.


The local Odsherred Museum was located in Kirkestræde till 2004, but has since been relocated to modern buildings near "Hempels Glas Museum" (formerly Annebjerggaard Museum), approx. 2 km south of town. The latter museum holds Northern Europe's largest privately owned collection of antique glass.

A third local museum was dedicated to detective fiction and Sherlock Holmes. This is now closed.[2]

Forth, Nykøbing Sj. Psychiatric Museum was established in 1988. It showcases the history of Psychiatry throughout the past 100 years.

The town has a section of the regional library, Odsherreds Bibliotek. It is located in the "Pakhuset" building, which is also the venue for concerts, art exhibitions and the like.

Further, the town has a soccer team, "Nykøbing IF", and a stadium dimensioned for 3,500 people.


Nykøbing Sjælland serves as the northern terminus of the local railway Vestsjællands Lokalbaner which links it to Holbæk.

Bars and restaurants

Nykøbing Sj is known for its bars. Specialle during in the early 2000s there were two bars or clubs, the first one located above O′malies Irish bar first known as Revolution, then it was renamed to What′s up. What′s up closed in 2012 and the club merged with the Bar underneath. To become known as Olivia′s dansebar. The other place was known as Check Point Discotek. It was a classic club. During the 2000s the popular club changed over the years. Often the place who let minors in was not the popular club. O′malies is an Irish pub with a bar set pool table, the Danish dice game "snyd" and dart. Across from O′malies is the "Restaurant Madkunsten" who makes French and Italian style gourmet food.



  1. "BEF44: Population 1st January, by urban areas" database from Statistics Denmark
  2. Sherlock Holmes Museum web page

External links

Coordinates: 55°55′30″N 11°40′0″E / 55.92500°N 11.66667°E / 55.92500; 11.66667

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