Tag Archives: industry

Fisheries and Shipping Museum, Esbjerg

Fishing and Shipping Museum – Esbjerg

The area around Esbjerg has been an important fishing and shipping region for a long time. Therefore, it is only apt to visit a fishing and shipping museum showing all this history when you are in the area.

The museum is divided into a number of indoor and outdoor areas. A good place to start is possibly the shipping area indoors. The displays do a very good job of showing how the shipping industry, particularly in the area, changed over time. The fishing area of the museum also does something similar, showing how the fishing industry changed and grew with different industrial and technological advances.


If you have kids with you (or consider yourself a big kid like we do!) you might be more excited about the other areas where there is less to read and understand and more to experience. I loved the open air displays which depict different aspects of life on the coast, from a harbour and a fish drying rack, to a German bunker from WWII. On the day we visited there was also a ropemaker working in one of the buildings who was more than happy to chat to us. Apparently you can ask him to make items for you (from nets to hammocks, at a price).

Old fisherman telling tales

The highlight of the museum is probably the saltwater aquarium and the sealarium. In the aquarium you can see a variety of species that live in the sea around Denmark. There is also a shallow petting pool where it is actually permitted to touch the animals (with care, of course!). I thought the aquarium compared well in quality with other top aquaria/oceanaria I have visited (though, of course, not in size).


In the sealarium there are 5 seals; 4 spotted seals and one grey seal – in an open-air pool. It would be good to schedule your visit to the seals with the daily feedings (that happen at 11:00 & 14:30). During feeding you really get to see them move and get a commentary from the feeder about the different seals and what they are doing.


A very interesting place with something for all the family. It is not the largest of museums, which makes it manageable and not overwhelming as you can easily move between sections. You can easily spend 2 hrs in the museum, especially if you take your time to soak it all in. And once you’re done, don’t forget to stop by the Men at Sea statues opposite!

Cathrinesminde Teglvaerk #15/99


In centuries gone by the area around Flensburg Fjord was well-known for its brickworks, or teglværk. In fact, the area had the largest concentration of such facilities in Northern Europe. As time passed these brickworks did not survive the changing times and have mostly disappeared, with only the one in Cathrinesminde left in the region.

As is appropriate, this brickyard has been turned into a museum of industrial history, and in 2007 named one of 25 Danish national industrial monuments. As a museum it showcases not only the history of this specific brickwork, but of the brickworks in the area.

Cathrinesminde Teglværk

On the technical side of the brickworks the thing that caught my eye is the big brick-making machine in the first hall you enter in the museum. You can get the machine to work with a 10DKK coin. This is more than just payment for the experience of seeing all the parts in motion: the section where the clay is ‘extruded’ into a thin layer, the section where the extruded clay is cut into tiles and, of course, the engine that allows all of this to happen.

Coming from a country without a tradition of brick making – we have a natural stone that is perfect for use as a building material – I was also delighted to see representations of designs that bricks can be built to show: from turning pillars to embossed features and various patterns. I always thought of bricks as a functional object, so this being an industrial museum I was delighted to see this creative aspect of brickworks so prominently.


Within the museum you also have the opportunity to explore the life of the worker related to the museums through a series of workers quarters each set up to represent a specific period during which Cathrinesminde was in operation (1732-1968). In these huts you can observe the changing style in living quarters, the increasing comforts the workers obtained, as well as a details on the cost of rye bread, beer and the working conditions (pay, working hours) of the time.

The worker huts are a bit away from the main museum, making them easy to miss. However, I am glad that the museum attendant pointed them out specifically as worth a visit. It was fascinating to observe the changes from the 1700s to the 1900s, and entertaining to spot items from our grandparents’ houses in the house from the 1960s. We were 2 Maltese an Irish guy and a Dane, and we all recognised an item or another!


This museum highlights both the technical aspects of such brickworks as well as the creative and social aspects related to brickworks. This gives the museum that extra dimension that may often be missing in technically-inclined museums, making this a museum well worth your time in my opinion.