The Port of Esbjerg on the southwest coast of Jutland is an important hub for passenger traffic to England and a competitor to Aarhus and Hamburg for freight. Built by the State in 1868, it was once Denmark's principal fishing harbour but today has become Europe's leading port for shipping offshore wind turbines.
Esbjerg was established in 1868 as a replacement for the harbour in Altona, which had previously been Denmark's most important North Sea port but came under German control after the Second Schleswig War in 1864. The harbour was officially opened in 1874. The same year, it benefited from Esbjerg's rail connection to Fredericia on the east coast of Jutland. The initial development of the harbour was completed in 1874. It quickly became a hub for exporting agricultural goods to England, especially butter and bacon. Thanks to the harbour's shipping facilities, by the end of the 19th century, livestock production in the surrounding region increased significantly. From the beginning of the 20th century, Esbjerg attracted fishermen from across the country, particularly for fishing plaice. Located some 25 km (16 mi), Blåvand Lighthouse has served traffic from the Port of Esbjerg since its construction in 1900.
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