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Street in the old town
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Location in Denmark
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Horsens (Denmark Central Denmark Region)
Coordinates: 55°51′30″N09°51′00″E / 55.85833°N 9.85000°E / 55.85833; 9.85000 Coordinates: 55°51′30″N09°51′00″E / 55.85833°N 9.85000°E / 55.85833; 9.85000
Country Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
Region Mid Jutland (Midtjylland)
Municipality Horsens
Founded12th century
28.6 km2 (11.0 sq mi)
5 m (16 ft)
 (1 January 2021) [1]
  Urban density2,100/km2 (5,400/sq mi)
  Gender [2]
30,088 males and 29,878 females
Demonym(s) Horsensianer
Postal code
Area code(s) (+45) 7

Horsens (Danish pronunciation:  [ˈhɒːsn̩s] ) is a city on the east coast of Jutland region of Denmark. It is the seat of the Horsens municipality. The city's population is 59,966 (1 January 2021) and the municipality's population is 90,370 (as of 1 January 2019), making it the 8th largest city in Denmark. [1]


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, One Direction, Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones. [3]


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). The name 'Horsens' has been in use since the 12th century.

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 which brings a lot of international students to move to this town.


European Medieval Festival European Medieval Festival Horsens 1997.png
European Medieval Festival
A pedestrian zone Horsens - gagaden.jpg
A pedestrian zone

In recent years, much effort has been made to expand and improve cultural events. Several internationally known artists, such as Madonna, Metallica, 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, Rammstein and Snow Patrol have performed, or have performances planned in Horsens.

Metallica has performed several times 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 Fiction 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 VBI Park Horsens.jpg
VIA University College

The largest educational institution in Horsens is VIA University College, which offers a wide range of engineering, technical and business programmes for Danish and International students. In the summer of 2020, VIA University College accepted 1066 new students. That was 2.1% more than the number of students that were accepted to the university the year before. [4]


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 to 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 Men's 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 was 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 with a spoon. 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 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. [6] 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 people from Horsens

Hans Svane Hans Svane 2.jpg
Hans Svane
Vitus Bering Vitus Bering.jpg
Vitus Bering

Public thinking and politics

The Arts

Ludovica Thornam, 1885 Ludovica Thornam, Self-Portrait, 18851.jpg
Ludovica Thornam, 1885
Anna Bloch, 1904 Anna Bloch in 1904.jpg
Anna Bloch, 1904


Bent Schmidt Hansen, 1969 Bent Schmidt Hansen (1969).jpg
Bent Schmidt Hansen, 1969

Jeppe Kjær (born 2004) a danish footballer who plays in ajax

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

Horsens is twinned with:

See also

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Elsebeth Egholm is a Danish journalist and best-selling author who writes mainly crime fiction novels. She is known internationally as the creator of the television series Those Who Kill.


  1. 1 2 "BY3: Population 1. January by urban areas, area and population density". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  2. BY1: Population 1. January by urban areas, age and sex The Mobile Statbank from Statistics Denmark
  3. "Disse verdenskendte kunstnere har optrådt i Horsens". VisitHorsens (in Danish). Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  4. "Fortsat fremgang: 1066 studerende optaget på VIA i Horsens". (in Danish). 28 July 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  5. "Peter Lundin hemmeligt gift" (in Danish). TV 2. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2009.
  6. "10 prison's now open to travelers". CNN. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  7. "Svane, Hans"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 26 (11th ed.). 1911.
  8. "Bering, Vitus"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 03 (11th ed.). 1911.
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