Thorvald Krak

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Thorvald Krak
Thorvald Krak 1830-1908.jpg
Thorvald Krak in c. 1870
Born(1830-06-12)12 June 1830
Died16 November 1908(1908-11-16) (aged 78)
Copenhagen, Denmark
OccupationIndustrialist, merchant, ship owner, ship builder
Awards Grand Cross of the Dannebrog

Elias Christian Thorvald Krak (12 June 1830 - 6 November 1908) was a Danish road engineer who headed the Department of Physical Planning (stadskonduktør) for 40 years in the City of Copenhagen and published the first City directory for Copenhagen.

City directory

A city directory is a listing of residents, streets, businesses, organizations or institutions, giving their location in a city. It may be arranged alphabetically or geographically or in other ways. Antedating telephone directories, they were in use for centuries. Many older directories have been digitized and are available on the open web and through subscription databases.


Early life

Krak was born in Copenhagen to navigator Hans Andersen Krak (1789–1844) and Karen Sophie Lind (1800–77). His last name comes from his ancestors estate Krakkegården on the island of Bornholm. Thorvald Krak used the spelling "Krack" until 1890 as a result of an error in the church records. He went to school in Maribo and later received a military education in Copenhagen where he became a lieutenant in the engineering troops in 1850 and a senior lieutenant in 1853.

Bornholm Danish island

Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, to the east of the rest of Denmark, south of Sweden, northeast of Germany and north of the westernmost part of Poland. Occupying an area of 588.36 square kilometres (227.17 sq mi), the island had a total population on 1 January 2019 of 39,572.

Maribo city in Denmark

Maribo is a town in Lolland municipality in Region Sjælland on the island of Lolland in south Denmark. To the north of Maribo is Nørresø and to the south is Søndersø. Søndersø is the largest lake on Lolland. There are more islands in Søndersø than in any other lake in Denmark. These include the islands of Fruerø, Hestø, Præstø, Borgø, Lindø, Askø and Worsaaes. This is part of the Maribo Lakes Nature Park, which spans the towns of Maribo, Holeby, Sakskøbing and Nysted.

Senior lieutenant is a military grade between a lieutenant and a captain. Sometimes a senior lieutenant is called a first lieutenant. The rank is equivalent to the NATO grade of OF-1a.

Work for Copenhagen Municipality

In 1858, just 28 years old, he was appointed to stadskonduktør in Copenhagen and resigned from the army with status of captain. In 1859 he instigated systematic address numbering and in 1860–66 he surveyed all taxable properties in the city.

Krak resigned from his position as stadskonduktør in Copenhagen in 1898. [1]

Krak's City Directory

In 1862, Krak was awarded a license to publish a city directory for the Greater Copenhagen area. The work had been instigated by Hans Holck in 1770 but had only been sparsely updated for decades. He completely reorganized and modernized the publication with inspiration from foreign capitals before publishing his first city directory in 1863. In 1902 he passed the publication of Kraks Vejviser (Krak's Road Directory) on to his son Ove Krak.

Personal life

Krak married Charlotte Henriette an. der Recke (27 November 1828 - 30 May1897) on 16 November 1858 in the Garrison Church in Copenhagen. She was the daughter of senior lieutenant and later Road Inspector Gengeal on Funen Peter Blankenborg Prydz van der Recke (1793–1847) and his wife Caroline Cecilie Petersen (1795–1868).

Garrison Church, Copenhagen Church in Copenhagen, Denmark

The Garrison Church is a church at Sankt Annæ Plads in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Funen island in Denmark

Funen, with an area of 3,099.7 square kilometres (1,196.8 sq mi), is the third-largest island of Denmark, after Zealand and Vendsyssel-Thy. It is the 165th-largest island in the world. It is located in the central part of the country and has a population of 466,284 (2013). Funen's main city is Odense, which is connected to the sea by a seldom-used canal. The city's shipyard, Odense Steel Shipyard, has been relocated outside Odense proper.

Krak is buried in the Garrison Cemetery in Copenhagen.

See also

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  1. "T, Krak". Dansk Biografisk Leksikon (in Danish). Retrieved 12 December 2017.