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- then you can read about the historic places in and around Stubbekøbing.



New edited illustration from Atlas Danicus, a statistic-topographic description of Denmark.
Made by P.H. Resen in the second half of the 17
th century, in independent volumes.

The books were not published at that time, first in the 20th century in single parts.




The history of the market town Stubbekøbing

Stubbekøbing emerged as a fishing hamlet or a village at the sund between Møn and Falster. Stubbekøbing is one of our oldest coast towns in the country with trading centre at the headland for more than 1000 years, and the war harbor, south east of the present town, was frequently used in the viking period. According to Saxo Svend Tveskæg was captured outside the harbor. The old nature harbor had a good location, and there was trade with North German merchant towns as early as in the 13th century. It did especially have a very strategic location for the war ships of that time.

On the 1st of May 1354 the town got its royal market town privilege, and the date is nowadays considered to be the day, where the town became a market town. In the 13th century trade flourished, and Stubbekøbing came into a rich period. The reason was “the herring adventure” from the 12th century to the 17th century.

The herring adventure

During the 13th century the herring fishing was organized by the royal power with a trade agreement called “Skånemarkedet” which was valid in the month of September, where the herring was caught, salted and sold. The trade was regulated by the king, and the right order was kept by the bailiffs of the king. Thus there had to be paid duty, the so-called “Skånetolden”. But Stubbekøbing was one of the few towns, which was exempted, and therefore the town did really have a lucrative existence.

And the population of the town grew…

The biggest market places for sale of herring in Northern Europe, were situated in Skanør, Falsterbo, Malmø and Dragør. The merchants came from far away to buy the herring and they did bring along goods in order to sell them. The most important market places were in Skanør and Falsterbo. But at the end of the 16th century the herring disappeared from the sund. And the recession in the fishing was part of the years of distress which hit Stubbekøbing so hard in the following century with wars and comprehensive fires.

Comprehensive wars

But there were troubled periods in store. Wars in the beginning of the 15th century with the clash of the Danish royal power with the German the states of the Hanseatic League. Many farms and towns were plundered and burnt down, and these were bad times for everybody. In the same confusion of wars, the war which we call the war of the Count broke out, and in this war Lolland-Falster did not either escape unhurt.

Days of glory became recession

Stubbekøbing was until 1550 the biggest market town on Falster and greatly superior to Nykøbing. The town had a big port of unloading for corn, but this did however change. From 1550 to 1810-20 it did steadily go back for the town, among other things because of the overgrowing of the harbor at the end of the 16th century. Nykøbing did have it far better in this period, as the town was favoured because of its royal residence in the town. Queen Sofie, widow of King Frederik the 2nd did in 1594 move to her dower house in Nykøbing Castle, where she worked until her death in 1631. The year after the castle was sold for demolition. The castle had until then supplied artisians and traders on Falster and Lolland, among these of course some in Stubbekøbing.

War again

In 1658 the horrors of the war broke out again, in the form of the Dano-Swedish Wars which were especially hard to Lolland-Falster. The recession of Stubbekøbing was distinctive, and in 1650 the town was close to having its privileges of the town taken away. It did however not happen, but in 1682 the town was, as many other smaller market towns, deprived of Its town council and its mayor, so that only the bailiff was the power of the town.

Finally new harbor

The citizens of the town did besides their occupations also support themselves of agriculture, but the fields of the town were small, and it goes without saying, that without an efficient harbor there were bad possibilities of growth. The natural harbor, the war harbor, southeast of the town, was overgrown, and there had not been build a new one.

As the long lasting crisis of the town ended at the end of the 19th century the loss of the town of not having a harbor was too big. After several attempts it was finally agreed to grant a loan in 1839 in order to build the long missing ship bridge with a pierhead where the ships could come alongside, load and unload directly from land. And in 1842 the harbor was build, first extended in 1851 and secondly in 1878. This was very important for the development of the town, and the size of the town and the economic importance for Falster did gradually grow again.

Local historic archive – Falstershistorie.dk – Arkiv.dk – the registrar: Houses in Stubbekøbing
– Museum Lolland-Falster