the schooner Bonavista at Marstal Harbour in 2008

From fishing village to shipping hub


Marstal started out as a natural harbour on the east coast of the island of Ærø. In 1514, it was described as a fishing village – the seeds of the successful shipping town that later grew. Marstal's shipping industry dates back to 1634, when it became possible…

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Time / Periode 1634
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Marstal's inhabitants expanded the natural harbour, and from this base, generations of sailors have continued to explore ports all over the world, making Marstal vessels famous. From the harbour at the heart of Marstal, a motley assortment of houses nestle among the streets leading away from the waterfront. Author Carl Ewald had the following to say about the town's self-inspired architects in 1893: The industrious seamen built their homes in haste while snatching occasional leave. House has been added to house. It was merely a matter of building a little cabin where mother and toddlers could keep warm and safe while father was at sea. Today, the streets of Marstal still smack of shanty charm, maritime adventures and salty seafarers.

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