J. Ring-Andersen Skibsværft, Frederiksø, Svendborg
Founded in 1867 by Jørgen Ring-Andersen, J. Ring-Andersen Skibsværft is one of the oldest wooden shipyards in Denmark. Over many years the yard has built almost 200 wooden ships, most of which are still sailing with grace today.
Ship names such as ‘Lilla Dan’, ‘Helge’, ‘Activ’, ‘Seute Deern’ and ‘Carene Star’ are recognised by many and characterized as classical examples of good shipbuilding. During the yard’s early years iron ships were built as well, but in order to maintain the best wooden ship traditions, the yard gradually began to concentrate solely on wooden shipbuilding and moved steal shipbuilding to a new iron shipyard, also located on Frederiksø with part of the family as co-founder.
The iron shipyard along with others was not able to keep up with world competition. But J. Ring-Andersen Skibsværft has managed, due to the art of using the good old virtues of both building and restoration work together with committed customer care, in order to survive year after year. Adaptation to the times in which one lives is the keyword to continuously being able to exist in a world of constant change – as this yard’s continuous existence shows.
Svendborg (Danish: [ˈsvɛnbɒːˀ]) is a town on the island of Funen in south-central Denmark, and the seat of Svendborg Municipality. With a population of 26,672 (1 January 2014), Svendborg is Funen’s second largest city. In 2000 Svendborg was declared “Town of the year” in Denmark, and in 2003 it celebrated its 750th anniversary as a market town. By road, Svendborg is located 195 kilometres (121 mi) southwest of Copenhagen, 183 kilometres (114 mi) south of Aarhus, 44.2 kilometres (27.5 mi) south of Odense, and 28.5 kilometres (17.7 mi) east of Faaborg.
Svendborg is home to the “Naturama” museum, which holds a wide variety of stuffed animals from birds to bears. The largest container ship company in the world, A.P. Møller-Mærsk has its origins in Svendborg, in the “Villa Anna”.
In the light of archaeological discoveries, Svendborg appears to have been established in the first half of the 12th century or even earlier. Located at the head of a bay, the natural harbour encouraged seafaring and trade.
The first recorded mention of Svendborg occurred in 1229 in a deed of gift by Valdemar the Victorious, where he refers to the fortification as Swinæburgh. The name is thought to consist of the elements “svin” meaning “pig” and “borg” meaning “fortification”.
The ruins of the monastery were partly excavated beside the railway in 2007.
In 1253, the city was granted market town privileges by King Christopher I. In the Middle Ages, the city was fortified with walls and moats. The defense system also included a few forts. Most historical facts about the medieval defense system, including the locations of fortifications, are disputed, as little archaeological evidence has been generated. In spite of this, it is a popular theory that the three towers in the coat of arms are the three fortifications (“Skattertårnet”, “Kyseborg” and a third one unnamed). Thanks to its seafarers, in the late Middle Ages Svendborg became one of the most important trading centres in Scandinavia.
During the time of the Protestant reformation and the Count’s Feud in the 1530s, the citizens of Svendborg joined forces with the King. Ørkild Castle, located just east of Svendborg, was property of the bishop of Odense, who was less than popular among the citizens of the city. The tension resulted in the castle being seized and burned down by an angry mob in collaboration with the King’s forces. The King’s forces would later, after ending their north-going campaign on Funen, return to pillage and plunder Svendborg.
After 1536, Svendborg went through a brief period of progress becoming the islands main port. But it would not last for long. In the following 250 years, the city faced various setbacks in its development, such as plague, a major fire, and the effects of the Swedish wars when Svendborg’s ships were destroyed.
The population grew from a mere 1,942 people in 1801 to more than 11,500 in 1901. This development was followed by improvement of the infrastructure, such as rail links with Odense, Faaborg and Nyborg, improvement of the local roads and the establishment of a real harbour suited for extensive trading, since goods could now easily be transported there. In the middle of the 19th century an explosion of industrialization happened, and all kinds of factories, from engineering to breweries were established together with modern gas and water systems.
In the late 19th century, with industry well established, it was necessary to accommodate the growing population. This led to numerous new schools being founded. Furthermore, a hospital was established in 1871 and expanded in 1891.