Hundested is a town with a population of 8,543 (1 January 2015) and a former municipality (Danish, kommune) in Region Hovedstaden in the northern part of the island of Zealand (Sjælland) in eastern Denmark.
The former municipality is surrounded by water on three side: to the north is the Kattegat, to the west is the channel leading into the Isefjord, and to the south is Roskilde Fjord and the channel leading into it from the Isefjord.
The area is characterized by sand and dunes, especially on its northern side facing the Kattegat, but also found in the central areas and in the south. Kikhavn on the northern side of the peninsula, not far to the east of the town of Hundested, is the oldest fishing village in the area.
The name Hundested is first mentioned in 1682 as Hundersted. Hunde- does not refer to “dogs” (Danish: Hunde) but to seals (Danish: Sælhunde) while -sted means “place”. The name supposedly comes from royal seal hunts on a stone reef known as the “dog (seal) reef”. The reef disappeared when the stones were used in the construction of some of the harbours on the nearby Øresund coast.
The Halsnæs peninsula was formerly the site of several villages. Kikhavn was a fishing village from at 16th century. In 1776, Frederiksværk‘s founder, Johan Frederik Classen, established Grønnessegård manor on the peninsula in 1776, shutting down the villages of Gryndese, Rorup and Fornerup
It is believed that the first building in present-day Hundested was a house for the local pilots built in the 1835.
A breakwater (Læmolen) was built at Hundested in 1862 and Lynæs Harbour was built in 1872. It soon developed into the most important fishing port on Zealand and was expanded several times before most of the fishing vessels moved to Hundested Harbour in about 1910. Most of the fish was sold to traders from Frederikssund before the railway which opened in 1916 provided easy access to Copenhagen by way of Hillerød.
The ferries to Rørvig began operating in 1927 and they were joined by the ferries to Grenå in 1934. The harbor attracted many new companies, including the fish auctions, an importer of coal, a canned food factory, dockyard and Hundested Motor Factory which for generations produced reliable engines for Danish fishing vessels. A new industrial district was established in the eastern outskirts of town, attracting several companies from the plastic and metal industries in the 1960s and 1970s. The harbor was expanded with a new ferry terminal in 1967, a new fraight terminal in 1987 and a new container terminal in 1995.
A downturn in the fishing industry in the 1980s hit Hundested hard and the fraight and passenger lines to Grenå ceased operations in 1996.