208km (129 miles) SW of Copenhagen; 71km (44 miles) NW of Odense; 82km (51 miles) N of the German border; 70km (43 miles) SW of Århus
Our South Jutland adventure begins in the gateway city of Kolding, nestled on the scenic Kolding Fjord. The sixth-largest city in Denmark can become an overnight stopover or else the object of a short visit of 2 to 3 hours, depending on your schedule.
There are more young designers running around the streets of Kolding than even in Copenhagen itself, as it is home base for the Danish School of Art & Design, attracting students from throughout Scandinavia who dream of becoming the Arne Jacobsen of tomorrow. The center is comparable to the Parsons School of Design in New York. Many devotees of art and design visit Kolding just to see the Trapholt Museum for Moderne Kunst, devoted to 20th-century and modern art.
Kolding is hardly one of the "must-see" sites for Jutland, but tourism is on the rise, mainly because of its hilltop castle, that modern art museum, and its historic Gamle Stan (Old Town) in the center. If you'll ignore the industrial suburbs, the cobblestoned streets and gaily painted half-timbered houses make a visit worthwhile. The center is surrounded by thriving industries such as iron, engineering, and textiles.
Dating from 1321, Kolding was a battleground in the Middle Ages, which led to the erection of Koldinghus Slot (castle) in 1248. The town stood as disputed territory of Schleswig-Holstein, which is now part of Germany. Prussian troops wanted to make it part of the German empire but by 1864 at the signing of the Treaty of Vienna, it was returned to Danish hands, except for its Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1945.