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99km (62 miles) SW of Copenhagen; 37km (23 miles) SE of Kalundborg; 19km (12 miles) NE of Korsør; 32km (20 miles) W of Ringsted

In the Middle Ages, this was a major trading center, with trade routes to Næstved in the south, Copenhagen in the east, and Kalundborg in the north. In the 11th century, the town had its own mint, and its municipal charters were granted in 1288. Slagelse lies in the heart of Viking country and is the best center for visiting the nearby fortress at Trelleborg.

Today the town of some 36,000 people is prospering, thanks largely to a lively economy. The area around here might be called Hans Christian Andersen Country, like Odense in Funen: The writer attended the local grammar school for several years but found the town a "nuisance." The school was founded after the Reformation and remained important until it closed in 1852.

After its heyday in the Middle Ages, Slagelse declined considerably, the victim of various wars and some raging fires that burned its major buildings. But with the coming of the rail lines, the economy recovered. Canning factories, distilleries, and breweries beefed up its economy.

Today it's a major city of West Zealand, a route along the important traffic artery, the E20, linking Copenhagen with the bridge across the Great Belt into Funen and the continent. Though often bypassed by rushed motorists, Slagelse has a number of treasures for those interested in the Viking period.