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Middelfart Town Coat of arms Official name: Middelfart Country Denmark Region Region of Southern Denmark Municipality Middelfart municipality Population 14,781 (2011) First documented 1231  - City charter 1496  - Middelfart Municipality 1970 Postal codes 5500 Middelfart (left center) in Denmark Website: www.middelfart.dk Middelfart is a town in central Denmark, with a population of 14,781 (1 January 2011).[1] The town is the municipal seat of Middelfart municipality on the island of Funen (Danish: Fyn). Overview The Middelfart municipality has a population of 37,701 people as of 2011. The municipality is also a part of the East Jutland metropolitan area with 1.2 million inhabitants. [2] The town name Middelfart means central passage - and refers to one of the three ferry links formerly connecting the island of Funen with the peninsula of Jutland - the other two being Strib and Føns. The earliest record mentioning the settlement is the Liber Census Daniæ (1231) listing it as Mæthelfar.[3] The local dialect shortened the name to Melfar, a short form still popular in names of shops, institutions and events, e.g. Melfar-Posten, a local weekly. From the Middle Ages till the end of the 19th century, the local fishermen were also whale hunters in winter. The only whale common in Danish waters is the Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocaena. The whale hunters linked their boats across the rather narrow Little Belt and by beating the sea by sticks and branches they directed the migrating porpoises to low water areas where they could be slaughtered. The whale blubber was used for lamps, indoors and outdoors, and the coming of electricity made whale hunting uneconomical. In the winter of 1854–55, 1742 whales were caught, but a normal winter's catch would only be half of this number or even less. In the 20th century, the hunt was resumed during the two world wars. Two memorial stones now stand where the hunters landed the whales and where blubber was prepared. Near Middelfart are two big bridges over the Little Belt sea strait. Middelfart is serviced by the passenger rail service between Copenhagen and Jutland. The Cultural Center Kulturøen (literally, "Culture Island"), contains the town library, a cinema, a restaurant, a café, and the tourist office. References ^ BEF44: Population 1st January, by urban areas database from Statistics Denmark ^ [1] ^ Politikens Nydansk Ordbog, 15th edition (1992), entry Middelfart (Danish) External links Middelfart municipality Coordinates: 55°30′N 9°45′E / 55.5°N 9.75°E / 55.5; 9.75 v · d · eMunicipal seats of Denmark Hovedstaden Albertslund · Ballerup · Brøndbyvester · Buddinge · Charlottenlund · Copenhagen · Dragør and Store Magleby · Frederiksberg · Frederikssund · Frederiksværk · Glostrup · Helsinge · Helsingør · Herlev · Hillerød · Holte · Hørsholm · Hvidovre · Ishøj · Kokkedal · Kongens Lyngby · Lillerød · Rønne · Rødovre · Stenløse · Taastrup · Tårnby · Værløse · Vallensbæk Midtjylland Århus · Grenå · Herning · Hadsten, Hinnerup, Hammel and Hvorslev · Hedensted · Holstebro · Horsens · Ikast · Lemvig · Odder · Randers · Ringkøbing and Skjern · Rønde · Silkeborg · Skanderborg · Skive · Struer · Tranebjerg · Viborg Nordjylland Aabybro · Aalborg · Aars · Brønderslev · Byrum · Frederikshavn · Hjørring · Hobro · Nykøbing Mors · Støvring · Thisted Sjælland Greve Strand · Haslev · Højby · Holbæk · Hvalsø · Kalundborg · Køge · Maribo · Næstved · Nykøbing Falster · Ringsted · Roskilde · Slagelse · Solrød Strand · Sorø · Store Heddinge · Vordingborg Syddanmark Aabenraa · Assens · Bogense · Esbjerg · Fredericia · Grindsted · Haderslev · Kerteminde · Kolding · Marstal · Middelfart · Nyborg · Nordby · Odense · Ringe · Rudkøbing · Svendborg · Sønderborg · Tønder · Varde · Vejen · Vejle