The purpose of the project is to preserve a piece of unique ferry history and of maritime cultural heritage in Nyborg. At the same time, the old Great Belt ferry could become an active cultural ferry in the harbour. With an authentic placement at the old car ferry port by the King’s Wharf, the ferry can make the old ferry port understandable again and become a focal point for the new harbour space being created west of the wharf. Both the mooring of the ferry and the new harbour space are part of the local development plan which is in the preparation phase at the moment.
The Municipality of Nyborg and the Museums of Eastern Funen have a two-year option to buy the ferry, which will run out in April, 2017.
A unique heritage icon
Along the coast and among the islands of Denmark, we have a long maritime tradition, in which ferries have pretty much always connected the kingdom together. Nyborg’s function as the main point of crossing over the Great Belt has had the ferry as an icon; it bound Denmark together. For 1000 years, Nyborg has been the geographical and infrastructural junction in Denmark - or, to put it another way, as the portal between east and west Denmark. In spite of the ferries’ and especially the Great Belt ferries’ key role, none of the Great Belt ferries have been preserved - M/F Broen is our last chance.
This is the proposed placement of M/F Broen, according to the plan which a unanimous finance committee has chosen to recommend to the town council of Nyborg. Around the ferry, an attractive new harbour space will be built.
M/F Broen was built at the Frederikshavn Shipyard in 1951, and the following year it became Denmark’s largest car ferry, sailing between Korsør and Nyborg. “Broen” - the bridge - was seen as a kind of rocking bridge, that would assure efficient ferry traffic, and would mean the end of long lines of cars and of the long wait. There were great expectations, but the enormous increase in car traffic made it impossible to keep up. In 1957, the car ferries moved from central Nyborg to Knudshoved to the north. M/F Broen moved, too, but it was already too small. From 1966 until 1992, it sailed between Århus - Samsø - Kalundborg, on the Sjælland - Jutland route. The ferry never got scrapped because some ambitious business people saw possibilities in turning it into a restaurant and discoteque,
M/F Broen is a key piece in the story of Nyborg as an infrastructural junction over a long, long period, 1000 years. It contributes to the three pathways called The Way, The Sword and The Spirit that are part of the big heritage project: “Nyborg - The Heart of the Kingdom of Denmark”, whose aim is to make Nyborg a worthy candidate to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. In this way, the ferry project is connected to the ongoing restoration and modernisation of Nyborg Castle.
New, attractive harbour space
M/F Broen was built to sail from the inner harbour of Nyborg, and was originally docked on the western side of the King’s Wharf. This was where King Christian III built his wharf in the 1550’s, and it was here that traffic across the country passed through Nyborg for 500 years. The wharf is, in a way, the junction of the story as well as its origin, with the bollards still in place (for mooring the ship). A placement of the ferry right here would make the story about Nyborg harbour as a ferry port understandable again.
A central placement of “M/F Broen” is a condition for the old ferry’s function as a monument and a cultural ferry. It would assure the flow of people through the town between the castle at one end and “M/F Broen” at the other.
The expense involved with having “M/F Broen” in the water is considerable; therefore placing the ferry in dry dock is a good solution. The dry dock will be established on the west side of the King’s Wharf. Around the ferry and the dry dock, a new harbour space will be built to tie the town in with the harbour. The Harbour Square will still be a car park, but will, in the future, be multi-functional. The restaurant “Lause’s Grill” will be moved to make room for the dry dock and will be relocated on the western side of the new harbour space. (Lause’s Grill is aware of these plans.) As such, the renovated town/harbour space around Lause’s Grill and the ferry will attract more people, both residents and visitors, to spend time there. These plans are included in the local development plan for the harbour area, which the town council is now in the process of creating.
The main thrust of this project is that “M/F Broen” again will function as an active cultural gathering place in Nyborg. The ferry should be a democratic meeting place for everyone, much as it was when it sailed across the Great Belt. We are therefore working on many ideas, such as historical exhibitions, making parts of the ferry available to rent for events and arranging for the leasing of various functions, like food service, on the ship.