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Trip Planner Europe  /  Denmark  /  Jutland  /  East Jutland  /  Silkeborg
(3.7/5 based on 550+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: zoos & aquariums, museums, parks
Silkeborg is a Danish city with a population of 43,158 (1 January 2014). Silkeborg is the seat of the council of Silkeborg municipality with 89,346 inhabitants (2013) and is also part of the East Jutland metropolitan area, with 1.2 million inhabitants.Silkeborg is located in the middle of the Jutlandic peninsula, slightly west of the geographical centre of Denmark. The city is situated at the Gudenå River in the hilly and lush landscape of Søhøjlandet, surrounded by Denmark’s largest forest district and a great number of lakes. The lakes between Silkeborg and Ry that are linked by the Gudenå, are known collectively as Silkeborgsøerne (the Silkeborg lakes).Silkeborg was founded in 1844, when Michael Drewsen started a paper mill at the spot next to the river. The city is divided north and south by the lake of Silkeborg Langsø, which at the eastern side of the city, resolves into the Gudenå River.HistoryAlthough Silkeborg city was not formally founded until 1844, the history of the city can be traced back to the 15th century. At this time a castle was located at an islet in the lake of Silkeborg, and it was probably due to this castle that the city name originated, as Silkeborg in English can be translated into ‘silk castle’. The castle does not exist today but excavations can be seen on the castle islet about 1 km from the town square.In 1844 the two paper manufacturing brothers Christian and Michael Drewsen of the corporation Drewsen og Sønner moved from Copenhagen to Jutland to start a paper mill. Next to the Gudenå River, close to the spot of the former Silkeborg castle, the brothers opened Silkeborg Papirfabrik (Silkeborg Paper mill), as the idea was to use the water power as energy source, as a resource for paper production, and the river as a transport route. The youngest brother, Michael Drewsen, was responsible for the daily management of the mill, and he was later to be acknowledged as the founder of the city. Today a statue of Michael Drewsen can be seen in front of the old city hall at the town square of Silkeborg.
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