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Stege

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Stege is the largest town on the island of Møn in south-eastern Denmark. In January 2015 its population was 3,841. Stege is now part of Vordingborg Municipality and belongs to Region Zealand. Once a prosperous herring fishing port, tourism is now important to the local economy.LocationStege is near the centre of the island at the mouth of Stege Nor, a lake which connects directly to the sea at the town. The mouth of the lake is now spanned by a bridge.EtymologyStege originated as a small fishing village called Dybsbroen, on the coast just north of the eastern end of the bridge, along the street now known as Dybsbrostræde. The current name may derive from Stickae or Stike, which were wooden poles rammed into the sea inlet as a further defence against raiders.HistoryThe town received status as a merchant town in 1268 under Eric V of Denmark but there were already fortifications protecting the fishing community early in the 12th century. As the town grew, a fortress was constructed on the coast just south of the mouth of the inlet, in the 13th century. Construction costs for the town's fortress were paid for by money from the fishing of herring, the town's most important source of capital.Around 1430, a defensive wall was constructed enclosing the landward side of the town which was otherwise bounded by the sea to the north, and the lake to the south. The wall was built on top of a rampart, with a moat so that the town was entirely surrounded by water. Three gate towers were constructed, one on each of the major roads passing through the wall. Only the Mill Gate (Mølleporten) now survives. It was converted into a prison when the remainder of the wall was demolished around 1685. What remains is one of the best preserved fortresses in the Nordic countries.
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