En kvinde står på broen over kanalerne i Frederiksværk

Frederiksværk-From cannons to canal idyll

Photo: Sarah Rønholt

Beautifully located between Arresø and Roskilde Fjord, Frederiksværk is also known as “Little Venice” because of its canal and numerous iconic bridges. The old houses in the streets and alleyways bear witness to the town’s past as Denmark’s first industrial centre. But it offers much more.

Photo: Ann Jørgensen
Frederiksværk Havn
Photo: Ann Jørgensen

Today the town is a thriving commercial centre with attractive shops and rich cultural life, with concerts throughout the year, as well as being the perfect base from which to launch expeditions into the rich surrounding countryside. The town has exciting playgrounds for children and opportunities for fishing and discovering wildlife close at hand, or perhaps a quiet walk along with one of the many beautiful nature trails.

The city of Frederiksværk is characterised by the canal that connects Lake Arresø with Roskilde Fjord. Through the city centre, the water slowly flows, bringing nature into the urban landscape. The canal is the lifeblood of the city itself, as it has supplied energy to the industry here since the eighteenth century.

The man-made canal that runs through the town can be followed from the woods to Denmark’s largest lake, Arresø. During the summer, you can sail on the beautiful old wooden ship, the M/S Frederikke.

Enjoy a break in one of the city’s squares: the quaint Nordtorv, the new Valsetorvet or on the lawn in front of the city’s cultural centre, Gjethuset. The majestic building hosts exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events all year round.

Frederiksværk is also famed for its proud landmark, the Gunpowder Works, where gunpowder was mixed, and cannonballs for the Dybbøl cannons were cast. At the gunpowder works, you can see the old water-powered machines in operation, and there are daily guided tours during the summer season.

Discover the gunpowder town

Frederiksværk’s unique and beautifully preserved Gunpowder Works continue to be an important part of the town. The original water-driven machines of the Gunpowder Works still function today, and visitors can be regaled with stories about
the dangers involved in manufacturing black powder, which had a tendency to explode, resulting in the loss of both life and limb for the unfortunate gunpowder workers.

The museum is a part of Industrimuseet Frederiks Værk, the Frederiks Værk Museum of Industry which tells the story of the town’s industrial history with changing exhibitions and themed guided tours of the town throughout the summer season. A ticket to the Gunpowder Works museum also includes entry to the polar explorer Knud Rasmussen’s Hus in Hundested, which today is a museum with a spectacular view over Kattegat.

Nature and town in symbiosis

In Frederiksværk, the town and surrounding countryside are almost interwoven. Frederiksværk is situated in a large and hilly forest area, which can be seen after a short climb up the steps behind the shopping centre to Bakkestien, from where there are superb views out over the town, harbour and fjord.

Those interested in seeing the surrounding from the water can rent a canoe from Frederiksværk Camping, the town’s camping site and follow the canal either to Roskilde Fjord or Arresø, Denmark’s largest lake.

The idyllic Brede Å path begins at Frederiksværk Church and follows the line of the canal through Arresødal Forest all the way to Arresø itself. There is a covered bird-watching platform by the lake, from which you can observe the rich birdlife of the area and, if you’re lucky, even catch a glimpse of the colourful and rare kingfisher. During the summer period, visitors can also enjoy an unforgettable boat trip on lake Arresø in the beautiful old wooden ship M/S Frederikke.

Tip: Love a good secondhand bargain? Why not visit Loppehjørnet at Nørregade 2, a wonderful second-hand shop where you can find everything from furniture and clothes to vinyl records and bric-a brac.

Practical information

Here, you will find helpful information for planning and use during your vacation.

Find opening hours at the tourist information, plan your holiday, see the map of the city, how to get around by public transport, read the large holiday magazine for North Zealand, and where to rent a bike. Get answers to this and more here.