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Greve Strand History, Denmark

Up until the mid-20th century, this area of Denmark was all farm and agricultural land.  The businesses for the area were centered on the main street “Strandvejen.”  The coastal area of the town was also a popular tourist destination for Copenhagen residents on weekend getaways and other vacations.  There was an assortment of tourist cottages on the Koge Bay to meet this demand.

The area began to be developed, though, in the 1960s and 1970s when many Copenhagen residents began to relocate to suburbs like Greve Strand.  The farming lands quickly turned into housing developments.  Around this same time, most of the stores and other businesses on Strandvejen moved into shopping malls, like Greve Midtby Center and the Hundige Storcenter.  Around the beginning of the following decade, the S-train, which is the area’s railroad network, expanded so that it was closer to the bay.  This put a train stop in the area.

Even though the town of Greve Strand itself is only half a century old, the surrounding area has an ancient history.  Greve Strand resides in the county of Roskilde.  The area does not seem to have any definite beginnings; however it is said that the legendary Viking King Roar, who was associated with Beowulf and other Norse legends and chronicles, lived in the area at around 500 A.D.  Around 480 years later, Harald I of Denmark had a church and royal estate built in the area.  Roskilde Cathedral sits on the site of the original church and it is said that Harald I is buried there.  The start of the current cathedral came in 1170 when the church was updated to a brick building. 

The reason for the new church building is due to the fact that Roskilde had been made a bishopric several decades earlier.  Due to this fact and the fact that it was made a market town around 100 years later, Roskilde was one of the most important Danish towns.  In the mid-1400s the town lost some of its esteem due to the Reformation and the closing of the Roman Catholic Church in Denmark.  Danish royalty continued to be buried at the cathedral, however.

During the 1600s, the area suffered many tragedies which include an outbreak of plague, several fires, and war with Sweden.  The area recovered in the following centuries, especially with the building of a railway to and from Copenhagen in 1847. 

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