Agersø Skanse
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Agersø held the fort during the Gunboat War 1808-1814

In 1808, Agersø became a crucial element in the Danish defense. This happened after the destruction of the Danish fleet and the commandeering of all remaining ships by the English at the battle of Copenhagen in 1801, and again in 1807 when the English attacked Denmark and eventually forced us to surrender our fleet.

The loss of the fleet did not put a stop to the Danish defensive efforts. In an attempt to break the English naval blockade, the Danes used several smaller gunboats and barges, which also meant that the battles took place close to shore. This was later named the Gunboat War.

Additionally, King Frederik VI commanded that all Denmark’s lighthouses should be extinguished, and he initiated the construction of batteries and entrenchments along the shores to make it more difficult for the English to attack Zealand.

Agersø entrenchment and the defense of Omøsund

Agersø entrenchment was one of the significant batteries constructed in 1808. The location on the southern part of island provides an excellent overview of the entrance to the Omøsund sound. As many as 1200-1400 soldiers were stationed at Agersø and Omø to man the entrenchments. They lived in a board-covered earthen hut on the entrenchment or were lodged with private citizens on the island. Eight soldiers stayed at each of the large farms, while the smallholdings were home to one or two soldiers.

The island also had a couple of gunboats, ready for action. The English tried over and over to make landfall at Agersø, but the forces held the fort all the way to the peace of 1814. Napoleon lost, and Denmark had to relinquish Norway to Sweden, who had sided with the English, and Heligoland to England. But Denmark was allowed to keep Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

Visit the well-preserved batteries

Pack your swimwear and lunch and head south to explore the area at Agersø entrenchments. The well-preserved fortifications with cannons and ramparts bring the stories of the English Wars to life. It becomes very clear why Agersø entrenchments were crucial in the defense of Zealand when you stand on top of the ramparts, looking across the Omøsund. Make sure to have time for continuing your trip to the Helholm Lighthouse that you are no doubt familiar with from the seaward side.

Read more stories from Agersø or explore exciting stories from other places.
Learn more about Agersø harbor here.

Photo kindly on loan from AgersøPortalen


Strandalle 100
4244 Agersø

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