The name “Christiansminde”
The history of Christinsminde is also a story of the symbolic relationship between history and modernisation. The name Christiansminde originates from a time when, the soon to be, King Christian VIII came to Svendborg in 1829 and granted permission for the name change to Christiansminde. The original name, Termeriet, was derived from the many springs in the area.
The area was originally called ”Kronen” (the Crown), but in 1765 was sold to Niels Juel of Tåsinge. The town’s citizens were dissatisfied with this deal as they had citizen’s rights for some of the area. Following the protests, a settlement was reached in 1789, and the citizens were allowed rights of the Øxenbjerg Banke and the closest forest.
- In 1818, a forest park was established in the area for Svendborg. In 1852, “Sommerlyst” (Summer Light) was set up where people could dance and play music until 11pm. Various parties were held here over the years. When a party was planned, the flag at Mølmarks Mill (later Christiansmøllen) was hoisted at a particular time to inform the locals.
- In 1877 a hotel was constructed, that was expanded to become a seaside hotel in 1881. N.A. Frandzen adopted the role as host, and after he died in 1898, his widow continued until in 1920 Peder la Cour took over.
The Weber Family
In 1917, there was another extension to the hotel, which was now becoming increasingly popular among guests both from Denmark and abroad. The Weber family has contributed a considerable amount to the Christiansminde area. They came to Svendborg in 1866 and had a significant impact on the area and the town. The family earned money from mining cryolite in Greenland and were entrepreneurs in many areas. Among other things, they established Denmark’s first orchard, set up Gamle Hestehauge shipyard and built a cycling race track in 1887 around the lake. Fast sprinters and cyclists performed here and the first cycle race in Svendborg took place here in 1886. It was ”penny-farthings” they rode on in those days.
- Theobald Weber built the 3 large and characteristic houses in the area in Italian style: Bella Vista, Villa Svea and Villa Tårnborg.
- In 1939, the shipyard was sold. The fruit wine company was sold in 1940 to Odense Wine Company. In 1959, a part of the ground from Gamle Hestehauge was sold to Svendborg Municipality. The final part of the forest and orchards were sold to the municipality in 1972.
- HK, Denmark’s largest union for salaried employees, took over the well-known holiday hotel, Christiansminde in 1981. In 1992, HK bought the ground where the nature hostel Søro was, to build a new training wing. After the establishment of the purification plant in the 1980’s, it became possible to swim from Christiansminde. The sand for the beach was taken from the building of the new wing at Christiansminde.