Fredericia - The town for any and all

We need to go back more than 350 years to find the origin of Fredericia's moniker "the town for any and all". When King Frederik III lacked inhabitants for his beautiful new fortified town behind its large ramparts, he invited a varied group of newcomers to the town.

The King introduced a number of privileges. These included tax exemptions, free building plots, impunity for criminals, right of asylum, customs freedom, religious freedom (which was not a matter of course in those days) and several other enticements. In terms of religion, this attracted Jews, Huguenot reformists from France, Catholics and other groupings.

A point of interest is that the town was at one time called Frederik's Odde (Frederik’s Headland), but when the King heard that jokers were calling the town Frederik's Øde (Frederik’s Deadland), the name was changed to the latinized Fredericia and migration intensified.

On Vendersgade, one of the pedestrian streets in the city centre, it says "The town for any and all" in more than 30 different languages. These words are embossed into the approx. 10 cm x 30 cm iron reliefs that are set into the paving.

The symbolism of ”the town for any and all” also translates to the present day. For example, Fredericia offers fine facilities and opportunities for the blind and the deaf. The town also has a school for sign language. Fredericia has also played a role in the issues involving large numbers of refugees and asylum-seekers, including by accommodating a large number of Syrian refugees at the large Bülows Barracks close to the Østerstrand area of Fredericia.

So calling Fredericia a town for any and all is not all empty words.