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The market square (Torvet) was positioned at the centre, midway between the harbour and the railway station.In 1893, Esbjerg became a municipality in its own right (initially known as Esbjerg Ladeplads), receiving the status and privileges of a market town in 1899 and incorporating the parish of Jerne (east of the centre) in 1945.
By road, it is 71 kilometres (44 mi) west of Kolding and 164 kilometres (102 mi) southwest of Aarhus.Established in 1895 by nine local dairies, the butter-packaging factory, Dansk Andels Smørpakkeri, employed some 150 workers until 1920, packing and dispatching butter for the London market.It was later extended to include egg marketing under the name Dansk Andels Ægeksport.Ultimately, it handled produce from 140 dairies spread across the whole of Jutland.After the Second World War, the town developed several agricultural industries, especially meat processing and packaging with a plant employing over 300.In order to cope with enormous future increases in Danish offshore wind power, 12 companies, including DONG Energy and Bluewater Energy Services are already planning the establishment of a Green Offshore Centre in Esbjerg.
Historically, in addition to its success as a fishing port, Esbjerg established its position as one of the country's major export centres.
The slaughterhouse and meat packaging facility, Esbjerg Andels-Slagteri, established in 1887, became Denmark's sixth largest by 1962.
It later became part of Vestjyske Slagterier in 1986, and in 2001, it was acquired by Danish Crown.
The Esbjerg Performing Arts Centre was completed in 1997 to designs by Jan and Jørn Utzon.
When approached by sea, the Man Meets the Sea is one of the prominent monuments, consisting of four 9-metre-tall (27 feet) white-coloured men, overlooking Sædding Beach.
Over the years, many of the city's visitors have arrived by ferry from Harwich, Essex, England, but this service closed in September 2014 having run since 1875.