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which had previously been Denmark's most important North Sea port but came under German control after the Second Schleswig War in 1864.
At the time, Esbjerg consisted of only a few farms.
More recently, it has become a centre for shipping offshore wind turbines.
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.
A number of institutions and facilities were soon established, including the courthouse and town hall (1891), the gas and waterworks (1896) and the power plant (1907).
From the beginning of the 20th century, Esbjerg prospered not only as a fishing port but became one of the country's major export centres.
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.