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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.
The harbour facilities are being expanded to answer the needs of the wind-turbine industry and container shipping traffic.
With an urban population of 71,618 (as of 1 January 2016 it is the fifth-largest city in Denmark, and the largest in west Jutland.
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.
At the time, Esbjerg consisted of only a few farms.
Developed under royal decree from 1868 until 1874, the harbour was officially opened in 1874, with rail connections to Varde and to Fredericia, an important hub on the east coast of Jutland.
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.
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The slaughterhouse and meat packaging facility, Esbjerg Andels-Slagteri, established in 1887, became Denmark's sixth largest by 1962.