Historically Oddesund has formed a very important connection between north and south. The locality is important in a cultural historical context with ferries, bridges, fishing, fortifications and an eccentric recluse.
The location has considerable recreational value and there are plans to make it an experience and communication centre.
A Link Between Regions
The Thy and Hardsyssel areas are almost joined together via Thyholm and the two spits at Oddesund. The channel here is characterised by very strong currents and has a depth of over 20 m. There has been passage across Oddesund for many years, probably since Viking times. The crossing here formed a vital connection between the two areas and was also very important for the transport of cattle to destinations in Holland, Germany and England. From the early Middle Ages until 1825 Nissum Bredning was cut off from the North Sea by an isthmus and much of the north-south traffic followed that route. When the sea broke though the isthmus in 1825 the crossing at Oddesund became a major route.
A Ferry Crossing
The ferry route led to the establishment of ferry inns – Sundgården to the north and Pinen Kro (inn) to the south – that provided welcome accommodation for travellers who became stranded overnight or if the weather was bad. In 1883 steam ferries were run by DSB (The Danish State Railway) until 1938 when the Oddesund bridge was built. This greatly facilitated travel over Oddesund. Many of the small summer houses on the southern spit (Grisetå Odde) were built as accommodation for the workers who built the bridge; there are several colourful stories about them! Near the lighthouse on Grisetå Odde you can still see posts from the landing site for the old rowing ferry, and traces of the landing sites for the steam ferry are visible on both sides of Oddesund.
Fishing and Tarring Site
In addition to its previous function as a landing site for the ferry on the northern spit, the harbour at Oddesund Nord is important for fishing in Limfjord. There are remains from a tarring site where fishermen tarred their cotton nets to prevent them from rotting. The harbour is used by many yachts.
Oddesund has a legend about Æ Skawmand – the man in the cupboard. Christian Vandet Jørgensen arrived at Oddesund in 1914 with a large wardrobe. He lived in it for many years. After 24 years he built a shed around the wardrobe and continued to live there until he died in 1956.
Oddesund as a Defence Position
Defensive fortifications were built at Oddesund on several occasions. The so-called “Limfjord Position” was built during Wold War I. This was a defensive construction behind which Danish troops could take cover if German troops attacked up through Jutland. Ruins of this structure can be found on Oddesund. Early in World War II the Germans built defensive structures to protect the bridge and the important rail and road connections. The buildings included 24 bunkers for both air defence and land defence.
Master Plan for Oddesund
In addition to the cultural historical aspects, Oddesund includes a rich variety of nature with tidal meadows, heaths, tidal flats and, not least, an exciting submarine landscape. It is possible to walk, swim, dive, surf and sail. To support these activities and advance the locality as a centre for experiences and communication, Struer Municipality has established “Helhedsplan Oddesund” (Master plan for Oddesund) in cooperation with a group of local volunteers. Plans are underway to provide facilities to support this wide range of activities.
Relationship to the Aspiring Geopark
Together with Struer Municipality and the open air, history and nature groups of local volunteers at Oddesund, Geopark West Jutland is striving to realise “Helhedsplan Oddesund” and to establish Oddesund as an arrival location for the geopark.